Grilled Chops and Veggies


Not much to say here. Get some hot coals and throw meat and veggies on your grill. LOL

I like to marinade my veggies in balsamic, salt, and pepper. I’ve been experimenting with fruit on the grill, so I sliced a pineapple and threw it in the marinade. Aluminum foil worked well for combining pineapple chunks and mango slices with fresh cilantro in a grill packet. This made a great chutney for the chops! YAY SUMMER!

August 7, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers


by

In my garden, the tomatoes just started coming in like crazy! 
I don’t eat tomatoes on everything, so I needed to come up with a way to use the ripe ones so they wouldn’t go to waste.

IMG 2733 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

cherry tomatoes

IMG 2734 300x133   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

More garden tomatoes

It just so happened that this weekend at the Catonsville Farmer’s Market, my favorite vendor, the White Rose Farm folks, had a huge bag of mixed peppers (purple bell, cowhorn, jalapeno, mild/spicy varieties, etc) at a ridiculously good price.  I’m growing jalapenos, chilli peppers, and bell peppers, but I don’t have that many of any of those yet.
They also had tomatillos for sale, which I got to taste for the first time thanks to the friendly man at the farm stand.  They are really good raw! Crunchy and buttery!

This was also the first time I’ve purchased garlic from the farmer’s market.  At $1 a bunch, it’s not the most economical, but wow was it good! Crisp, so fresh, flavorful, and much more potent.  I only used 2 cloves where I might normally use 4 or more!

With all this in tow, and a bunch of cilantro, I set to work.

IMG 2857 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Blended peppers, cilantro and garlic , frozen for future use

Many of the peppers wouldn’t have lasted a full week in the fridge before going off, so I decided to food process all of them at once.   It’s a pain in the moment, but I am so excited for all the leftover pepper/garlic/cilantro mixture I have frozen and waiting for my next culinary usage of them.  At the very least, I can keep this frozen until I get my next batch of ripe tomatoes for more salsa :).

Here’s the general recipe for a delicious, fresh, garden salsa made from tomatillo, peppers, and tomatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 part tomatillos
  • 1 part diced tomatoes
  • 1 part mixed peppers (bell, cowhorn, jalapeno, mild/spicy varieties, etc..)
  • garlic (2 cloves of farmer’s market garlic goes a long way!)

    IMG 2854 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

    Mixed peppers, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Garlic

  • leek (1/4 cup chopped or to taste, or onion if you prefer, but leek is milder, and I didn’t use much)
  • cilantro (handful–to taste!)
IMG 2860 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Cilantro

Directions:

Add garlic, leek, cilantro, peppers and tomatillos to the food processor and blend into very small pieces (but not entirely pureed).

IMG 2853 283x300   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

peppers in the food processor

IMG 2856 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Food processing ingredients

Dice tomatoes and combine in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust amount of jalapenos and hot peppers for spiciness.

YUM!

IMG 2865 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Fresh Garden Salsa with Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and mixed Peppers


After devouring our first batch with chips, we added more on top of some homemade shrimp burritos! YUM!!
This salsa had just the right amount of spiciness (adjust pepper ratio to taste)!

IMG 2871 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Garden Salsa on a shrimp burrito

August 6, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Banana “Nice” Cream: dairy-free frozen treat


by

I discovered a recipe for Banana “nice” cream last summer via the Whole Foods email list.

An earlier post describes tips for making chocolate-cherry “nice” cream, but this post will give a better breakdown of our version of this basic version of this dish.

Instead of throwing out your over-ripe (or nearly over-ripe) bananas, peel them and toss them in the freezer.  With a little almond milk (or soy) and peanut butter (or almond butter) and a blender, you can have an ice-cream like dessert that is dairy-free, lower in sugar and much lower in fat content than regular ice cream.  You can modify this recipe by adding different flavors or ingredients.  I would like to make it with cardamom and/or tea–a chai version maybe!

This is a quick, easy, and delicious dessert for the summer!

IMG 2466 300x225   Banana Nice Cream: dairy free frozen treat

Banana "nice" cream -- frozen dairy-free treat made with bananas, peanut butter, and almond milk

Unsweetened almond milk is delicious in this context and doesn’t have as strong / over powering of a flavor as soy milk, in my opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • dash of vanilla extract

    IMG 2463 300x225   Banana Nice Cream: dairy free frozen treat

    Almond milk, frozen bananas, peanut butter, vanilla extract

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to the blender or food processor

    IMG 2464 300x225   Banana Nice Cream: dairy free frozen treat

    Blending the Banana "nice" cream

  • Purée just until bananas are blended, but not so much that everything melts and turns runny
  • Pour into two bowls and serve.

    IMG 2465 300x225   Banana Nice Cream: dairy free frozen treat

    Banana "nice" cream

August 5, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Sesame Peanut Noodles


by

Summer is a time of barbeques and potluck parties.  Hot food is a hassle, whereas cold salads and other cold dishes that can be prepared ahead of time can save you trouble on the day of the party.

These Sesame Peanut noodles are one of my go-to dishes because they are delicious, cheap (you can make a LOT of these for a few dollars if you have the spices already), and great cold.  You can even freeze leftovers (great for an easy lunch!).

The concept is pretty simple: veggies get sauteed lightly (or not at all, if you prefer raw!), noodles get cooked until tender, a sesame/peanut sauce is made on the stovetop, and it’s all combined in a big bowl and left to chill.

IMG 2458 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sesame Peanut Noodles

Ingredients:

  • Veggies of choicegood options include carrots, bell peppers, zuchinni/squash, green beans, celery, radishes, anything in season.
  • Garlic and leek (to taste, depending on how big a batch you make.. a few cloves of garlic per bag of egg noodles)
  • Egg noodles (or rice noodles if you prefer gluten-free).  I bought wide, short “casserole” style noodles and really liked how much easier they were to pick up on my fork and serve as compared to long stringy noodles.  I used one whole bag, and it made a ridiculous amount of noodles.
  • Sesame seeds


Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil (hot or regular)
  • chilli oil or peppers
  • paprika, salt, pepper
  • grated or diced fresh ginger (1-2″ section of ginger root)
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (more or less, to taste)
  • < 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C diced leek

Directions:

Cook your egg noodles (or rice noodles) as per the directions.  Egg noodles cook relatively fast so keep an eye on them, because if they get soggy they will fall apart or be mushy in your dish.  As soon as they are done, drain the noodles and run cold water over them (to stop them from cooking).  Set aside.

Chop your veggies into small pieces.  I like to julienne the carrots and peppers.  I used zucchini, kale, carrots, green beans, and celery.  Peel and then grate or dice your ginger root.  **A friend showed me that ginger root can easily be ‘peeled’ by rubbing the skin off with a spoon.  Here I was trying to use a peeler and going crazy with all the knobby bits!  The spoon trick has definitely come in handy!

IMG 2443 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Julienned carrots

Saute any of the veggies you want in your sesame and chilli oils with several cloves of diced garlic and leek (or a little onion).

Add your grated/diced ginger.

IMG 2448 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sauteed Veggies

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and peanut butter together in a bowl.  Add mixture as well as other spices (salt/pepper/paprika and a generous amount of sesame seeds) to the veggies.

IMG 2451 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Egg noodles

As soon as the veggies are cooked to the desired tenderness, either toss the noodles into the stir fry pan or combine all ingredients in another very large bowl or pot.  Stir to coat the noodles with the sauce.

IMG 2449 300x225   Sesame Peanut Noodles

Add sesame seeds

Feel free to add fresh basil or thai basil to this dish near the end.  YUM.

Chill noodles for several hours before serving.

August 4, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers


by

After my deliciously successful first attempt at homemade black bean burgers based off a whole foods recipe, I decided to put homemade bean burgers into my regular rotation of easy meals.

Selling points:

  • Super quick to make!
  • Bean Burgers are made with common and easily stocked ingredients, like canned or dried beans, bread, eggs, and spices
  • You can make a large batch of burgers for a couple dollars!  Take that, fast food!
  • You can freeze extra burger patties for a quick meal
  • They taste great on a bed of fresh greens or mixed into a salad.  You can also crumble one up and use it as taco ‘meat’ in a pinch!


Homemade Bread Crumbs:

Toast several pieces of bread (your choice), optionally topped with some herbs or seasoning, until crisp and dry.  I did this by baking at 300 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Crumble cooled toast into fine pieces or use a food processor.

Part 1: 12 Bean Party Burgers:

For a party I was having, I decided to try a 12-bean burger.  I had a bag of mixed beans, including navy, great northern, kidney, pinto, chick pea, black beans, and more.

I followed the same basic recipe as before except that I made my own bread crumbs.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag of mixed beans, prepared (I cooked mine in a pressure cooker with 6-8 cups of water at pressure for 15-20 minutes, then drained.  You can also soak or quick cook them on the stove, but it will take longer than 30 minutes overall)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c diced leek
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs  (you can do these homemade by toasting and food processing your bread)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a handful of fresh chopped basil
  • 1 jalepeno, diced, and/or hot sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve on greens/in a salad, on a roll, or however you prefer!

12 bean burger mix1 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger mix

 

Instructions

Prepare your beans if they were dried (pressure cooker/soaking/etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Partially mash beans with a fork in a large bowl.
Separately saute garlic, leek, and jalapeno until leek is tender, in a little oil.
Toast bread for 10 minutes or so in the oven with various herb/garlic seasonings to make bread crumbs.  Crumble.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic/leek/jalapeno, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
Mix well to combine then shape into approximately 30 sliders, or 8-10 larger bean burgers.
Lightly oil the bottom of a baking pan
Arrange patties and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through, depending on size
Serve as desired.

12 bean burger sliders baking 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger sliders baking

12 bean burger sliders 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

12 bean burger sliders

12 bean burgers1 300x266   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

Party burgers! Served with greens, cherry tomatoes, baguette slices, and salsa!

 

Part 2: Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

This is the remix.

I highly recommend starting with this recipe, though it’s changes were minor (homemade bread crumbs, fresh herbs, sauteed mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce), they made a significant difference in the burgers.  These were amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag of black beans, prepared (I cooked mine in a pressure cooker with 6-8 cups of water at pressure for 15-20 minutes, then drained.  You can also soak or quick cook them on the stove, but it will take longer than 30 minutes overall)  You can also use 2-3 15 oz cans of low sodium black beans.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c diced leek
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs  (you can do these homemade by toasting and food processing your bread)
  • a handful of fresh oregano

    fresh picked oregano 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

    fresh picked oregano

  • a handful of fresh chopped basil
  • a handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, diced (as many as you like, really.. you can play with the ratio of beans to mushrooms here!)
  • hot sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
black bean burger ingredients 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger ingredients: Egg, bread crumbs, leek, mushrooms, garlic, black beans

Instructions

Prepare your beans if they were dried (pressure cooker/soaking/etc.)

Drained rinsed black beans 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

Drained rinsed black beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Partially mash beans with a fork in a large bowl.
Separately saute garlic, leek, and mushrooms in a little oil.

Toast bread for 10 minutes or so in the oven with various herb/garlic seasonings to make bread crumbs.  Crumble.
Add eggs, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic/leek/mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the bowl.
Mix well to combine then shape into approximately 10 larger bean burgers.

black bean burger patties1 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger patties

Lightly oil the bottom of a baking pan
Arrange patties and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through, depending on size.

black bean burger patties cooking 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger patties cooking

Serve as desired.

black bean burger on toast 300x225   Homemade 12 Bean Burgers and Better Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

black bean burger on toast with avocado and cherry tomatoes

 

May 24, 2011
Food, Recipe