Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Bean Burgers

{Meatless Monday}

These were very yummy...but you cannot approach them as a burger substitute! You have to enjoy them for what they are...because it does not taste like you are biting into a big juicy burger! But they have very delicious flavor and all my kids ate them. Two just tolerated them and the other 3 genuinely liked them.

I doubled the recipe for my family, but only did 1.5 times the spices. I also used flavored black beans (S&W Caribbean Style), but I think that made the whole mixture more runny than it should have been. I ended up adding more bread crumbs and some corn meal to have it stick together. When you add the crumbs, give it a few minutes to firm up, then if it is still too sticky, don't be afraid to just stir in more bread crumbs. You want it to be about like a meatloaf mixture. I could just barely get mine to form patties and they cooked up great. I baked them on each side for 10 minutes and then broiled them on each side for 2-3 min just to have them a little crunchy on the outside.

Here's what you need:

1 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled (I used minced garlic from my fridge)
1 egg
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 tsp Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375*. Lightly oil a baking sheet. If you want to actually grill these, preheat your grill for high heat and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil.

In a bowl, mash beans until thick and pasty.

In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into the beans.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.

Stir the egg mixture into the beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into four patties.

If grilling, place on foil and grill about 8 min each side. If baking, place on baking sheet and bake about 10 min each side.

Try them out! You might be surprised how yummy they are!

Monday, July 13, 2009

SUPER Simple Mexican Haystacks

{Meatless Monday}

I thought it would be a good idea to share some REALLY simple vegetarian meals...those ones that you throw together in 10 minutes and eat before you rush out the door. This is one that we do a lot. There are A LOT of variations on this, but this is the basic recipe. These are the ingredients:

These are staples in our pantry: Nalley's Vegetarian Chili and Vegetarian Refried Beans. (One easy way to eat less meat is to look for vegetarian varieties of the things you already buy.) They are both delicious and useful in many quick meals on those busy nights. These are always on the same sales as the regular chili and beans and I don't notice that they taste any different. I will admit that we aren't big chili fans, so we don't eat this much by itself. It is always mixed up with other things. Another big bonus is that the vegetarian stuff often has MUCH less fat!

For these haystacks, I mix the chili and beans together and we put it over rice (I had about 6 cups of leftover rice that needed to be used!) and then we put cheese and chips on top. The funny thing was that I thought I had sour I put it in the picture. And then when I opened it up, it was actually our leftover fruit dip from the 4th of July!! We normally have sour cream and black olives as toppings also. You could do onions also if you wanted.

There is NO meal faster than this, all my kids love it, and it is super cheap!

Another way I serve this (that is almost vegetarian ; ) is with a 4-can mix of Vegetarian Chili, Vegetarian Refried Beans, Pork and Beans, and Black Beans. We use this mix over rice and cornbread ALL the time. I know that the Pork and Beans sounds kind of weird, but it gives it a sweeter flavor.

This coming week, I am going to try a Black Bean Burger recipe that a friend emailed I'll post the results next Monday! Have a great week!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yummy Fudge Sauce

I just thought I would share this delicious fudge sauce recipe that I found online at

I needed to send some ice cream topping with my daughter to a party and I didn't have any baking chocolate or chocolate chips. So I searched until I found one that only called for cocoa. This was SUPER yummy and very easy. Try it out with your next half-gallon of ice cream!

Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky...your preference!)
1 - 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup butter
1 t. vanilla

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix all of the ingredients, except vanilla. Stirring continuously, bring mixture to a gentle boil. Stir until smooth and thickened. About 10-15 minutes. Do not burn, do not stop stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a quart jar. Cool and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve spoon out a small portion into a microwave safe bowl, cover and heat on HALF POWER in microwave in 20 second increments until warm. Makes one quart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ravioli with Pesto

{Meatless Monday}

I got this recipe from Family Circle sometime in the last year. I thought it was the perfect thing to make using our first head of broccoli from the garden. It took forever to grow the first main head and now the plant is producing more than I know what to do with! Just a week ago, these florets were about the size of a quarter.

OK, Here's what you'll need:

1 tsp. oil
2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
4 c. broccoli florets
1/3 c. water
1 c. baby spinach leaves
1/4-1/3 c. pine nuts
1/3-1/2 c. grated parmesan
1/3-1/2 c. olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2-1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (25 oz.) package frozen cheese ravioli

Heat oil in skillet and saute mushrooms for 3 minutes. Add peppers, broccoli, and water. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes. Set aside.

Take 1 c. cooked broccoli from skillet and combine in food processor or blender with spinach, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to your taste.
Cook and drain ravioli according to directions...drain, but reserve 1/2 c. water. (I like to do this while I am making the pesto so that they can be hot.)
Stir veggies and 1/2-2/3 cup pesto mix into hot ravioli, using reserved water, if desired. Serve immediately.
I love to top things with a little fresh parmesan!

I did make a couple changes to the recipe. I didn't want to use up all my pine nuts, so I substituted half with walnuts. (You can also use sliced almonds in pesto!) And even though this is meant to be a non-traditional pesto...meaning no basil...I just couldn't resist since we have these beautiful plants flourishing in our garden:

So I did chop up about 3 fresh basil leaves and tossed them in the pesto, too. Any of you who live near me...stop on by and I'll be happy to give you a few for your own pesto!