Posts tagged ‘veggies’

April 21, 2011

The Power of Roasted Veggies

It seems like I’ve been writing lines like the following quite a lot lately…

I came home tonight acting like a complete monster. Once again, I had let myself tip over the edge and was wayyyyy past hangry.

I needed a dinner plan that was effortless, fast, and filling. Comforting and delicious wouldn’t be so bad, either.

Trader Joe’s must make 90-second precooked brown rice for moments exactly like this.

Anyone else get a tingle from your head down to your toes looking at such a beautifully-balanced meal? (Supah freak….)

(Rick James? No? Just me who sings that song on a regular basis?)

Remember these chicken sausages? I threw two in the freezer last week knowing that a night would come when I needed to put something together lickety-split. This bad boy defrosted in the mic in 2 minutes and was ready to be set right into the sizzle hot pan.

Roasted veggies may be the next best thing to grilled ones. Add balsamic vinegar into the mix and this girl’s in paradise.

I roasted half of a red bell pepper, a quarter of an onion that was sitting at the bottom of the veggie drawer, and about a cup of green beans (Trader Joe’s Grade A frozen, defrosted slightly). I tossed the veggies onto a large baking sheet and coated them with about a teaspoon of olive oil and a large drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Roasted at 375* for about 25 minutes, tossing at about minute 15 to ensure even cooking.

I just about died over the scent of caramalizing balsamic vinegar spreading throughout my apartment. In fact, I even stood over by our food pantry where the scent was strongest just to bask in all of its richly sweet glory. No joke, you could put this stuff on ice cream. It’s that good.

Oh, the sausages, rice, and brocc were tasty, too =) But c’mon, it isn’t fair to ask anyone to compete with a specimen as fine as this…

I’m starting to see a bit of an unpleasnt pattern forming with my hunger levels. Over the past year or so I’ve become significantly more physically active; running, spinning, cycling, strength training, walking, and whatever else comes up on nearly a daily basis. Even though I try to keep my super intense workouts to a minimum of once or twice per week, sometimes my hunger just gets ahead of me. When I find myself with an insatiable appetite many days in a row, I know something’s out of whack. I’m making adjustments in my workout routine and trying to eat much more earlier in the day so that dinner doesn’t turn into Templeton at the fair.

I don’t think I’ve ever made a Charlotte’s Web reference before. I’m a little proud =)

Hopefully, this will be the last post for a while that begins with me ripping off unsuspecting commuters’ limbs  and glaring at babies on my way home to the dinner table.

I figured cookies were in order given my crazy hunger these last few days. Peanut butter cookie post to come!

Goodnight, all. TGIF in 2.5 hours!

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April 5, 2011

Black Bean Veggie Burger

Have you ever been to The Publick House? Please don’t say you got the mac and cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with mac and cheese (although, no one I know likes theirs). It’s just that you missed out on one of the greatest vegetarian burgers ever made. These burgers are a revelation. That’s a fact. I would do terrible things for this burger. Their secret? Cumin.

Don’t forget to order the french fries in a bag. Not a cone. A bag.

I absolutely love a good veggie burger but most store-bought varieties are as processed as food can come and loaded with bizarre ingredients. Not exactly the healthiest choice around. I’ll take meat over fake food any day.

For months I’ve wanted to make my own veggie burgers but kept pushing that idea aside because I don’t own a food processor. I came home on Sunday night, though, to one of my roommates furiously chopping peppers and onions into itty bitty bits. She had decided to hell with the food processor when she has hands! Those burgers were on my mind all day on Monday and I just knew I had to give them a whirl. The result? Oh, baby. We’re giving The Publick House a run for its money! Well, maybe not, but these are super tasty and healthy and do much less damage to your wallet 😉 These are not quite like those at The Publick House, which doesn’t use a black bean base like mine (how do they do it?!) but the flavors are very, very similar. The flavors just own it and make alll that chopping worth it!

After doing a bit of research, I threw together a recipe that reflected the basic idea behind black bean burgers, as well as my own flavor preferences and, of course, what would amp up the nutritional profile! The recipe below is exactly what I did but there are notes to follow suggesting some small changes.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 16-oz. can organic black beans, rinsed well and dried

1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped

1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 cup chopped carrot

3 cloves garlic

1 egg

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tbsp ground flax seed

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp (couple of big shakes) tabasco or hot sauce

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375* if cooking right away. (These are too mushy to grill right after prepping and I think too mushy for pan frying. Freeze them first if this is what you want to do.)

2. Put peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic into the food processor and finely chop. Note: I used my hand blender’s chop attachment. My roommate just chopped everything very fine with a knife. Use what you’ve got!


3. Add the beans to veggies and process until fully mashed and mixed. If using your hands, mash the beans with a fork in a medium bowl and then mix in the veggies.

4. Incorporate the egg into the bean and veggie mixture, then add the flour, oats, and flax. Add the spices.

5. The mixture will be very wet. Form into 4 patties and place onto an oiled baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).

6. Bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Notes:

The veggies will be very, very wet. I suggest draining them before mixing them with the beans. This will make for a much drier mixture and you probably won’t need as much flour/oats/flax. Use your judgment to figure out the exact proportions. Too wet? Needs more flour.

Looking for a vegan version? Just leave out the egg!

I baked two patties and froze the other two after wrapping them in plastic wrap. These can be baked right out of the freezer – just add on some cooking time.

I served my burger with a brown rice and whole grain mixture from Trader Joe’s and a side of steamed broccoli (I was famished and ate about half the brocc while the burger was baking…and now it’s hiding behind the rice).

This burger was fantastic! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Beautiful flecked with bright colors from all of the veggies and incredibly flavorful from the cumin (spice of the year award?). I had the second one for lunch today with a giant salad and a slice of six grain and pumpkin seed bread from When Pigs Fly Bakery. I was so excited for lunch all morning and it did not disappoint!!

I don’t care if you’re a picky eater, an omnivore, or a red meat lover. Go make these right now. These babies are not meant to be a poor burger substitute for the vegetarians out there – they are totally rockin’ in their own right and need to be tried by everyone.


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