Black Bean Burgers

5 May

Another one of my favorites!  It definitely tastes best if you make homemade hamburger buns ahead of time.

  • 2 cups well-cooked white, black or red beans, or chickpeas or lentils, or 1 14-ounce can, drained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or the spice mix of your choice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Bean-cooking liquid, stock or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water or ketchup) if necessary
  • Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.

1. Combine all ingredients except liquid and oil in food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed. If necessary, add a little liquid for a mixture that is moist but not wet. Let mixture rest for a few minutes.

2. With wet hands, shape into patties and let rest again for a few minutes. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Film bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to medium. When hot, add patties. Cook undisturbed until browned, about 5 minutes; turn carefully with spatula and cook 3 or 4 minutes until firm and browned.

3. Serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, chutney or other toppings.

Yield: 4 servings.

*Taken from:


Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas

5 May

These sound really gross, but the combination is apple, sauerkraut, and cheddar is pretty great!

2 main-dish or 4 appetizer servings

•    1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed
•    1/2 cup water
•    2 9-to-10-inch (burrito-size) flour tortillas
•    1 1/3 cups grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
•    1 small Granny Smith or other tart, juicy apple, peeled and very thinly sliced, peeled and very thinly sliced

1.    Put sauerkraut and water in a medium nonreactive skillet. Gently heat just until the liquid has evaporated but not so much that the sauerkraut begins to stick to the pan. Remove from the heat.

2.    Gradually heat a large cast-iron over medium heat. Put one tortilla in the pan and immediately sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over half of it. Quickly arrange about half the apple slices over the cheese, then top with half the sauerkraut, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with another 1/3 cup cheese.

3.    Fold the tortilla over the filled half and press gently on it with a spatula to seal. Heat the quesadilla until the bottom is golden, about 2 minutes, then carefully flip and lightly brown the other side. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut it into halves or quarters. Prepare the second one in the same fashion. Variation: If you like, a little chopped ham tastes wonderful layered in with the other ingredients.

Taken from:

Homemade English Muffins

5 May

Homemade Whole Wheat English Muffins
from Channeling Contessa
*Note–my batch yielded quite a few English muffins (15+), but I rolled my dough more thinly than it called for. For thicker (and fewer) English muffins, leave the dough thicker before cutting out your circles.

-1 cup milk
-2 tbsp granulated sugar
-1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
-1 cup warm water (110F)
-1/4 cup melted shortening
-3 cups whole wheat flour
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp salt

1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

2. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Combine milk, yeast mixture, shortening, and 3 cups flour in a mixing bowl. Beat with dough hook until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups flour and salt, beating until dough comes together. Knead for 2 minutes before placing dough in a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours.

4. Punch dough down. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2-inch thick. Cut rounds out of dough (I used a glass). Place on wax paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour.  (I’ve found that rolling the dough to a 1/4 in thick and combining separate cutouts work best if you decide to freeze these and use them later, because essentially they are already pre-cut.)

5. Heat ungreased griddle over medium-high heat (I used my electric griddle) and cook muffins 5-10 minutes a side (just until lightly browned). Flip and brown the other side. Return to wax paper to cool completely before storing in plastic bags.  Freeze if you want!

Homemade Granola Bars

3 May

I’m on a mission to make most of our grains homemade (bread, pasta, english muffins, etc.) and granola bars are both inexpensive and taste so much better than what we buy at the stores.

Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
2 cups non-instant oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 egg (or 2 tbs powdered eggs + 4 tbs water)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 9×13 pan with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in small mixing bowl and add to dry. Mix well. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cut into individual bars. Makes 18 bars (I usually get a little less because I cut them larger).

Jonathan and I wait for the already cut bars to cool completely, and then we put them in individual snack bags, and then in the freezer.  They taste great thawing out like normal or if you zap them in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Then, we just rinse out the snack bags and use them again for the next batch.

Taken from:

Homemade Peanut Butter

3 May

I’m sure there are healthier ways of making peanut butter, but this one just takes four ingredients (peanuts, honey, peanut oil, salt) and it is soooo good.  We store it in the fridge and it lasts for a long time.


  • 15 ounces shelled and skinned roasted peanuts (or just buy already shelled dry roasted peanuts)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

Place the peanuts, salt and honey into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the lid back on and continue to process while slowly drizzling in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Place the peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Recipe from Alton Brown.

Open-Faced Chicken Bagel

26 Jan

This sounds like a lame recipe because there really isn’t any baking or anything special involved.  But it’s quick, and so good!

Serves: 2

2 whole wheat bagels
1/2 tomato (sliced)
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
spinach leaves
provolone cheese (4 slices)
2 chicken breasts
mayo (however much you want)

Either slow cook, or boil (that always grosses me out), chicken so that you can easily tear it apart.  Saute the onions and garlic.  Pop the cooked chicken in the food processor and add the mayo, onions, and garlic.  In the mean time, toast the bagels.  Then place the chicken salad, tomato, spinach, and lastly cheese over each half of the bagel.  Broil it in the oven and you’re done!

Don’t make fun of me.  🙂  I realize this is just a sandwich, but I want to remember it in the future.

Dilly Bean Potato Soup

19 Jan

Another potato soup!  This had great flavor, but isn’t as good the next day, so we’d recommend cutting it in half or even a quarter.

Serving: 12 or more

1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
6 carrots (shredded)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
In large soup pot saute in 2 tablespoons oil.

12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
9 large potatoes (diced)
salt to taste
Add and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.  Mash some of the potatoes in the broth mixture for creamier texture.

8-9 cups Great Northern beans
2 tablespoons dried dill weed
Add to soup.

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teasp pepper
Combine and stir into soup.  Cook and stir until thickened.

(We also add about 1 cup of cheddar cheese)
*Taken from Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook