Posts tagged ‘green beans’
Black bean burgers have always been one of my favorite vegetarian meal options. They are filling, flavorful, and don’t look like “weird vegetarian food.” You can fit in at a backyard BBQ, or have a tasty and quick weeknight meal. Unfortunately, most frozen veggie burgers are not vegan (or at least my favorite brand is not!) This gave me a good excuse to create my own! I love the hint of chipotle spice that kicks up my favorite brand of burger, so wanted to find a recipe that could recreate that. I found this recipe at the Daily Garnish, and tweaked it a bit to use what I had on hand. The best addition: a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce, which added the spiciness I was craving, and also worked to help bind the burgers a bit! Still, these were pretty delicate and would not be the best to put on a grill, but they are great heated on a pan or a griddle! I enjoyed mine with some avocado and salsa – craving fulfilled!
I was shocked to find out that not everyone likes black bean burgers as much as I do… My friend, who is also participating in the vegan challenge this month, was complaining to me about a black bean burger he had at a vegan restaurant. I was quite surprised, since this place usually has pretty good food. After a little bit of questioning, we figured it out – he ordered a bean burger to satisfy his beef craving. Well, the two are nothing alike (flavor, texture, juiciness… nothing!) He finally admitted that the flavors of the burger were good, and he could get over the “mushy texture” if he were looking to enjoy this burger in its own right and not as a replacement for his favorite food. I guess that is an important thing to realize for new meatless eaters – find new foods that you enjoy, and don’t look for them to be exact replacements or replicas of meat dishes.
Other things that you need to enjoy in their own right: green bean fries. They are crunchy, salty, and reminiscent of a potato fry, but definitely have a green bean-y taste. I absolutely loved them, and will definitely make them again!
Question: Do you try to find healthy foods to replace old favorites, or do you find new things to love that suit your lifestyle?
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
adapted from the Daily Garnish, serves 6-7
3 cups black beans (rinsed if canned)
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely ground
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
In a food processor, coarsely grind almonds. Add oats and pulse. Remove from food processor and mix with carrots. Process the beans and oil together until a paste just begins to form. Combine the two mixtures with the spices and the chili sauce. Mix until evenly combined. Form 6-7 patties by hand. Pre-bake in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, and then crisp the outside on a hot pan or griddle. Serve with avocado and salsa.
Can you believe I was Freshly Pressed? I am so excited! It has been really great and heart-warming to read everyone’s comments and check out some cool new blogs! If you are a new reader from yesterday, welcome! I am new to the blogging world, and began Homemade Adventure in May as a way to combine my passions for food, health, fitness, and fun. I didn’t know it at the time, but it has really turned out to be such a blessing! It has helped to confirm my passion for discussing healthy lifestyles, and has given me reason to stay motivated and creative in the kitchen. Writing makes me happy, and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy creating and writing! Most of my posts center around what I am making in the kitchen, but will also have posts from my travels, musings on medical school, and other random thoughts on life. Check out my About Me page for a bit more on my food philosophy, and my How-To Page and Recipe Box for some kitchen inspiration (or just a little food gawking ;) ).
Going back to school in August means a month living in summer weather with no air conditioning, surrounded by summer activities, and already burdened by a mountain of work. When the kitchen is already 90+ degrees and my mood is altered from trying to work through a problem set on pharmacokinetics, I am not really excited to jump in front of the stove for any amount of time! This recipe is great because it requires so little stove time (or none if you steam the beans in a microwave). Even better, the flavors soak into the beans more the longer it sits in the fridge, making it a perfect leftovers-for-lunch dish for later in the week! You could even mix some cous cous or quinoa into this for some grains to round it out.
The flavors were inspired by what was in my Boston Organics box – green beans, perfect for a four bean salad, and thyme, which would go with the lemons I snagged from home. The meal comes together in about 10 minutes, and is really portable! I threw it together after an afternoon of studying, and carried a tupperware full of it in my backpack as I biked off to the Esplanade, the riverside park and bike path in Boston. They show movies on Friday evenings throughout the summer, and the feature this night was Toy Story 3. I am a huge Disney/Pixar fan, and especially love this movie! It was so much fun to spend time outside on this beautiful evening, and it was great to see so many different ages of people coming together for an evening in Boston. Great food and a great evening with friends!
Question: What inspired you to blog? Or if you aren’t a blogger, what keeps you reading blogs?
Lemon Thyme Four Bean Salad
1 lb green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can each, drained and rinsed well, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and pinto beans
juice of 4 small lemons
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon
black pepper to taste
Drain and rinse the canned beans well (to get off most of the salt and canning liquid.) In a steamer, steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes, enough to be cooked but still bright green and crunchy. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with the thyme and pinch of salt. Pour the dressing over the beans and mix everything together well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve cold.
I guess my friends and family are beginning to think I know how to cook… silly. I merely enjoy myself in the kitchen, and usually dream up something tasty in the process. My best friend, Amanda, has always been amazed at how at ease I am while cooking, since her idea of making dinner used to be heating up a frozen pizza. Her taste buds have matured so much through the course of our friendship, and now she is even brave enough to get her hands dirty in the kitchen! She assisted me with the Baked Arancini I made for my mom’s party (which, according to my mom, were better than the Italian restaurant’s fried rice balls that she sampled today!) and got her first full cooking lesson this evening. We made Balsamic chicken with mushrooms (my college roommate’s favorite recipe!) as well as my take on the classic haystack, with none of your expected ingredients. A haystack is typically tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, beans or meat, salsa and cheese, but is layered in stereotypical fashion that is unique to the dish. My version uses none of the same ingredients, replacing the chips with polenta, the lettuce with green beans, the salsa with roasted red peppers, the protein with pine nuts, and the cheddar with goat cheese. Polenta is new to me as well, introduced to me by my mom less than a year ago. It is simply boiled cornmeal, which can be made as a porridge or shaped into a log. I am totally in love with this dish – I created it to use up some leftovers a few months back, and was even more pleased with the result the second time around! Definitely give this recipe a try, and play around with the layers to use up whatever you have on hand!
A few tips on the recipe for those of you who are new to the kitchen (I did just give a cooking lesson, so figured some advice might be appropriate in this post!)
1. Using recipes is a really good way to start learning flavor combinations, get inspiration, and get instructions of how to make dishes using certain techniques. However, don’t feel like you need to stay married to the specific recipe if you feel inspired to branch out and try something new! (The exception to this rule is in baking, where it is usually a pretty good idea to follow instructions…)
2. Don’t skimp on the seasonings. Herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper add a HUGE flavor component, with a relatively low-cost and calorie component. I season almost all of my food with at least pepper, if not also salt and dried herbs. If you are worried about your sodium intake, salt can be omitted from some dishes without being missed, but on occasion is really needed to bring the flavor out of certain foods. You can also choose to let your dinner guests let their own taste buds be their guide – check out these adorable salt and pepper shakers that my mom and I found at a local festival this afternoon. A crafty addition to my dining room table!
3. Chopping is a simple step that often takes too much time for new cooks. I once cooked with two of my guy friends and was finished with cooking dinner before they even finished their one chopping assignment. True story. Save yourself from this fate by using sharp knives, learning the simple rocker technique (where you stabilize the blunt back tip of a chef’s knife with the palm of your hand and using a rocking motion to facilitate chopping), and using scoring for easy veggie chopping.
4. Minimize your clean-up by re-using sautée pans when possible. For example, tonight I sautéed green beans in one pan, then transferred them to a bowl and added my mushrooms to the same pan. I pushed the mushrooms to the side while the chicken cooked. Be careful not to let raw meat come in contact with food that will not be further cooked when using this dish-saving technique.
5. Start with something manageable and work your way up. If you start with a recipe that is way too complicated, you might get discouraged which will only further keep you out of the kitchen. But don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something that looks a little more challenging than you think you can handle. If you mess up, at least its only food – probably not an expensive mistake, and there is always pizza or a good ol’ PB&J as a stand-by dinner ;)
With that being said, go forth and experiment with a new recipe or two. Maybe even this one (recipe guidelines are at the end of the post). Just enjoy yourself and see what you can create!
Life as I knew it? Well, for the most part! My family left this morning for their two-day drive back to Florida, which means I have a room and a bed again! I am sad to see my family leave – it is a rare occasion that we are all together, and we truly do have a lot of fun together! We made a lot, lot, lot, lot of delicious meals together this week, drank a lot of coffee, and had a lot of laughs as well as serious conversations. I am so grateful to have such incredible people in my life! However, I am looking forward to a little more quiet time and to cooking for 4 again. (Cooking for 9 for a week requires a lot of planning!)
With that being said, this dinner post still isn’t quite my normal. Like I said in my About Me, I have recently begun eating meat again in preparation for my trip through Europe (coming up so soon – I leave in 3 weeks!) I have so far made dinners that are primarily seafood, and still find myself making vegetarian sandwiches and avoiding burgers at all costs. Last night’s dinner, totally out of my vegetarian comfort zone, was way better than I even expected! Chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes – simple, healthy, and easier than the resulting dish looks, especially with this How-To. To make sure we got our veggie quota, I served it with a simple salad and sautéed green beans. This is my favorite way to do green beans, so I am posting that recipe as well! A two-for-one Friday special since I got out of work early!
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
5 small chicken breasts, pounded thin
5 oz goat cheese
5 artichoke hearts, drained
7 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
pepper to taste
Lightly beat chicken breasts so that they are thin enough to roll. In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese, artichokes, tomatoes and basil. If necessary, microwave the cheese mixture for 30 secs – 1 min so that it is soft enough to stir. Divide mixture evenly between the chicken breasts, roll, and secure with toothpicks. Bake uncovered for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn the oven to broil at 450 degrees, and broil for about 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
Sautéed Green Beans
serves 4-5 people
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups green beans
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
In a large pan, sautée shallots and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add the green beans, turn heat to low, and cover the sautée pan to allow green beans to cook slightly, about 10 minutes. The green beans should still be crisp and bright green, but no longer raw and bitter. At this point, turn the heat to high and add the red wine vinegar. Allow most of the liquid to boil off, which will happen quickly in just a few minutes. Season lightly with pepper and serve.