Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BBQ Bean Burger

I've tried and made quite a few types of veggie burgers, but they all have that sit-in-your-stomach-like-a-rock feeling for a short while afterwards. So I came up with an idea for a lighter burger.

1 can white kidney beans, mashed
2-3 large carrots, sliced into small strips
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
Fresh sandwich bread
Olive oil

1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Add a few tbsp of olive oil if too dry.
2. Form mix into patties
3. Heat a few tbsp pol in a pan. Cook patties until browned on both sides, about 15 minutes.
4. Place on bread. Spread 1-2 tbsp BBQ sauce on top of patty. Serve with tomato, lettuce, and onions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wine of the Week - Domaine La Roquete 2007 Chateauneuf Du Pape


The wine I enjoyed on my 2011 birthday, and well worthy of the event!

This blend of 70% grenache, 20% syrah, 10% mourvedre has a nose of cinnamon and pepper.  I detected spicy and meaty tastes that brought sausage to mind.  A great finish of licorice and tree bark.

14.5% alcohol

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Italian Veggie Sub

One thing I don't make enough of are subs. Growing up, what made a quick dinner? Subs. Either homemade or from a restaurant. Veggie subs, pizza subs, meatball subs - just couldn't go wrong.
So, I decided my own take on this yummy piece of nostalgia.

2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 medium summer squash, sliced lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, sliced
Pizza/spaghetti sauce
Shredded mozzarella
Italian sandwich rolls, split
Fresh herbs - oregano, basil
Olive oil

1. Fry the zucchini and squash until browned in olive oil. Season with the herbs. Stir in sauce. Cook until sauce is heated.
2. Spoon this mixture into the roll. Top with cheese.
3. Wrap the rolls loosely in aluminum foil.
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, until cheese has melted.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rice and Chickpea Kale rolls

Here's another recipe I knabbed from Vegetarian Times.
The recipe says to roll the veggie mixture up in the kale. My experience - impossible. But it tasted great just the same.

Olive oil
1/2 cup rice
3/4 cup veggie broth
1 cup chickpeas
Seasonings: cumin, paprika, salt
Large kale leaves
1 cup salsa

1. Heat onion, chickpeas, broth, rice, and seasonings in oil. Bring to a boil, the cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes and cool.
2. Lay out the kale leaves, overlapping. Spoon out veggie mixture and salsa over center of leaves. Roll up like a burrito.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wine of the Week - Heritage Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon


One of my rare forays into Pennsylvania wine. This cabernet has a cheese stink on the nose with a little bit of strawberry underneath. And it doesn't taste like either of those things. More complex than I was expecting, it tastes smokey and spicy and tannic. A generally good finish, but a little rough on the upper palate. A good value.

12% alcohol

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Skillet Pasta & Flounder

I always try to grab the Whole Foods newsletter "The Whole Deal" when I'm there, mostly for the coupons, but also to check out the recipes. While I don't usually end up trying the recipes, every once in a while something will strike my fancy. Recently they published a matrix for making simple skillet meals using beef, turkey or tempeh. Each of the five options (Irish, Cajun, Asian, Tex-Mex and Italian) have their own seasoning, veggies and serving options, but the same basic directions. To see of all of the possibilities, click this link and scroll to the bottom to download the PDF. I decided to try the Italian one, because I'm not adventurous. But I did substitute two cans of navy beans for the beef/turkey/tempeh. So I guess I'm a little adventurous.

Seasoning: 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning + 8 thinly sliced, oil-packed sundried tomatoes
Veggies: 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes + 1 bunch thinly sliced lacinato kale (tough stems removed) [I don't know what lacinato kale is, I just used the regular kale that my store had] + 2 tsp chopped garlic
To Serve: Spoon over or toss with 3/4 lb pasta, cooked and drained

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add 1 lb lean ground grass-fed beef, along with any seasoning(s)
3. Break up beef with a wooden spoon, browning it until cooked through and any liquid has cooked away, about 10 minutes. [or until everything's hot and you don't want to burn it]
4. Stir in veggies and cook until just tender and heated through.
5. Serve as suggested.

My husband took advantage of some well priced flounder fillets. He lightly coated each side with
canola oil, garlic, oregano and basil and a little lemon juice, then baked them at 400 for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frozen herbs

I've recently just introduced myself to the pleasures of frozen herbs.

On my personal blog, I've raved about my AeroGarden. I can grow three plants at a time with minimal care. Currently, I'm growing parsley, basil, and oregano. And let me tell you, there's nothing like fresh herbs in your meals.

Since, occasionally, the herbs grow faster than I can use them, I found a way to not let them go to waste - Freeze them!

You start off by tearing the leaves into small pieces. Put about one tbsp of the herb into an ice tray (I used AeroGarden's brand, but any tray will do obviously).
Using a super gentle stream, fill the tray with water. Be careful not to force the leaves out of the tray!
Let freeze at least overnight. Pop out of the tray whenever you need them.
Drop into your simmering soup. The ice melts away and you're left with your home-grown herbs!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wine of the Week - Milan Vineyards 2008 Ruby Reserve


This blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and grenache has rich and full scents of melons on the nose. It tastes of wood up front, which gives way to citrus in the middle - unusual for a red. It finishes like a nicely grilled steak.

A great, tasty treat that stands on its own. Highly recommended.

14.7% alcohol