June 30, 2011

Week 42, Recipe 1: Black Bean Burgers

  • These burgers cook equally well outside on the grill (use a grill pan if you have one as they are more fragile than meat burgers) or in a pan. Either way, be sure to use canola or vegetable oil to brush them generously on both sides before cooking.
  • The recipe made 5 burgers so I froze the extra two. When I wanted to cook them, I let them thaw in the fridge then cooked them on a skillet. You can make them ahead of time and store on wax paper in a container in the fridge until ready to cook.
  • Recipe modified from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011
  • 2 pieces high quality white sandwich bread or white bread of choice (baguette, etc.) OR about 3/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. fresh minced cilantro
  • 1 shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp)
  • Burger toppings: tomato, avocado, red onion, etc.
1. If making fresh breadcrumbs: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse the bread several until you have coarse crumbs. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally until golden brown and dry, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 tbsp of the oil, cumin, salt and cayenne together.
3. In a large bowl, place 2 1/2 c. of the beans and mash them with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Stir in the bread crumbs (if using pre-made bread crumbs, start with 1/2 c. then stir in more if necessary to bind the bean mixture), egg mixture, remaining 1/2 c. beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot until just combined.
4. Divide the bean mixture until equal portions (about 6) and lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties. Coat patties with oil and grill on a grill pan (so they don't fall through the cracks on your grill) or cook in a pan until well browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Week 42, Recipe 2: Easy Beef & Bean Enchiladas

Not a great picture but they were really good!

  • The amount of green onions in my garden inspired this recipe. You could substitute a white or yellow onion for inside the burrito but stick to topping them with green onions.
  • This recipe made two 13-9 inch pans - about 7 flour tortillas (not the huge burrito size) in each. Freeze the extra pan for later!
  • This recipe froze easily and I meant to put them in the oven, frozen, and set the timer so they were ready when we got home but forgot. Luckily they went straight from freezer to oven and cooked in about an hour.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cans refried beans (I used Rosarita Zesty Salsa kind and thought they were good and not too spicy for kids)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (if you have it) or 1 tsp dried
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onion plus extra for topping (you can use a white or yellow onion for inside the enchiladas)
  • 8-ish oz cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese, or Colby Jack
  • 1 large can (28 oz) enchilada sauce
  • 14-16 regular sized flour tortillas
1. In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain if necessary.
2. Add all the green onions but what you need for topping them and cook over low heat for another minute or two. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and heat through.
3. Pour about 1/4 c. enchilada sauce in the bottom of two 13x9 inch pans. Place some meat filling down the center of each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and roll up. Place seam-side down in the pan. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
4. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle some cheese over the tortillas.
5. Bake at 350, covered, for 25-30 minutes if cooking right away or for about an hour if cooking frozen.

Week 42, Recipe 3: Easy Baked Fish with Peppered Corn Salad and Herbed Roasted Potatoes

  • I've got lots of fresh herbs in my garden so I'm always looking for good ways to use them! If you don't have fresh herbs, check your local farmers market. You can usually get a small bunch for .50 cents or $1.
  • Recipe modified from Cooking Light
  • Kids like this baked fish because it's crispy. Give them a little mayo dipping sauce to seal the deal.
  • See the previous two posts for the salad and potato recipe.
INGREDIENTS (for Easy Baked Fish)
  • 1 1/2 lbs white fish such as cod, haddock, or grouper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I used Panko style)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional but tasty)
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Pat fish dry and place on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine lime juice, mayo, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl then spread over fish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle with butter.
4. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. I turned my broiler on just for the last minute so the breadcrumbs browned up nicely. Sprinkle fish with fresh parsley.
5. Serve with Peppered Corn Salad and Herbed Roasted Potatoes.

Week 42 Side Recipe: Peppered Corn Salad

  • This was delicious and something I'll take to summer barbecues!
  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home.
  • I used 4 ears of corn and this was enough for our family (2 adults, one newly two-year-old) with a little leftovers. If taking it to a party or wanting more leftovers, I would use 7-10 ears of corn and double the remaining ingredients accordingly/to taste.
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh minced basil (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley

  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes1/2 c. chopped red pepper
  • 2 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
1. Place corn in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 7 minutes and remove immediately to ice water. Once cool, cut corn from the cobs and place in a large bowl.
2. Add the chopped veggies and fresh herbs to the corn.
3. In a small bowl, combine the oil and remaining ingredients and pour over corn. Toss to coat and chill until serving.

Week 42 Side Recipe: Herbed Roasted Potatoes

  • These were really tasty and could easily be done in foil packets on the grill instead of the oven.
  • Smaller red or Yukon gold potatoes (I had about 1 1/2 lbs but could have used more). The exact amount is as important as making sure however many you use get evenly oiled so they don't dry out while cooking.
  • Seasoning:
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
    • Several tbsp olive or canola oil (enough to coat well)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 425 (or grill to medium). Cut potatoes into large bite-size wedges. My smaller red potatoes could be quartered. Place in a large bowl.
2. Mix seasoning in a small bowl and add to potatoes. Toss to coat. Add extra oil if necessary.
3. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. If cooking on the grill, wrap in greased foil and grill over medium heat for 20-ish minutes, turning foil packet over halfway through.

Week 42, Recipe 4: Ranch Chicken Salad

  • This recipe was inspired from a recipe in Taste of Home but modified to suit our tastes.
  • This makes great leftovers so cook enough chicken to save some for lunch the next day.
  • If you have kids and they're not big salad eaters, cut one of the chicken breasts into small pieces then season and cook with the larger pieces to make chicken tenders. Chop up their veggies and serve with Ranch dipping sauce.
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 4 oz. each)
  • Mixed greens or lettuce of choice
  • Vegetables of choice - we used tomato, cucumber, carrot, avocado
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Ranch salad dressing
  • Oil, for cooking chicken
1. In a shallow bowl, mix flour with the seasonings.
2. In another shallow bowl, beat egg with 2 tbsp water.
3. Place bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.
4. Heat a large frying pan and coat bottom with 1/2 inch of oil.
5. One at a time, taken chicken breasts and place in flour mixture and shake off excess.
6. Dip in egg mixture then into breadcrumbs and fry over medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove to a paper plate covered in paper towels and cool slightly. Slice the chicken into small pieces.
7. Assemble salads with lettuce, veggies, breaded chicken and Ranch.

Week 42, Recipe 5: Southwestern White Bean Pita Pockets

  • Recipe modified from Real Simple
  • This was easy to make ahead of time. When ready to eat, just assemble the sandwiches.
  • My two-year-old loved these and I was happy to have a delicious lunch the next day at work with the leftovers. The bean spread makes a great dip too!
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 diced peeled cucumber
  • 3 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • Pitas, cut in half or pita pockets
  • Lettuce
  • Shredded cheese of choice or feta cheese
  • Salad dressing of choice, we used Caesar
1. Combine 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp oil, cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, cayenne, and 1 c. beans in a food processor. Process until smooth and add more oil, cumin, salt, etc. to taste and to get the consistency you want (a thicker spread).
2. Place remaining lime juice, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, remaining beans, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and jalapeno in a bowl; toss well to combine.
3. You can place both the spread and the bean/veggie mixture in the fridge for several days until ready to use.
4. Spread bean spread inside each pita half, add lettuce, bean/veggie mixture cheese and a little Caesar dressing.