But they’re pretty kick-ass. The years of being a vegetarian really worked wonders on my cooking.
Black Bean Burgers
Sometimes I go a little heavier on the seasoning and add other stuff in, but that’s a matter of personal taste. Get on with your bad self and make what YOU want to be eating. The nice thing about these being black bean is that you can taste the mash before you fry it to see if all the seasonings are right for you.
Sauté the onions. Grind up the black beans in a food processor or mash by hand, then mix in everything else, ending with the flour. Easy Peasy.
These fry in less time than it takes to fry an egg. Heat a pan over medium high heat, and fry each side until it looks like this:
The torn up bread helps to make the burger have that caramelized look that’s hard to get on veggie burgers.
I usually only make one burger at a time, so I have a bowl of the black bean mix sitting in my fridge that I just take a patty’s worth out of throughout the week. Eeeaaasy cheap lunch.
Anyway, today I loaded mine up with fresh mozzarella, whole grain mustard, baby spinach and arugula, the last bits of my fancy heirloom tomato and TJoe’s Artichoke tapenade (omg), and ate it with some plantain chips. Yum.
Right, so, I’m slacking again. Not so much on the cooking front.. just about posting the things I make on here. So that’s no so bad, I guess.
My roommate’s friends brought over their grill on saturday [because we’re poor and don’t have one], and we made EVERYTHING. ALL THE FOODS.
We also had pizza margherita. Mostly due to bad planning on my part. Still, it was a welcome mistake that I happened to pick that day to make the dough.
Whatever. It was awesome.
For the dough, I did this (via Epicurious)
Plus, I usually throw in some garlic powder with the flour. And sometimes, if I’m feeling all fancy and fat and stuff, I use butter instead of olive oil. Not this time, though.
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Then mix in the everything else and knead until the dough has a nice elasticity. Like, for around 5 minutes or maybe a little less. Add more flour in the dough is sticky. Then coat a separate bowl with oil and toss the dough in there and turn it to cover it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set somewhere warm to rise for about an hour.
I then put on a sliced up [ballin’ heirloom] tomato, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and sprinkled everything with sea salt and black pepper. I baked that mofo at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes, and I think I put it back in for another 4 after checking to see if it was done.
OH! And I drizzled a good amount of extra virgin olive oil over the dough before loading it up with stuff, and on top after baking. Not sure if that’s the way people usually do these sorts of things, but hey, it tasted good.
Fun Fact: I rolled it all out nice and pretty and circular…
Before remembering that I don’t actually own a baking sheet that’d fit that ;__;
So this shaped happened:
Whatever. Still turned out delicious.
Walking into Trader Joes, I had every intention of just buying an onion to use in my Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup tonight, but the cheese selection is immediately to the right inside the doors, and I caught sight of the cheddars. I didn’t stand a chance. The carrot soup will happen some other time this week. I ended up making Mac ‘N Cheese and bbq chicken and broccoli for dinner instead.
My mama recently visited, and she treated me and my roommates to a dinner at Lillie’s Q, which was incredibly awesome. She even bought me a bottle of their “Smokey Hot” BBQ sauce, which is what I used tonight. So good.
Baked Mac ‘N Cheese
The chicken and broccoli weren’t anything special (aside from that kickass bbq sauce). I just marinated the chicken and then baked it because we’re poor and lame and don’t own a grill. The broccoli was steamed and seasoned with a teensy bit of butter, sea salt and pepper.
Writing out these recipes is making me realize how much I eyeball things/not measure ever at all for cooking. Terrible. My culinary teacher would smack me upside the head. Here on out, I’m making a conscious effort to be more diligent about doing things the “right” way.
Also known as Chickpea Tomato Spinach Awesomeness.
Hey, it’s harder than it sounds to think of recipe names.
I’ve decided to play a little game with myself called Stop-Grocery-Shopping-So-Much-You-Money-Spending-Food-Drain. My cabinets have built up quite an impressive store of canned goods, and my freezer is overflowing with frozen veggies and fruit. Thus, this.
Tomato Spinach Chickpea Pasta
So, obviously, you can use all fresh produce, and real garlic and onion, if that’s the way the universe moves you, but again, I’m on a budget, and I’m trying to hold off on the shopping for a bit. I also have a terrible tendency to not use fresh produce in time, and it ends up going funky in my fridge.
The pictures are blurry because my hand was shaking from low blood sugar. Good thing this stuff cooks fast.
Aaaand onto the main event. After shutting the Olga Bread dough in the oven to let it proof for a bit, I started on making some cheese. Specifically, the indian cheese, paneer.
Paneer pretty much = yum. It’s pretty mild, but what flavor it does have is nice. Anyway, making cheese is one of my favorite things to do because it makes me feel like a mad scientist.
Et voila. Unfortunately, my cheese came out too crumbly because I forgot to reshape it before letting it dry the rest of the way. C’est la vie.
Then comes the Saag part. I started off using the recipe from Julie Sahni’s book Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, but it started to taste a bit bland, so I deviated. This is what I did.
Plus, I threw in some mango butter.. no, I don’t care if that’s not traditional - I’m not Indian anyway.
I also made some brown basmati rice, and tossed in some toasted black onion seeds. Turned out purdy good.
P.s. Sorry for the crappy quality pictures (iPhone!) - I couldn’t be bothered to get out my good camera, and the lighting was bad to begin with.
Well, after a long and trying day of playing Tiny Wings and plucking my eyebrows, I was finally arsed enough to get cooking.
Started off by making my Olga Bread. Now, if you’re from southeast Michigan, your eyes probably just rolled back in your head and your tongue lolled out. For everyone not in the know, Olga Bread is the most wonderful form of pita on the planet. It’s moist, soft, and sweet-ish, and I’ve been craving it for months now.
I ended up using whole wheat flour (because I’m a dummy and only have about a half a cup of AP in my apartment). But hey, added healthy bonus, right? They still turned out deliciously (see: picture). I’m so pleased.
I might turn the rest of them into Snackers… (cut into triangles, fry with seasoning salt, serve with swiss cheese/almond dip)…
Also, fun fact: I cried like a baby/geek while rolling out the dough because I was watching the season 2 finale of Roswell. ;____;