Search This Blog

Monday, May 29, 2017

Recipe Review from 5/21/2017

We have survived week one with new puppy.  We are sleep deprived and exhausted, but we survived.  More importantly, so did puppy.  Lots of new experiences: first vet visit, a couple work visits, meet the Nephew and Niece, first time at the parents place, crate much to learn and explore for a little puppy!

Relations with his "older brother" Andy are slowly improving.  Andy isn't as skittish around Kepler as much as he was the first weekend (definitely a good thing!), he's amiable to Kepler following him a bit in the woods, and is okay with Kep eating near him.   We still make sure that Kepler doesn't surprise Andy while he's sleeping tho.  You know the adage about let sleeping dogs lie?  Yeah...pup doesn't get it.   

A nap is required....

The Meal Plan from 5/21:
Sun (L)  leftovers      (S) Black Bean Burgers
Mon (yoga/book group) leftover burgers
Tues - Taco's
Wed - Taco's
Thurs (yoga) pasty
Fri - spaghetti and salad

Kicky Black Bean Burgers (Ckng Lght, Mar 2017)  vegetarian, gluten free option**
I have a fondness for black bean burgers and love trying different recipes.  Each one has had their positives and negatives.  This recipe was about in the middle - super easy, but a bit gloppy.   So I had one major modification - I baked these instead of "frying" on the stove.  I had started some sweet potatoes steak fries in the oven and just added the burgers part way through baking the fries.  One less pan to clean up!  As everything neared completion, I added the cheese for melty goodness.

I will note, I had some trepidation with assembling these as they are a bit soggy/gloppy.  But when I went to flip them, they were solidifying nicely and held their shape completely.  

My one other modification - and I usually do this with "burgers" - is I did open faced sandwiches on a sourdough English muffin from Zenith Bread Co.  With the leftovers I skipped the half bun completely. 

1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans, drained
5 (1 1/4-oz.) whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted and divided
I used the equivalent of  1 1/4oz bread crumbs in lieu of the ww bun
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
photo from
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 ounces sliced pepper-Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup fresh refrigerated pico de gallo
4 lettuce leaves
  1. Place beans in a large bowl; mash with a fork. Place 1 toasted bun, torn, in a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Stir breadcrumbs, cumin, and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) into beans.
  2. Divide and shape bean mixture into 4 (1-inch-thick) patties. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Divide cheese evenly among patties; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts. Top bottom halves of remaining 4 buns evenly with patties, pico de gallo, lettuce, and top halves of buns.
**My notes - I baked on a pre-heated, aluminum foil lined cookie sheet, at 400* for about 10 minutes (5 min per side)

Ratatouille Stuffed Shells (Ckng Lght, June 2017)  vegetarian, gluten free option**
This isn't on the meal plan above, because I realized I forgot to post it last week.  Enjoy!

I am going to admit, I made these according to the directions - I know! Right?!?   And, these come together in about 45 minutes total.  Directions noted 40 minutes, but I found it to be a tich longer.   I also inadvertently made the whole box of shells, and used most of them!  So this made closer to two 2-quart dishes for myself.  We ate them as leftovers, but I could have easily frozen one pan too. 

I'm not sure if gf jumbo shells can even be found, but I don't see why this couldn't be served over gf spaghetti or even something like campanelle, ziti, or penne.  Baking the dish makes it kinda lasagna-eske (I do love baked pasta) baking it with something other than shells could be lovely. 

I really liked the flavors in this, and because it did come together so quickly, I would consider making it again.

16 uncooked jumbo pasta shells**
1 tablespoon olive oil
photo from

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups diced eggplant
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup diced zucchini
3/4 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 cup canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups low-sodium marinara sauce (such as Dell'Amore), divided
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. torn fresh basil, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray
4 ounces preshredded Italian 5-cheese blend (about 1 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add eggplant and bell pepper; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, tomato, and chickpeas; cover and cook 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in 1 cup marinara, 1/2 cup basil, black pepper, and salt.
  4. Coat a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spread remaining 3/4 cup marinara over bottom of dish. Spoon about 2 tablespoons vegetable mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange filled shells in dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450°F for 12 minutes. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.


No comments:

Popular Posts