Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Bean Burger Leftovers – Black Bean Tortas

I made the rest of my bean burger patties smaller than the ones I made on Monday.  I froze about 5 of them and had 2 left for dinner.  I put them in the freezer for about 4 hours, to see if it would help them hold their shape during baking.  I also breaded them with flour, egg and panko.  It worked so much better.


I put them flat side up, hoping the uneven surface and breadcrumbs on the bottom would make it easier to turn.  I also sprayed both sides with olive oil cooking spray and used Reynolds Release foil.


It worked!  I made them oval so they would fit the bolillo roll.  I guess you could call it a sweet potato quinoa black bean torta.  I couldn’t eat the whole thing.  I like bolillos because they aren’t as dense as ciabatta.  The last ciabattas I got at Sam’s Club are good but just too much bread.  I got 18 bolillos there too, for less than $4.


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Meatless Monday – Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

I haven’t had the best luck with bean burgers, but this recipe got good reviews so I thought I’d give it a try.  I was hoping that the sweet potato and quinoa would give it a little more texture.  Maybe I should have mashed the sweet potato and black beans, as the recipe instructs, instead of mixing it in a food processor.  I also used ground up oats instead of chickpea flour.  At first, I had high hopes, the patties were pretty.  When it came time to flip them, though, it was like trying to flip refried beans.  Here, the one on the left is before flipping and the one on the right, after.  I tried a thinner spatula for the second one, it worked a little better but was still difficult to do.


Really, taste is what’s important, and they tasted pretty good.  I liked the surprise of the cranberries.  Maybe I didn’t have enough sweet potato because my burgers are not as orange as the ones in the photos from the recipe’s blog.  They’re good enough where I want to try them again, with more sweet potato, and more seasonings (chili powder, cumin?).


We had salad on the side with miso salad dressing.  It’s my favorite dressing for tomatoes.  I used about 1 tablespoon white miso, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, and some rice wine vinegar to thin.

For dessert, we’re having apple pie.  It has been ages since I made a pie.  I had dough for a single pie crust that I’d frozen.  I made a smaller pie, meaning that it would be too much dough for a single crust but not enough for double.  I tried to do lattice on top.  You can see where I got frustrated (towards the back).  Even with the air conditioner on, it’s difficult to work with pastry in the summer.  The apples are from my shopping at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend.  I always think of my aunt when it comes to apple pie, she made the best.  I miss her, my parents, and aunts & uncles from their generation.


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Pasta alla Norma

Today was the end of the summer season at our newly revamped Farmer’s Market.  It has made my summer more fun than I could have imagined.  I loved getting to know the farmers and see changes in the season with what was available.  It’s not like I haven’t been to a farmer’s market before, but it’s the first time I’ve seen such a sense of community there.  People even got to know my dog Percy.  One of his friends, a little girl, was absolutely thrilled that he was there this morning, and wanted to stay with him instead of shop.

Today I picked up some apples (Mollie’s Delicious and Braeburn) and eggs (for my bro-in-law).


I had an eggplant and onions from a previous market.  Tonight we had pasta alla norma, a fancy-sounding name for pasta with eggplant.  Instead of salad we had sauteed spinach with feta.  I need to go through my freezer and figure out what to cook this coming week.  I have lots of cookies and dog treats in there and want to make room so I don’t have to shuffle everything around each time I want to put something in the freezer.


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Meatless Monday – Tempeh Sushi Rolls

I tried sushi rolls again, using less rice (as advised by my cousins who saw photos of my first attempt).  I marinated tempeh strips in soy sauce, water, garlic and ginger, then broiled them 5 minutes a side.  Here’s my mise en place.  I had cucumber, avocado, tempeh and sesame seeds.  The tomato was just there for a separate salad.  The fan is for cooling the sushi rice.  When we were kids, it was our job to fan the rice while Mom mixed the vinegar with the rice.  Doing so makes the rice glossy.  I have no recollection of how I have the fan in my possession.  I think they were so ubiquitous in Japanese-American households, everyone just had one.


I have the wrong size nori, it’s for hand rolls.  I didn’t want to open a new package since stuff like that doesn’t hold up well in humidity.  This time I tried less rice.  It worked better but still wasn’t pretty.  Note that there are no pictures of the finished rolls.


One of my cousins said that it’s easier to roll with the rice on the outside, so I tried that too.  It definitely worked better.  Obviously I need a lot more practice, lots of “bald” patches with no rice.


Percy tried his paw at it too.  “Irrashaimase!”


We made nigiri sushi and topped them with Kibbles ‘n Bits.  The dogs all ate it up!  Oishikatta desu!


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Scoby Snacks

I only make a new batch of kombucha every few weeks, and even so, I’m overrun with scoby’s  (Symbiotic Culture Of Yeast and Bacteria).  It has probiotics in it.  Today I cut some up and put them in the dehydrator.  They were too tough to use a cookie cutter, it looks like chicken and has the same sort of texture.


The thicker slices took maybe an hour and a half, while the thinner ones only an hour.  I didn’t have any control over the thickness, it just depended on whether there were layers.


Here’s my taste-tester, he was anxious to try them.  He likes them enough where he wanted another one!  Scoby Snacks are born!


This seems like a “hippie” kind of treat so we had to do dress-up.


Peace out!

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Market Day

I didn’t buy much at the Farmer’s Market today, just some eggplants and cream peas.  I made pizza with some of the eggplant, along with purple potato, onion, green pepper, and feta.  The colors were pretty before it was baked.


I sliced everything super thin with my benriner (Japanese mandoline).


I didn’t really taste the eggplant, maybe cubes would have been better.

I made blueberry clafouti for dessert.  Blueberries are sprinkled over the batter before baking.


Then the berries sink in while the batter puffs up over them.


While I had the mandoline out, I sliced up a cucumber to make “kimchi.”  I soaked the slices in salted water for a few hours, drained and rinsed them, then added ginger, garlic, cayenne (I don’t have any Korean chili), and green onions.  The cucumbers are from my sister-in-law’s vegetable garden.


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Meatless Monday – Hodge Podge

I noticed my freezer is full today, meaning I should eat some of the stuff that’s in there.  And then I have a bunch of vegetables that needed to be eaten, so we had a little bit of this and a little bit of that for dinner.  Pierogis (potato dumplings) that I’d made awhile back and frozen (and told myself I would never make again because it was too much work), sauteed zucchini and eggplant, sauteed kale, and sliced tomatoes with basil, balsamic glaze and olive oil.


I think the “theme” this week will be “whatever is in the refrigerator and freezer.”  I have an opened jar of pasta sauce, salsa, purple hull peas, carrots, and who knows what else.  Should be creative, if not tasty.

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Fresh From the Farm Dinner

The last few weeks, I bought too much produce at the Farmer’s Market and food co-op, because it looked so good.  We’ve finally eaten most of it to where I can get more.  So I did.  More tomatoes, pickling cucumbers (the much-coveted small ones!) and purple hull peas.  I’ve never had fresh peas or beans before.


I cooked the peas in a crockpot with onion, garlic and ham, and served it with cornbread and the last of the white corn (that I got at Trader Joe’s).  My husband likes his beans on top of the cornbread.


I like everything separate so the cornbread stays crunchy on the edges.


No, that’s not my portion of the cornbread, I just didn’t want to put it on the same plate as the corn.  The peas were so good, I wish I’d bought a whole bucketful instead of just a small bag.  Then I would’ve had to shell them all, though.  That made me think of having a shelling party, we could have a potluck where everyone brings something made from produce from the Farmer’s Market.  I stress out when I’m cooking for more than a few people, though.  I do think it would be fun to see what dishes people come up with.

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Happy Fourth of July!

I “grilled” indoors tonight with my cast iron grill pan.  And it was vegetarian!!!


Eggplant and zucchini from local farmers.  I mixed crushed garlic and olive oil, to brush on the rounds.


We had panini, with eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, provolone and basil.  I love summer tomatoes!


I also “grilled” some kale, based on this recipe, to make kale salad, topped with cherry tomatoes.  Both the kale and tomatoes are from local farmers.  We have a revamped Farmer’s Market in town and the produce has been wonderful.

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Catching up

I’m behind on sharing what’s been going on in my kitchen, so tonight I’m just going to post a few photos.


I got purple potatoes from a local farmer and made purple gnocchi.


The first batch, I boiled and then added to a butter & sage sauce.  I had added too much liquid to the purple dough and it kept wanting to fall apart, but everything tasted good.  So much better than what I’ve bought at the store.


Tonight I added it to sauteed brussels sprouts and added parmesan cheese.  It’s probably not a traditional way to serve it, just going by what I wanted to cook.  The brussels sprouts are from my sister-in-law’s vegetable garden.


Last night we had roasted potatoes, I mixed the purple and white.  It was fun to bring as a side dish to a family dinner.


I also brought homemade oatmeal bread.  The recipe is from Cooking Light magazine.  It has oats ground up in a food processor, soaked in hot water, plus buttermilk, regular flour, whole wheat pastry flour and honey.


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