Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers

Two 14.5-ounce cans 50% less sodium black beans
1 cup finely-ground oats (3.8 ounces)*
1/4 cup finely chopped red onions (1.4 ounces)
2 stalks green onions, finely chopped (1 ounce)
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1.7 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (0.4 ounce)
1 large egg, slightly beaten (about 1.8 to 1.9 ounces)
1 tablespoon chili powder (blend) or ground ancho or chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

*To make your own finely-ground oats, place rolled or quick-cooking oats in your food processor. Process until finely grind (flour).

Place beans in a colander to drain well, but do not rinse. Transfer beans to a very large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the beans until they are mostly mashed, but still have some whole beans visible. 

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined. 

Shape into four patties, about 3/4-inch thickness, weighing approximately 7.5 ounces per patty. Place patties on waxed paper or parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (7.0 on induction cook top). When pan is very hot, add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil to the pan (you can use 50% olive oil and 50% butter, if desire). Place bean patties in the skillet and cook the first side for 5 minutes. Turn each patty over and cook the second side for additional 5 minutes. If you like, you can add a slice of cheese during the last minute of cooking. (I like to turn off the heat and place the cheese slices on top, cover and let residual heat melt them enough for the corners of the cheese to drape over the edge.)

You can serve the patties as a burger on 100% whole-wheat buns with Vegenaise (or mayonnaise), Dijon mustard, Mexican Cabbage Slaw, Pickled Red Onions, pickled jalapeno peppers, avocado slices (or guacamole) or simply do traditional burger style with Vegenaise (or mayonnaise), ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onions, pickles and tomatoes,

Yield 4 patties

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Homemade Toasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Homemade Toasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil

10 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped (2.0 ounces or 57g )
1 cup extra light olive oil (7.2 ounces or 204g)
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

In a small skillet, combine garlic and olive oil.

Place over medium-low heat (4.0 to 3.0 on induction cook top) and heat until oil starts to bubble, about 7 minutes.

Continue to cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until garlic turns to a light golden brown (approximately 8 to 10 additional minutes). During the last 2 minutes of cooking, you may want to stand by the stove because the garlic will become brown very quickly. Do not let garlic become too dark or burn (garlic will continue to toast while the hot oil is cooling). Make sure you are stirring frequently, especially during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Add the red pepper flakes. Immediately remove from heat and let cool for about 1 hour.

When oil is cooled, transfer to a small jar and keep at room temperature for about 3 months.

The garlic pieces are completely cooked and toasty. When you bite into the bits of garlic, it is crispy and garlicky delicious. The garlic will continue to stay crispy for the entire length of time the oil is stored. I used this garlic oil with steamed spinach, steamed petite peas, roasted vegetables, soba noodles, pasta, potatoes, etc. I like to sprinkle the toasted garlic chips over baked pizza. When using the oil, make sure you include some bits of toasted garlic. Makes great dipping oil: just mix a small amount with some balsamic vinegar, pinch of mixed dried herbs, several julienne slices of sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil). Dip crusty French bread with this oil. So good!

Yield 1 cup

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Banana-Peanut Butter-Dark Chocolate Milkshake

Adapted from The Kitchn

DELICIOUS and HEALTHY to enjoy this smoothie as a BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE. The first time I made this, I forgot to add the vanilla extract and this smoothie still tasted delicious without it. I added a tablespoon of crushed ice so I can achieve a thicker "smoothie" consistency. NO SWEETENER ADDED! 

1 large FROZEN sliced banana (170g)
1/2 cup carton UNSWEETENED coconut milk or any type of milk of choice (113g)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or almond butter (14g)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons crushed ice (7g to 10g)
2 tablespoons chopped Trader Joe's 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate or your choice (11g)

Combine all ingredients, except the dark chocolate, into the container of a blender. Blend until smooth. Use the blender tamper to push and stir if you need to. 

Add the dark chocolate and blend just until finely chopped and incorporated. Ready to serve.

Yield approximately 11 ounces, 345 calories

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Best Lasagna Ever
Adapted from Pioneer Woman

This lasagna is The Best Lasagna Ever. The meat sauce is thick, not saucy and runny. It's easy to cut and serve. Each piece holds its shape and stands tall on the plate. There is nothing fancy or upscale about this lasagna. This is just a traditional lasagna recipe, but I love EVERYTHING about this lasagna. Even the cottage cheese layers.

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 pound turkey or chicken sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
Half of a medium-size onion, finely chopped (133g)
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced (11g)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon salt (5g)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon organic natural cane sugar (9g)
One 28-ounce can unsalted whole and peeled plum tomatoes, hand-crushed
Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3 cups small curd cottage cheese (680g)
2 large eggs, beaten (104g)
1/2 cup finely grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese (57g)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons basil pesto sauce (20g)
1 teaspoon salt (5g)
1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese
1-1/4 boxes (13.25-ounce) Barilla brand 100% whole-grain lasagne, about 19 noodles

Meat Sauce
Heat a large deep skillet or large stock pot over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and swirl pan to coat the bottom. Add the ground turkey and sausages. Continue to cook the ground turkey and sausages over high to medium-high heat (high to 7.0 on induction), stirring frequently and breaking up meat ( I like to use a bench scraper to break up the meat and scrape off the brown bits from bottom of the pan). When meat is browned, transfer the meat to a colander and set aside.

Using the same pan, add more olive oil. Add the onions and saute onions over medium high heat (8.0 to 7.0 on induction) until soft and starting to turn brown. Add the garlic, the 2 tablespoons parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, fennel, salt, pepper and sugar. Continue to saute until garlic is fragrant. Add the meat back into the pan and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce. When mixture becomes bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low (4.0 to 2.4 on induction) to simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Cottage Cheese Mixture
In a medium-size bowl, mix the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, the 2 tablespoons parsley, pesto and salt with a fork until well combined. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

Lasagna Noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and continue to cook, uncover, for 7 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse in cold water. Drain well and set aside until needed.

Assembling the Lasagna
Spray a large baking pan (Le Creuset 5-1/2 quart size, about 15-3/4-inch by 10-3/4-inch by 2-2/3-inch), with nonstick cooking spray. This is the OCD in me: I like to use a kitchen shear to cut a few noodles to size to cover all spaces. 1st layer: Arrange lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the baking pan (about 3-1/2 noodles). Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce (730g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 2nd layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 3-1/2 noodles) to cover the meat sauce layer. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture (427g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 3rd layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the cottage cheese layer. Spread another 1/3 of the meat sauce (730g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 4th layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the meat sauce layer. Spread the remainder of the cottage cheese mixture and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 5th layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the cottage cheese layer. Spread remainder of the meat sauce and top with remainder of the mozzarella cheese. Either proceed with baking or cover the lasagna with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.

Baking the Lasagna
Preheat oven at 350 degrees and position oven rack to the center of the oven.

If baking the lasagna immediately after assembly, cover lasagna loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.Let lasagna rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

If lasagna have been refrigerated, bake lasagna for 1 hour and 20 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil. Let lasagna rest for abpoit 10 minutes before serving.

Yield 12 servings

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ovenight Oatmeal
Adapted from delish.com

4 cups water (32 ounces, 907g)
1 cup carton unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice (8 ounces, 227g)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (28g)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (17g)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups steel-cut oats (232g)
2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch size pieces (669g purchase weight)**

**Can use pears instead of apples or both apples and pears.

Generously grease a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray if you do not have a nonstick insert.

Add water, coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt to the slow cooker. Stir in the oats and apples. Cook, covered, on low setting for 7 hours or until apples are broken down and the oats are tender,

Turn off slow cooker. Gently stir oatmeal and let rest for 10 minutes in the slow cooker.

Spoon oatmeal into bowls. If desired, top oatmeal with toasted nuts, coconut palm sugar or maple syrup, and carton unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice.

Yield 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffin
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

These muffins are delicious. They are tender, moist, and lemony! These muffins are not only perfect for breakfast, but are also great with afternoon tea or Masala Chai. Since I don't normally line my muffin cups with paper liners, I am only able to bake up 9 muffins from this recipe. Recipe can be doubled to get 18 muffins.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

7.9 ounces (224g) WHITE whole wheat flour (about 1-3/4 cups)
2/3 cup organic natural cane sugar (130g)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (11g)
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (170g)
1/2 cup water (113g)
1/4 cup EXTRA LIGHT olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (48g)
Grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon (4g)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (28g)
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten (57g)
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil OR 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (10g)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven. Spray 9 standard-size muffin cups with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, natural cane sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and water. Using a fork, smash up the ricotta cheese and the water until combined. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg and lemon oil or extract. Using a wire whisk, whisk everything together until thoroughly combined.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the entire ricotta cheese mixture. Using a pastry fork or a wire whisk, gently stir-fold the flour mixture with the ricotta cheese mixture just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be thick. Divide batter among 9 muffin cups. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and transfer muffins to a wire rack to cook completely.


Best to store muffins in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The muffins will become more moist as it sits out at room temperature of more than one day.

Yield 9 muffins