+Anne Coleman

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Veggie Wednesday: Bean and Roasted Pepper Burgers

Bean and Roasted Pepper Burgers
Bean and Roasted Pepper Burgers

It's been about a year since I did a Veggie Wednesday; shame on me. I've been very busy with veggies, mostly growing my own as usual. If you follow my Instagram feed you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

Today I want to share a recipe for a veggie burger that I absolutely love. Bean burgers can be dry, but this one uses richly flavored and textured roasted red peppers (my favorite) to add body and moisture. Garlic and green onion boost flavor, as well so these burgers are a real hit with more than just the vegetarians in your life.


Bean and Roasted Pepper Burgers

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 patties

Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers plus 2 Tablespoons liquid from jar
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

Directions:

1. Pour beans into a food processor or blender and add peppers, onions, salt and garlic.
2. Pulse until a thick paste forms but tiny chunks of beans are still visible.
3. Spoon into a bowl and add Panko crumbs, mixing well until a thick dough forms.
4. Form into 4 patties and cook over a preheated grill pan or lightly greased skillet, about 4 minutes per side.
5. Serve on whole wheat buns with your favorite condiments and veggies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Patient for Pumpkins

Patient for Pumpkins
Patient for Pumpkins

I love to grow things. Anyone who knows me or follows me on any of my social networks (especially Instagram) knows this. I started growing flowers when I was about 20 and had my first vegetable gardening experience a few years later. For anyone counting, that's about 26 years of gardening for me. I've posted over the years here about my various gardens, as well.

I'm not a very patient gardener, though. I know things take time, but I get so excited about growing things that I check daily, sometimes twice a day, for any small signs of growth. When I first plant seeds indoors I walk by the flats of peat pellets several times a day just to peek.

I love to cook seasonally, as well and each year I find myself looking a little earlier than usual for my favorites to cook with ... fuzzy green almonds and fiddlehead ferns in the early spring, blueberries a little later and the freshest tomatoes nearing the end of the growing season in my zone.

My kids also love to check the garden with me and shop the farmer's markets for beautiful produce. They are even more impatient than I and it's not always easy to explain to them that although some produce is available year-round, it's best when it's in season.

If you have children who are impatient for their favorite veggies and fruits as well, Patient for Pumpkins by Linda L. Knoll  is just the book for them. It's the story of a little boy excited to get to the farmers' market to buy a pumpkin, but finds when he gets there that April is not exactly the right time. Each month, though, he finds other gems that are available and perfectly ripe for that time.

From Patient for Pumpkins by Linda L. Knoll, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2014 by Linda L. Knoll. Reprinted by permission of publisher.


The vibrant illustrations show each growing season from Spring through Fall and what wonderful produce is available in each month. The sidebars illustrate the different stages of pumpkin growth and at the end, the big beautiful pumpkin that results from so much patience.


From Patient for Pumpkins by Linda L. Knoll, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2014 by Linda L. Knoll. Reprinted by permission of publisher.


In fact, at this moment we're trying to be patient for our own pumpkins. They've started to vine out and grasp the grass with tiny tendrils and little baby pumpkins are starting to appear. Of course, we need to check each day to see how far they've grown and we can't wait to have our very own perfect pumpkin.

Our own tiny pumpkin.


Patient for Pumpkins is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Patient-Pumpkins-Linda-L-Knoll/dp/1583947086


Disclaimer: I received Patient for Pumpkins for free as a review item. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by free product.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Salisbury Steak


Salisbury Steak
Salisbury Steak

When I was a child I hated Salisbury Steak. It could be that the only time I ate it was when it came from a frozen box, or it could be the onion. I detested onions in any way, shape or form. Now that I'm older I adore onions ... in any way, shape or form.

This Salisbury Steak is the perfect comfort food, made thicker than most and is so moist you'll want more than seconds. Cut the onions to your liking, my kids will only eat finely chopped. If you have onion-haters all around, like I was, try onion powder for flavor, but I warn you, it won't be the same.

Salisbury Steak

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 55 minutes
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 cup onion or shallots, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups prepared bread crumbs
3 whole eggs
2 pounds ground beef 80/20 is best
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef stock
4 Tablespoons fat from cooking or 4 Tablespoons cooking oil
4 Tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste for finishing

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a large oven-proof frying pan over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon oil. Cook onion and garlic until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Combine ground beef with bread crumbs and eggs, mixing well after each egg.
4. Add in onion and garlic mixture, 1 Tablepsoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix until well combined and form into 6 thick oval patties.
5. In the same frying pan, brown both sides of patties, about 3-5 minutes each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
6. Again in the same pan, measure out fat from cooking or add oil to make 4 Tablespoons. Add flour and whisk together until smooth.
7. Pour in stock and whisk until a smooth gravy forms. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add steaks back into pan and spoon the gravy over them a bit.  Bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Greek Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

Greek Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
Greek Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

The Greek-inspired flavors of lemon, garlic and thyme are highlighted in this chicken and potatoes dish. Boneless and skinless thighs cook faster and are a healthier alternative. Serve with a big salad tossed with Feta cheese crumbles and Kalamata olives for a perfect meal.

Greek Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 9 hours and 15 minutes including marinating time
Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

3 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs
3 pounds red potatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
1 large lemon, zested and juiced plus enough bottled juice to make 1/2 cup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano)
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Remove 1/2 cup of marinade and set aside.
2. Put chicken into a bowl or large zippered food storage bag and pour marinade over. Seal well, removing air and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Clean potatoes and cut into equal sized chunks - about 1-inch square. Pour reserved marinade over potatoes and spread evenly across the bottom of a 9 x 13 roasting pan.
5. Remove chicken from marinade and set on top of potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until juices from chicken run clear and a thermometer inserted next to the bone reads 170 degrees F.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Family Fire

I'm writing a quick note about something that recently happened in our family. The house the children's father was living in with them part time caught fire and is badly damaged. Most of the children were living with me and most of their belongings were here, however, my second oldest daughter was living with dad full-time and her entire world was lost. One of the family cats was also killed in the fire.

If you can, please donate at this GoFundMe link for her, I would so appreciate it and I know she would, too.

The articles about the fire can be found here and here.