Week 2 assignment

Hitting the internet for recipes to tackle this week’s assignment drew us to two that used veggies in ways we have not before.  They were both “stretch” foods for us in that we wouldn’t even think of ordering such a thing in a restaurant.  This week’s choices were to make 1) veggie burgers 2) cauliflower “potatoes”, and 3) to be determined after perusing the produce section for something we hadn’t cooked with before.  We picked turnips, after reading on the sign next to them they were good to use in stirfries, something both of us like.

Meal 1:

Portobello Veggie Burgers (From 12Tomatoes.com)

  • 2 1/2 c portobello mushrooms, gills removed, chopped
  • 2 1/2 c cooked black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 1 1/4 c fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 3/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c red onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • olive or vegetable oil, as needed
  1. Mash 1 c beans in a large bowl until semi-smooth.  Add remaining beans, mushrooms, broccoli, onion and garlic, and stir to combine.
  2. Add parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs into mixture, then add egg.  Stir well to combine, making sure that everything is fully incorporated.
  3. Season veggie mixture with salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, steak seasoning and red pepper flakes, then mix everything to combine.
  4. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and use dampened hands to start forming your veggie patties.
  5. Once oil is hot, place 2-3 patties in skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  6. Transfer patties to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then serve hot.

We both really liked the flavor of these “burgers”, although I have to admit that I’m resigned to the likelihood that the texture just has to be lived with in the name of healthy eating.  We’d make these again.

Meal 2:

“Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes (From foodnetwork.com)

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 T. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/8 t. straight chicken base or bullion
  • 1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t. chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  1. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.  Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.  Drain well; do not let cool.  Pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  2. In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  3. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.

Again, we liked the taste, but the texture wasn’t ideal.  It may have been our own fault though (the cauliflower was perhaps a bit under-cooked and had cooled a titch before we got it pureed) so we need to try this again before final judgement.  We considered the meal a success anyway, due to an enjoyable flavor matched with the tasty steak and green beans ( yeah, they were canned…baby steps) that we paired it with.

Meal #3:

Stirfry with turnips.  We were going to use the Sesame Ginger Sauce from our first week of class because we LOVED it.  But, note to self:  Ingredients found in class don’t automatically exist in my cupboard.

Impromptu sauce became:

  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 c honey
  • fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic

Along with the cut up turnips, our fry included some onions, carrots and the extra cauliflower, mushrooms and broccoli bought for the above meals.  We fried it in Toasted Sesame Oil and while the end result was a little lacking in color, the flavor was very good.  And truthfully, we didn’t even notice the turnips as we were eating it.

We definitely are eating more vegetables as a result of our last 2 weeks’ assignments.  We are used to consuming more fruits that average, having a dish of apples, oranges, bananas (pears, peaches, etc when they are in season) on the counter to grab from at anytime.  But veggies aren’t as habitual for us.  Meal planning around them is a new concept for us too, hopefully to become a new habit.

As for buying more in bulk, I’m afraid of the waste.  I have a couple of Tupperware containers designed specifically to extend their life, but have still thrown so much away in the past.  I think if we just plan a meal or two each week with veggies as the center, and then buy accordingly, we will do better getting more in us without increasing our contribution too much to the compost.

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