Let’s start out with a black bean burger

What better way to start out 2014 than with a quick post on black bean burgers.

I’ve been a pescatarian for the last 6 years. A should say a strict pescatarian for the last 5 but have dipped my toe into the fowl world in the last year (I blame it on my allowing myself to “cheat” with turkey on Thanksgiving Day 2012… it was all downhill after that). I still don’t eat a lot of chicken or turkey, but find that I crave it after not having it for a few days. So, I don’t deprive myself of it because I believe the body craves what it needs.

Anyway, I’ve had two delicious black bean burgers of late. One that my husband made out of the Isa Chandra Moskowitz vegan cookbook called the Island Black Bean Burger (though we went with the alternate route just using black beans, no black-eyed peas, and mild chili powder and cumin instead of the Jamaican curry powder). Yum!! Even the kiddoes loved it!! A much healthier alternative to beef and pretty easy to throw together.

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The second is the Spicy Baja burger from Smashburger here in Austin, TX.

Delicious on both counts!! Seriously, you forget that you ever ate beef. Give ’em a try and let me know what you think! Or, if you have a black bean burger recipe that you love, please share!

HAPPY 2014! Make it a healthy and deliciously happy year!

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Veggie Board

I love the Bitten Word. If you haven’t visited Clay and Zach’s food blog then you’re missing out on some yummy recipes.

I had popped onto their site a few days ago and come across this amazing looking Grilled Panzanella Salad. Doesn’t it look faboosh?!!! Can’t wait to try it. And this looks like something my kids might actually eat!

Grilled Panzanella Salad / Image rights - thebittenword

While there, I clicked over to their Vegetable Board post. This is so brilliant I can’t believe I hadn’t already thought of it.

Veggie board / Image rights - thebittenword

Like them I waste so many vegetables. You have the best of intentions and buy some beautiful greens or vibrant reds and oranges, only to see them rotting away in a matter of days in a drawer somewhere in the back of your fridge. They suggest keeping a board of the veggies you have on-hand. Post it to the outside of your fridge so it’s a constant reminder of what you have that you could incorporate into your dinner or lunch that day, before it spoils.

LOVE IT!! What are you doing to not waste food?

Barbecue Grub

‘Tis the season. That’s right, it’s barbecue season. We had our first this past Saturday and I had to bust out a tried-and-true and a new recipe. Both that are so darn good, I have to share.

New Potato Salad / Image rights, Food Network

New Potato Salad – yep, the old standby, potato salad. But Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, has given this little favorite a most delicious little twist. Even my kids love this recipe (except my youngest; I told  you, she’s a picky eater).

The only thing I do differently with this recipe is I don’t put as much dill in it, or red onion. Neither of which are big favorites in our house. Otherwise, still an unbelievably delicious potato salad. (The weird part about that picture above, that I grabbed from the Food Network, is it shows what appear to be carrots, or red peppers … neither of which are in the recipe. That’s annoying.)

Best Baked Beans Ever / Image rights - The Pioneer Woman

The Best Baked Beans Ever (that’s what she calls them!) – this was my first time making these. This is from one of my favorite bloggers (and photographers), The Pioneer Woman. Now, because it’s made with Pork and Beans (yes, canned beans), and bacon, I did not indulge. I don’t do meat, but my kids and Palo Alto do. For them, I wanted to try it out. This too got rave reviews from my family and friends (except tiny kiddo; she’s lucky I adore her so much). The bacon slices were especially delicious on the hamburgers, I’m told.

I want to try this out next time with home-made beans (dried beans, soaked overnight), and sans bacon. It’ll be a few tries before I get one that’s tasty, but I’m on a mission. My summer mission.

Hey, if you have a great baked beans meatless recipe, please let me know!!

Mini Strawberry Pies

Mini Strawberry Pies / Image rights - thepioneerwoman.com

I love baking with my daughters. It’s a great time for us to gather round our kitchen, chat about things great and small (mostly silly, cute as heck things), bond over the finer details of measuring things accurately (or in our case, inaccurately),  and of course, make a mess of the kitchen (enough to drive Palo Alto crazy when he’s left to clean up after us while we’re eating our baked yummies).

I found these Mini Strawberry Pies on one of my favorite blogs and just had to share it. With strawberries looking really purty right now, and tasting amazing (we do love, love, LOVE strawberries!), I thought I’d go pick some up and gather  up my girlies for some baking this weekend.

I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out. Wish us luck!!

Best Blueberry Muffins

Best Blueberry Muffins / Image rights - thebittenword.typepad.com

I’m always leery of anything that self-proclaims being the “best”. However, when searching for a tasty blueberry muffin recipe, of course I Googled “best blueberry muffins”.  At least then I felt like I had a good starting place. Someone had tried the recipe out and determined, in their opinion, that it was worthy of a “best” title.

I looked at a few of them and I went with this one only because of the source, Cook’s Illustrated. I love Cook’s. I used to subscribe to them a couple of years ago but due to some budget constraints, it had to be cut from my “non-essential” items. (Boo) Well, these were without question worthy of the title.

They were moist, and full of blueberry flavor! My oldest is a huge blueberry muffin fan and was quick to take on the task of judging whether or not these met her tastebud requirements. She loved them! I pretty much followed the recipe as is, with one exception. I didn’t do 1 1/8 cups of sugar. I’ve mentioned it before … I have a problem with dropping so much sugar in a recipe. I think I cut it back by 1/2 a cup. I opted for the sugar/lemon topping, and even that one I didn’t sprinkle too much over the tops of the muffins just to not overdo the sweetness factor. I’d love to try the Almond or Streusel topping. Next time!! And there will most certainly be a next time!

I’m not allowed to re-produce the recipe here so I’m pointing you to the site where I found it, and who has gotten permission to re-post it. (Thanks The Bitten Word!)

The BEST Blueberry Muffins – recipe, Cook’s Illustrated May/June 2009

Peanut butter protein shake

I had a great workout yesterday. I did one of my walk/run days in my new half marathon training plan and when I got home, I was famished! After a great workout like that, I wanted to eat something healthy.

While on the treadmill, I was reading a magazine which had this shake recipe that I had to try out. There were no real measurements so I pretty much eyeballed everything and added my own touches.

  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder, vanilla
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup of 2% milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • Ice

Throw them all in a blender and blend!! Yum!!

Some substitutions to consider:

  • Almond butter for peanut butter
  • Chocolate whey protein powder for vanilla (for something a little more chocolate-y)
  • Non-fat milk for 2% milk for a “skinnier” shake

I’m ready for another one!

PS – great giveaway over at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical blog … Bridgedale running socks! Contest runs until 11:59PM 3/9.