Monday, 29 January 2007

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Yum! I tried a new recipe today, from last Tuesday's Food section of the Oregonian. They were even Vegan if you use vegan mayo (or don't have any)! I'm trying to write it fast here, because somehow, after we got the burgers in the oven (and before I had the mayo whipped up) the article disappeared. The kids say it's a single-use recipe. :-) I'm assuming it'll eventually turn up, but then we did take out the recycling, and who knows where it ended up? I looked on the Oregonian's website, but alas, the Oregonian doesn't list *all* of it's recipes online. Stupid Oregonian. Oh, yeah, they did bring us a great recipe--I won't complain too much.

So, here's what I can reconstruct:

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

2 cups diced garnet sweet potatoes
1 cup rolled oats (I used 1/2 cup oat flour instead)
1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 minced cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the sweet potatoes in a saucepan, covered with water, for about 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Put all ingredients into a bowl and squish the mixture together with your hands. The recipe said to form 4 patties, but we recommend 6--they were too big and squashy. (But awfully tasty!)

I cannot reconstruct the mayo since I didn't make it. Instead, I made homemade mayonnaise and made it into aioli by adding two cloves of garlic that I'd ground in my mortar and pestle.

I served this on homemade whole wheat buns. You don't have to make them homemade....but if you have the desire to, it sure did add to it! I'd definitely use whole wheat even if they are store bought. Oh, and lettuce, and everyone else in my family used ketchup. But I did not.

If I remember any ingredients I forgot to list, I'll add them. I hope this is right! Hey, if anyone has last weeks' Food section, let me know if I got all the ingredients right!

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Two dinners and a breakfast

Wow, what a last couple of weeks I've had! A week ago Thursday, the kids and I went on the road and headed south to California. It was the Metropolis' annual Presvyteres Retreat (Presvytera is the title for a priest's wife in the Greek Orthodox Church). I had the great idea of adding on some things to do while we were in California: first, of course, was to visit my 101 year old grandmother. She lives close to St. Nicholas Ranch, where the retreat would be held. I decided to drive instead of fly because my parents are out of town and wouldn't be able to drive me over to see Grandma. Also, then I could take the kids and they could see her too. Then, I also had the great idea of picking up Zac's best-friend-in-the-whole-world, Isaiah, in San Francisco, and he could spend the weekend with us, which is just what Zac's been craving. While in San Francisco, I went out to breakfast with my brother Bruce and sister-in-law LaDonna. We went to Crepevine, one place I'd always meant to make it to in San Francisco but never did until now. Wow, was it good! I had their Santorini crepe, as I was in the mood for a sweet crepe, and was a little taken aback that it came with not only whipped cream, but also ice cream! For breakfast! Okay, I'm cool with that. Yum, it was so good.

So! After we got done with all that wonderfulness and got home on Monday, we were ready for a break (but weren't to get too long of one right away). We got home at around 3 pm on Monday, and I sure didn't feel like going to the grocery store and doing a whole lot of cooking. So, I took stock of what we had in the house and just whipped up a little stew.

Lentil Vegetable Stew

Saute one onion
and a couple of cloves of
, chopped, in a tablespoon
of olive
. Add 1 1/2 cups lentils and a handful of sun-dried tomatoes,
chopped or torn,
and stir for a minute or so. Add one quart of water or
vegetable stock
. Bring to a boil and then lower
heat. Cook for 15

Add two
cubed potatoes
(I left the skin on), half a head of
shredded, and 4-5 carrots,
sliced. Pour in enough water and/or stock to
just cover everything. Toss in a couple of sprigs of thyme and a teaspoon
of salt and pepper to
taste. Cook until everything is tender. Serve
with parmesan cheese.

We then headed to Seattle the next day (we're suckers for punishment) adding up to 2300 miles the kids and I were in the car, over three states, in 7 days. Yikes! This time the drive was for a regional clergy family dinner with our bishop. It was nice, and we had good food--a rarity at these things!

Recently we went to Pambiche--a Cuban restaurant. We all just loved it! So, I knew I had to try to replicate the black beans we had there, and especially the frituras names (I don't know how to put the little squiggly line over the n to make it an "enyay"). Yam fritters--we liked them so much, we ordered a second plate, and would have ordered more but we were all full by then. So, while perusing my Jack Bishop cookbook A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen (one of my favorites, and the one I'm using most these days) I found a recipe for Caribbean Sauteed Plantains and Black Beans. So, I made that, along with a recipe I found on the web for yam fritters. I served these dishes along with a chunked mango, and though it was different from what we ate at Pambiche, it was so good! I didn't realize, though, until I was slicing the plantains that the recipe called for almost black plantains, and the ripest ones I found at New Seasons were dark green. It was still good, and they are cooked this way as well, but I think I would have sliced them into skinnier bits and cooked them like french fries.

Everything was vegan, except that the fritters call for an egg. I just took a portion out before I added the egg, and they seemed to fry up just fine. Maybe the egg is superfluous.


Cut off the pointy ends of two almost black
. Cut into two inch slices. Make slits in the
skin, and peel off with your fingers. Saute in 2 tablespoons
olive oil
. Turn once, and cook until brown but not
blackened. Remove from pan and add salt to
taste. Cover to keep warm.

Black Beans:

Saute four cloves garlic, minced, and one jalepeno, minced, in 1 tablespoon
olive oil
. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add two 15 oz. cans rinsed and drained black beans (I used
the equivalent of home-cooked beans), 2/3 cup orange
, and two tablespoons lime
Cook for about 5 minutes, until the juices are nearly
absorbed. Add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
and salt to taste.

Serve plantains over the black beans. Serve Black Beans, Plantains,
Frituras, and Mango with slices of lime for

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

"Home Sick" Soup

Paul is sick today. So when he finally felt like eating something, I offered to make him the soup I like when I'm sick. It's very quick and easy to make, and you can leave out or substitute a lot of the ingredients in it if you don't have them, because who wants to go anywhere when they're sick? As long as you have flavorful broth and an egg or two, you can make this soup.

Italian Parmesan Egg Soup

Bring 3 cups of vegetable broth to a simmer. While it's heating, stir together one or two eggs, 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, a tablespoon of dry bread crumbs, one tablespoon chopped parsley (I subbed green onion today), and one minced garlic clove.

When the broth is simmering, add the beaten egg mixture and stir vigorously until the egg is set, about a minute or less. Ladle into a bowl (or bowls) and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the top.