Jess Finds Balance

My journey to finding a healthy balance with eating, exercise, and life in general

A Vegetarian Dinner August 17, 2010

Filed under: Food — jessfindsbalance @ 9:03 pm
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Dave and I try to pick a vegetarian recipe to make one or two nights a week in an effort to keep our food costs down. Food is one area of our lives where we splurge, but we do have a limit we like to keep to. Eating meatless a couple nights a week, in addition to eating as many meals at home as we can, is a good way to do this.

Since it’s also summer, we’ve been making good use of our grill. Men love grilling and Dave is no exception to the rule. I think I’ve “manned” the grill only once or twice in the 16 months we’ve had it. If he’s willing to do it, I’m wiling to let him 😉

Tonight we chose a recipe from The Front Burner called vegan bean burgers. Emily, the author of The Front Burner, is a vegetarian who also went to culinary school. I’d try anything created by a REAL chef! We halved the recipe and used:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds) <– I found these at Whole Foods in the bulk foods area
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • pepper

First, we grated the carrots in our food processor. (It was a wedding gift, just like most of the nice things we have in our kitchen.)

Next, we switched out the grater attachment and added the chopper. We added the oats and pepitas and ground that up. Then we added 3/4 of the beans and all of the spices and olive oil and mixed it until it formed a ball of mushy dough. We took it out of the food processor and hand mixed in the rest of the beans.

Then we formed the patties and put them on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

While this was cooking, we also made baked fries. One idaho potato and one sweet potato.

I sliced them into fry shapes, then put them on a very well oiled pan. I sprayed them with olive oil using this olive oil sprayer we bought at Crate and Barrel. We initially bought it to use on our nonstick pans (Pam ruins the nonstick material) but I use it in a lot of cooking when I want to evenly spread olive oil without getting my hands dirty or using too much.

The magic ingredient: sprinkling salt! My favorite is Lawry’s, but we got this as a gift and are using it up before buying more of the good stuff.

Into the oven at 450 degrees. We flipped them after 15 minutes and let them bake for another 15. We accidentally left them in a bit too long and some of my sweet potato fries burned. 😦 Even still, there were some salvageable ones in there!

For our veggie, we made kale chips. First, I tore up the kale into small pieces and then rinsed them in a colander.

Then I evenly spread them out in a thin layer in well oiled pans. I sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with parmesan cheese. We let them cook at about 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Dinner tonight was al fresco. We have a great little patio that we like to eat at on summer nights when it’s nice outside. My plate:

Burger on a whole wheat bun topped with a few avocado slices (1/6 of the avocado or so), tomato, red onion, and spinach and sweet potato fries (I only ate about 2 of these. I’d snacked on four or five while inside waiting for the kale chips to cook)

Bowl of kale chips. I ate these and then most of Dave’s, too 🙂

While cleaning up, I snacked on 2 cherries for a sweet finish to the meal. A couple hours later, I made myself real dessert: a microwaved chocolate vitamuffin with a sugarfree dark chocolate pudding cup and a drizzle of about two tsp of almond butter on top.

I made myself some overnight oats to enjoy tomorrow morning after my run. That should get me bounding out of bed quickly! Think chocolate banana peanut butter…


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