Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lentil Burgers

 This was my first attempt at homemade veggie burgers...and they were delicious! I received a free sample of lentils in the mail and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. I had searched several recipes when I found this lentil burger recipe. They sounded delicious to me but I wasn't sure how Nick would like them. I tried them anyway, and even this meat lover was happy with them, which is a good thing because they will definitely be made again!
 Lentil Veggie Burgers (adapted from Kath Eats Real Food)
Makes 3 burgers
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (I used 1/2 cup uncooked and cooked them in water and veggie broth)
  • 2/3 cup chopped veggies (I used yellow pepper, carrot, celery, green onion)
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp pecans
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
2. Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until all blended together. 
3. Form into 3 patties. 
4. Place patties onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes on each side. 

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Filling

     I love it when I get the opportunity to make someone's birthday cake. It is just so fun picking out what to make them and hoping they like it! For Jenny's birthday, the only instruction I had was "no coconut," but other than that the opportunities were endless! After much debate, I decided on this pretty cake and thought it would be perfect for her because it was bright, cheery, and fun!
    It had a light, fluffy texture with zesty lemon flavor and a slight crunch from the poppy seeds. The raspberry filling complemented it well in flavor and provided a pretty contrast of pink color.  I chose to use a lemon cream cheese frosting rather than the lemon buttercream. While I can't compare the two, I was happy with the way the cream cheese frosting turned out so I would stick with that in the future too!

    Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (adapted from Annie's Eats)

    For the cake:
    • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
    • 2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
    • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
    • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
    • 12 tsbp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup 2% milk
    For raspberry filling:
    • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
    • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    For Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: (from All Recipes)
    • 8 oz package reduced fat cream cheese, thawed
    • 1 stick butter
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • 5 cups powdered sugar 
    For the cake:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Spray 3 8" round cake pans with cooking spray with flour
    3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, poppy seed, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    4. In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. 
    5. Place butter in a clean bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.
    6. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated.  Mix in the lemon zest.  Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
    7.  Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat until just blended.
    8. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter. Be careful not to deflate the mixture!  Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites and gently fold in until well combined.
    9. Divide batter evenly between the three cake pans.
    10. Bake for 18-20 or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    11. Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes and then flip them out onto a cooling rack or wax/parchment paper to cool completely.

    For the raspberry filling:
    1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
    3. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

    For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
    1. Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. 
    2. Add powdered sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Salmon with roasted corn puree, okra, and tomatoes

    Not too long ago, I made this corn soup that was so good I had a hard time saving a cup of it for this recipe, but I am so glad I did!This was one of my favorite meals that I have made. The sweetness of the corn and the slight spice on the salmon was delicious! Nick even said it was like something he would order at a restaurant. And the best part is that it isn't too hard! Well, once you have the soup leftover, the rest comes together in no time.
    Salmon with Roasted Corn Puree, Okra, and Tomatoes
    1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
    2. Spread okra and tomatoes on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    3. Roast okra and tomatoes for about 20-25 minutes or until they start to slightly brown.
    4. While vegetables are cooking, combine corn soup and milk. Puree with an immersion blender until it reaches desired consistency. You can also put it in a blender to mix. 
    5. Once vegetables are done and out of the oven, turn on the broiler. 
    6. Place salmon on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Potlatch seasoning. 
    7.  Place salmon in oven and broil until it is cooked through. Mine took about 8-10 minutes, but it will depend on the thickness of your fish.
    8. To serve- spread a thin later of corn puree on your plate, place fish in the middle, and place tomatoes and okra around the outside.
    9. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Oprah's Favortite Turkey Burger

    Oprah. She's everywhere. I never imagined her name would be on my blog, and I kind of preferred it that way. Oh well- I digress. She does have good taste in turkey burgers! My friend, Clint, INSISTED that I try this recipe because they are the BEST turkey burgers. Well...yes. Yes, they are. They are not quite as easy as these (which are also yummy), but they really do have a great flavor and are worth the extra effort if you have the time. I wasn't sure how I would feel about them because they contained some sweet ingredients, and I'm not a big fan of sweet with meat, but these really didn't taste sweet because all the flavors were balanced out really well. Put these on your menu next time you make turkey burgers!
    The original recipe can be found here, but the recipe as I made them (scaled down and a couple minor changes) is below.

    Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger (serves 4)
    • 1 lb ground turkey breast
    • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions
    • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced celery
    • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
    • 1 tsp olive oil 
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 tsp jalapeno hot sauce (we didn't have Tabasco, but I loved the jalapeno sauce!)
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 2 Tbsp Major Grey's Chutney (found near mustard/condiments in grocery store)
    1. Saute onions, celery, and apple with olive oil in a skillet until tender. Set aside to cool.
    2. Combine sauteed veggies/apple, ground turkey, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Major Grey's Chutney in a bowl. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined. 
    3. Shape into 4 burgers of equal size.
    In the original recipe, the burgers are grilled, but we do not currently have a grill so we cooked them in a cast iron skillet with great results. Directions for each method are below.
    For Grill:
    1. Refrigerate burgers for 2 hours. (They will hold together better on the grill.)
    2. Place burgers on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
    For Skillet:
    1. Heat cast iron skillet over medium low heat and spray with cooking spray or olive oil to prevent sticking. 
    2. Place burgers in pan and cook on each side until thoroughly cooked through. It was about 6 minutes per side for us. Be careful not to overcook because they will dry out. You may want to cut one in half to make sure middle is done though.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
    We ate them with lettuce, tomato, light mayo and more hot sauce. Delicious! 

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Easy Peanut Butter Graham Cookies

    When I made these cookies, I thought I would experiment a bit and add in graham cracker crumbs. Most of my "experiments" don't turn out that well, but I was happy to find out that these were delicious! They are not all that different, but they have a subtle graham flavor and a great texture. They are a little more crumbly but still chewy at the same time. I even made Nick do a side by side comparison of the original and these, and these won! 
    • 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used Jif creamy)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (optional)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
    2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. In a bowl, stir together peanut butter and sugars until well combined.  Add egg, salt, and baking soda and stir until completely incorporated.  
    4. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. 
    5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  
    6. Slide parchment paper off baking sheet and let cool for at least 10 minutes, and enjoy!