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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Cuban Black Bean Burgers

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#healthy #blackbeanburgers

My mom makes amazing black bean burgers.  One of the cooks in my old café made amazing black bean burgers.  Until now, however, nobody in my family was particularly interested in eating them, so I never got around to making any.  Fast forward to my daughter asking about eating more vegetarian meals.  Umm... okay.  Let's look into this a bit and ease our way into a diet with more veg but where I'm confident she's still getting the right nutrients for a growing teenager.  Whatever the recipe is, it also has to have tons of flavor... right?

So most of this recipe is from my mother.  I might have tweaked things just a bit, as should every cook.  But that's why cooking is fun!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (14oz) can black beans
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2/3 onion
  • 2/3 of (8oz) container of mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter (use ghee for vegetarian/vegan)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • chili powder
  • cumin 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1 or 2 eggs (use egg substitute like mashed sweet potatoes for vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp cream or half and half (use oat/almond milk for vegan)
  • about 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese (omit for vegan)
  • a few shakes of Worcestershire if desired (omit for vegetarian/vegan) 
  • toppings of choice - Eg.  sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato, cheese, purple onions
Method: 
Prep beans - 
Rinse and drain canned black beans.   I read that the beans needed to be dried out to avoid them being mushy, so I went with that. Spread out on sheet pan and dry out in a preheated oven (I just put mine at 250F) for about 10 minutes, shaking halfway through. I also didn't want them to be bland, so I seasoned them with chili powder and cumin during the last 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.
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Prep veggies - 
Dice bell pepper, onion and mushrooms.  Sauté in butter until soft.  
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While the vegetables are cooking, finely chop walnuts.  
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Add the nuts to the mostly cooked vegetables.  This will let the nuts toast up a bit in the butter and incorporate all these flavors.  Yumm.  Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. 
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Combine - 
To a large bowl, add cooled, dried beans and mash them about halfway.  
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To the beans, add the cooked vegetables, egg, bread crumbs, cream/milk and additional seasoning to taste (chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper).  
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Now for some real pizazz, squeeze the juice of one lime into the mixture.  Add feta and Worcestershire.  Combine this mixture.
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Form - 
Form burger patties with about 1/2 cup of mix at a time.  Stack between pieces of parchment or waxed paper and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  (Note - the ones in the photo did not have feta.  I did both.)
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Bake or Grill - 
Grill on oiled aluminum foil at around 350F for 7 -8 minutes per side until nicely browned.  This will depend on your grill.  To bake, add to a lined baking sheet and bake at 375F for 10 minutes per side.
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The burgers were satisfying, substantial and juicy.  I'm super happy I added the feta.  All those little pops of tangy cheese were just perfect! 
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Monday, December 21, 2020

Apple Crescent Rollups

 

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#easy #quick #kidfriendly #breakfast #semihomemade #beginner
Honestly, I don't consider this to be much of a recipe. This is something I make for breakfast for my daughter probably two to three times a month because it's insanely quick and easy and she enjoys it.  I mean.. isn't breakfast one of those things where you sort of run out of ideas after a while?  This would definitely need to fall under the "semi-homemade" category, but so be it.   

Ingredients: 
  • 1 can of crescent rolls
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar (apricot jelly works well, too)
  • 1 apple
Method: 
To avoid the need for baking spray, etc., I always use parchment paper.  Easy cleanup and no sticking.  
This is not a "measure everything" recipe." So just go with it.  Separate your crescent roll dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Spread brownsugar (or jelly) over the dough.  
Thinly slice apples and place two to three slices at the wide end of the dough.  
Roll up the crescents and bake.  
I tend to bake at 400F for about 9 - 10 minutes. Baking times will depend on your oven, rack settings, etc. 

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Written Method:
  • To avoid the need for baking spray, etc., I always use parchment paper.  Easy cleanup and no sticking.  
  • This is not a "measure everything" recipe." So just go with it.  Separate your crescent roll dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.  
  • Spread brownsugar (or jelly) over the dough.  
  • Thinly slice apples and place two to three slices at the wide end of the dough.  
  • Roll up the crescents and bake.  
  • I tend to bake at 400F for about 9 - 10 minutes. Baking times will depend on your oven, rack settings, etc. 
A few more breakfast selections for you - 




Sunday, July 26, 2020

Charlie Chewies (Anti-Allergenic Dog Treats)

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 We took in a rescue dog, Charlie, not too long ago.  He immediately had our hearts, but he has quite a few significant medical problems.  Some were life threatening, and we've been dealing with those.  Now we are down to those that are just plain irritating to him, like allergies!  The more pet parents I speak with, it seems this is such a common problem.  Itchy skin, biting, licking.  We hate for him to be on steroid shot long term, as the side effects are pretty nasty.  We would also like to avoid long term allergy medications if possible.  

I did some research on ingredients that are healthy for dog and have anti-allergenic, properties and came up with these treats.  I have no idea if they will help him or not.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though.  I can tell you they will be #healthy #treats that are #clean #glutenfree #soyfree #dairyfree.  You could also make them #nutfree if you substitute applesauce for the peanutbutter.  #dogtreats

Ingredients:  (4 dozen, 1/2 oz chewies)
  • 1 med sweet potato, peeled, boiled, mashed
  • 2 c oats, pulsed in blender/Vitamix
  • 1/2 c flax seed meal
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/3 c virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 c canned pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
Method:
Peel and dice sweet potato.  Set in a pot to boil about 10 minutes.
Pulse oatmeal in a blender several times until it's the texture of a coarse meal.
Now you can basically just dump everything together.







Add in the boiled, drained sweet potato pieces.

Mash the sweet potato chunks up along with the other ingredients.
Stir well to combine.
Add the oatmeal last.  It may get fairly stiff, so clean hands work well to mix the ingredients at this point.  It will be like a stiff cookie dough.
Maybe a taste test.
We used a 1/2oz cookie scoop to form the Charlie Chewies.  Place on parchment or waxed paper and refrigerate.  Once firm, we plan on storing in a ziptop bag. 

Why I chose these ingredients:
What are the benefits of flax seed meal for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
Boosts the immune system as a powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids antioxidant.  Assists digestive health, supports healthy joints, supports kidney health

So, what are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs, and coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin? 
Natural virgin coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties. That means it can reduce yeast and fungus on contact, both inside and out; and it’s also very healing for irritated skin, hot spots, abrasions and cracked paws. The “virgin” variety typically starts with fresh coconut meat, so it’s not subjected to chemical processes such as bleaching or filtering. This makes it safe for dogs, cats, and humans to ingest in appropriate amounts. Coconut oil is rich in a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) called lauric acid. One of its primary functions is to boost the immune system. That’s why coconut oil is so effective at helping to clear up bacterial and viral infections.

What are the benefits of pumpkin for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
A number of nutrients in 
pumpkin, including vitamin A and zinc, improve your pet's skin and coat. The high water content in pumpkin flesh also contributes to supple skin and a lustrous coat.

How will eating peanut butter benefit my dog?

Organic peanut butter is full of the B Vitamins and minerals that can contribute to your dog’s health. Some of those nutrients include:

– Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Converts food to energy and benefits your dog’s skin, digestive system, and nervous system.

– Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) – Helps in the production and maintenance of new cells and, according to various studies, may help prevent heart disease

-Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – Critical for metabolism and the synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in food.

-Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – Converts carbs into energy and is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, nervous system, and muscles.

-Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – Serves a key role in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

-Choline – Critical for the maintenance and function of healthy body cells and is needed for the development of lung and brain tissue in puppies.

– Vitamin B6 – Involved in protein and red blood cell metabolism and has a role in the nervous and immune systems. Studies show an increased intake of B6 may be beneficial to dogs with heart disease.

-Vitamin E – An antioxidant, Vitamin E has been shown to effectively increase the immune system and works to speed up the healing process on a cellular level. Additionally, Vitamin E maintains the integrity of skin cells by protecting them from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

-Magnesium – Maintains normal muscle and nerve function thereby keeping the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, promotes normal blood pressure, keeps bones strong, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

-Phosphorus – Functions in the formation of bones and teeth. It also helps synthesize protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues.

-Potassium – Critical to maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is important to brain and nerve function and is necessary for normal growth and muscle development.

-Zinc — Supports your dog’s immune system, helps in wound healing, and is involved in building proteins. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during puppyhood.

-Iron – Iron is involved in transporting oxygen throughout the body via the circulatory system and helps regulate cell growth and differentiation.

-Copper – Plays a role in the production of key proteins in your pet’s body such as collagen and hemoglobin, which helps to transport oxygen.

-Manganese – Works to promote enzyme production in the body.

-Selenium – An antioxidant, selenium helps to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. It regulates thyroid function and plays a role in the immune system.

-Oleic Acid – A fatty acid, oleic acid lowers LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” and increases HDL, or “good cholesterol,” in the blood that can help prevent canine heart disease.

What are the benefits of raw local honey for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
According to vetinfo.com, 
local honey can be used to help treat allergies triggered by pollen. A small amount given each day. The honey has to be from local hives so that it contains small amounts of the local pollen that are causing your pet's allergies. The honey will help relieve some of your pet's allergies.

What are the benefits of cinnamon for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
Cinnamon is antifungal (combats yeast), Dogs who have allergies are susceptible to yeast infections. It is antibacterial and antiinflammatory. 

    Words of caution about cinnamon and dogs—

  • Cassia cinnamon (the darker, more common type) contains a compound called coumarin, which can damage the liver at high levels. One more reason to use Ceylon cinnamon instead! But Cassia cinnamon for dogs is safe as long as you don’t overdo it; a teaspoon or so every day with food will still be beneficial in all the ways described above, but won’t give you or your dog nearly as high a dose as the higher concentration found in, say, a cinnamon supplement capsule (which would contain a substantially higher amount of coumarin).
  • Cinnamon has a mild anti-clotting effect on the blood, so too much can cause bleeding problems if a person is on blood-thinning medication such as aspirin. And pregnant women (or dogs) should not take too much cinnamon, as it may have a stimulating effect on the uterus.
What are the benefits of turmeric for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
1- Has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve swelling and pain as effectively as ibuprofen or aspirin.
2 - With its naturally occurring antihistamine properties it helps as a decongestant and with its anti-inflammatory properties eases itching.
3 - anti-inflammatory agents of turmeric also assist in gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflamed bowels and intestinal permeability.
4 - a powerful antioxidant which helps to counteract cancer risks.

What are the benefits of sweet potato for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
According to PETMD, sweet potatoes are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles in dogsSweet potatoes are also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, calcium, and iron, just to name a few!

What are the benefits of oatmeal for dogs, and dog’s itchy skin?
Oats prove to be a favorable food. It is low in fats and its natural healthy qualities benefit us and our furry friends!
  • Being high in nutrients, its vitamins and minerals increase healing powers which help clear skin conditions.
  • It has shown to soothe itching and irritations, even reducing skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal help to control hot spots.
  • Biotin is a vitamin B in oatmeal that helps to support healthy skin and hair for dogs.

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