Tag Archives: garlic

Vegetarian burger patty (quinoa, panko and garlic)

Although for one summer I was a pescatarian (which wasn’t horrible, although it lacked variety and did get very tricky to go out to eat/side note, wordpress tells me that pescatarian isn’t a word which seems awfully silly) I have never before attempted to make my own vegetarian burger patties, and have instead opted for the beefy variety. In case you’re unaware, a pescatarian is a vegetarian who eats seafood products (fish, scallops, crab, etc.) but not other meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.)

But back on topic. I came across these burgers on one of my favorite food blogs, which I’ve previously mentioned in posts, How Sweet It Is. I happened to already possess most of the ingredients, and I was sold on the idea of a veggie burger with garlic and red bell pepper in it, as those are two of my favorite ingredients to cook in just about anything. So, without further babbling or praise for my favorite food blog, I’ll share the recipe because these turned out delicious and were rather easy to put together.

Ingredients (for 4 patties):

1 can (15 oz.) white cannellini beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped red peppers (the recipe calls for roasted, but I didn’t have time for that. I’m sure it would add to the flavor.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon flour
Olive oil (for cooking)
Other desired toppings (lettuce, tomato, whatever. I like my burgers plain. Cheese or bacon would be a good addition though, in my opinion. Unless you’re actually a vegetarian. Also optional: buns)

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.

mmmm

2. In another bowl, roughly mash beans with a fork until smooth. This is not going to look pretty.

appetizing right?

3. In large(ish) bowl, combine beans, quinoa, garlic, and red peppers. Stir to combine. Add the bread crumb mixture and your beaten egg, and combine again. Finally, add the flour (I almost forgot!) as this is an important step to ensure your patty doesn’t crumble and fall apart when you cook it.

combine that stuff

ready for patty-cake

4. Form 4 roughly equal-size balls of…veggie patty. It’s ok if not all your beans are smashed.

play ball

5. Coat a medium-large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high (about 7 on my stovetop.) Add your patties and flatten, making sure you press the sides with a spatula so it sticks together rather than crumbling at the edges. You may cook them all at once, but I did choose to do it separately, as it was my first time trying this and I didn’t want to ruin all of them at the same time.

patty

After about 5 minutes (depending on temperature) flip, and it should be golden-brown and crispy. Cook the other side to the same crispness and then remove from heat. Repeat for all patties.

crispy~

6. Enjoy!

mmm crispy patties for me!

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Pizza dough (totally from scratch!)

If you’re a long-time blog reader (are there any of you out there?) you’ll know that the first summer of this blog’s existence we made grilled pizzas from scratch. But this is going to be like the one I made with store-bought dough, except I made it myself. 🙂

This post will include the recipe for the dough I made (which makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas) and the finished result of each pizza. The recipe claims this will make dough for 4 pizzas, but seriously unless you’re feeding children I’d say it makes 2 medium pizzas unless you like the crust super thin and then maybe it could make 4, but they won’t be substantial.

I used this recipe for the pizza dough, but used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Keep reading to see my results!

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(desired pizza sauce, cheese, & toppings!)

Recipe:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

yeasty

2. Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl.  Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup of warm water and combine until it forms a dough ball. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm.

dough ball

3. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for about 2 hours. Divide into 2 equal dough balls and knead these 4-5 times each until smooth. Place under towel and again let rest for about an hour.

stored

covered

risen

4. Roll out your dough on a greased pizza pan, or press dough for a thicker crust.

pizza rolled

5. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (may take more or less time depending on thickness and toppings, and desired crispness of crust.)

pizza~

And here is my second pizza.

meaty

Dough will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store this way for up to a week.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Beef stir fry with quinoa

I bought some assorted packages of meat (chicken, pork and beef) at the local grocery store and one of them was a beef package of “stir fry meat.” That’s where I got the inspiration for my meal. I’ve made stir fry many times in the past, and decided to use my hoisin garlic marinade on this meat, since it’s what I had on hand. Keep in mind that this is about 2-4 servings for me, when I am not stuffing myself full, and plan accordingly. This would also be good with fried egg or bacon in it. Here comes the recipe!

Ingredients:

One package of stir fry meat (I used beef that was pre-cut, about 1 pound)
Green onions
Red (or other) bell pepper
1/8 bag frozen peas and carrots
1/2 of an onion
3 cloves of garlic
Any other vegetables as desired
Sesame oil (for cooking)
Marinade (if desired, I used this)
Cooked quinoa (or rice)

Recipe:

1. Cook your quinoa or rice according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).

mmmm quinoa

2. Chop all ingredients to desired size (meat and vegetables).

peas and carrots already ready

red bell peppers are my favorite

green onions smell so good

regular chopped onion with garic

3. Heat your sesame oil in a pan and add your meat.

sesame oil smells great

look at all that raw meat

4. Flip your meat when the bottom starts to brown, to ensure even cooking.

evenly browning

5. Add your garlic and onions.

garlic-y

6. Add your frozen peas and carrots.

peas and carrots please and thank you

7. Add your chopped bell pepper and top it off with your green onions.

so colorful! like a rainbow of meat and vegetables

8. Cook thoroughly. Be sure not to overcook, or leave the meat too raw! It is a delicate balance. Then serve over your rice or quinoa and enjoy!

enjoyable

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Simple dinner: Spaghetti, chicken sausage & veggies

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like, but I did make dinner tonight and it was super simple but still delicious (and really aren’t those the best dinners?) so I thought I would share it. The ingredient amounts are going to be what I used, when I cooked it for myself, so adjust accordingly.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti (or other pasta) noodles
Chicken sausage, full cooked (your desired amount, or 1 per person on average)
A handful or two of spinach leaves
A few cloves of garlic, minced
A few small grape tomatoes
A small amount of olive oil to sauté
Grated Parmesan cheese (desired amount)
A dash of pepper

(Optional: Add additional items like mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, etc.)

Recipe:

1. Cook your noodles.

boiling pasta

 

2. Chop your sausage, tomatoes, chicken sausage, and any other additional items that you’ve chosen.

3. Add your olive oil to a medium-heat pan and sauté garlic, then add your chopped chicken shortly after.

chicken sausage and garlic

 

4. Add your chopped grape tomatoes.

tiny tomatoes

 

with some little tomatoes

 

5. Add your spinach and some black pepper. Sauté until medium-green in color and soft.

spinachy

 

6. Stir to incorporate ingredients.

all together now

 

7. Add cheese and let it melt!

cheesy

 

Melty!

 

8. Add on top of your noodles and enjoy!

all done

 

yum!

 

I really liked my chicken sausage, and I thought I’d show you the brand that I bought, just in case you were interested:

chicken-y

 

I don’t usually eat chicken sausage but I never imagined it’d actually taste good. This dish is actually a variation on something I’ve done in the past, which was exactly this recipe but without the sausage and cheese and tomato, and with the addition of red pepper flakes. There are endless possibilities.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Pike Place: A day in Seattle

My family decided to go downtown Seattle to complete some Christmas shopping and generally do some walking and looking around. It was fun and a nice welcome-back-to-Seattle/Washington activity. Be warned: LONG POST.

The first shop we stopped in was Cicada, which was so pretty. It’s a bridal store in downtown Seattle. We noticed the dresses and had to pop in and look around. Although we made it clear we were just looking, the salespeople were very friendly and told us that the prices listed on the tags (tucked inside the dress) include alterations, which prices at bridal shops typically do not. Also, FYI, they’re having a 40% off sale on their 2012 sample dresses for December. Here’s one of my favorite dresses…

gorgeous wedding dress

After that we headed down to the market and a few of our favorite standard shops with their own separate storefronts. I thought I’d add in a few of the stores and restaurants we didn’t stop in as well, just to give a general picture of the area. One of these is Crepe de France, which looked delicious…

Crepe de France

crepe de france menu

One of the places I always recall when I think about Pike Place Market is The Great Wind-Up. For some reason I can’t open the website on Google Chrome when I try… but maybe you’ll have better luck. Essentially it’s a shop full of wind-up toys & gag gifts and it’s completely adorable. The space is small, but not an inch is wasted. They even have a testing area for kids (or really anyone) to try out the toys.

View from across the hall

Tah-dah! Such a cute shop

Mr. Bacon toy

Stick-on Mood Mustaches

toy testing area

toys to test!

Me with the Christmas pig and my rain jacket

Friendly flying squid

Here’s the Mt. Townsend Creamery. We didn’t go in but it looked great!

20121215-192742.jpg

Of course we had to stop and watch the Pike Place Fish Co. guys toss around some crabs.

Pike Place Fish Co

delicious fresh seafood

I didn’t catch the sign fully (it was a blurry picture) BUT apparently Pike Place Fish Co. has the only 100% sustainable seafood in the Market. Here’s Don and Joe’s Meats.

20121215-192720.jpg

We stopped by Market Galbee at the market and I got a skewer of sausage and my parents got an assorted skewer of food. I wish I had been hungrier so we could’ve gotten some good Korean food and bubble tea! Maybe next time.

Market Galbee

festive menu

food case

Lowell’s Restaurant advertised cocktails and looked like a fun place to get a drink. I liked their slogan: Almost Classy Since 1957.

Lowell's

We also saw the Pike Place Bakery.

pike place bakery

looks good

yum

Also, a cute shirt! And a crab apron!

Cute shirt

apron!

And a lavender goat. 🙂

and a lavender goat

Some sad social-commentary-type graffiti.

clever graffiti

We managed to get a glimpse of the Ferris wheel from a park, even though it was a cloudy day. We also saw it later at night, all lit up! Sorry about the quality especially of the nighttime pictures. We were trying to get home after a long day of being cold.

Victor Steinbrueck Park

the Ferris wheel!

and a bit closer

woo

Ferris wheel

side view

We stopped into Bavarian Meats, a German specialty shop. So many good things in this place.
Especially sausage samples.

Bavarian Meats

marzipan pigs and pretzels

We picked out a Christmas Soda for me, and my mom got one of those from the top row, which
we think is a German lemonade.

special drinks

Meats and cheeses! We picked up some of each.

lots of meat

sausages

cheeses

and desserts!

Then we headed into Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery. The only place we went with a line out the door! It smelled amazing as we walked by, so we couldn’t pass it up.

Piroshky Piroshky

yum!

so amazing

piroshky~

We had to go to Le Panier (French Bakery) as well. We picked up some macarons, bread, and pastries. But no pictures! Sorry!

Le Panier French Bakery

We went around the market a bit more after and came across Pike Place Pigs. Pigs are kind of a big deal around Seattle but for the life of me I can’t remember why. Anyway, they’re everywhere.

pike place pigs

pigs!

We also went to Free People to pick up some things (yay I love them) but there are no pictures of that. Then we went to Japanese Gourmet Restaurant, and at this point my fingers were freezing so it was a good reprieve from the cold, and gave me a chance to warm my fingers up so I could take a few more pictures after we got out. We were there for Happy Hour, so we ordered a variety of food.

menu front

happy hour menu

gyoza

tempura plate

garlic beef short ribs

sesame scallops

While walking back to the car (yay parking garages) I had to stop and take a few pictures of the market all lit up.

Christmas tree~

Public Market~

I hope you enjoyed reading about my family Christmastime outing and thanks for sticking with me!

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure days 3&4: Disney World, a diner, and the rest

We woke up early(ish) Sunday morning to get ready for Disney World. I’ve been to Disneyland, but never Disney World and I was pretty excited. I felt lucky to live in a place at least semi-close to such a popular tourist destination, if not in the actual BIG CITY. We stopped to get ready in the morning by picking up some Subway sandwiches, snacks and smart water from Target, and we were on our way!

Disney cast spotting (Johnny Depp impersonator/Jack Sparrow, making some great faces):

And of course, Aladdin and Jasmine (making great faces as well):

I had also not been on the It’s A Small World ride. What I learned from the ride:

Goats are all around the world.

Owls are universally adorable.

And lastly, I’ll close the Disney World section with the iconic castle:

The next morning, we started out with breakfast at 5 & Diner. I had the breakfast sandwich on an English muffin and HOME FRIES. SO good. I have been absolutely in love with home fries since having them at a continental breakfast in a hotel on my road trip. These were even better, of course.

We went out to walk around Orlando again after breakfast, and ended up eating at a Latin place downtown where a lot of business people tend to eat lunch, called Latin Square Cuisine. I had the pulled pork plate with a side of yellow rice and red beans. I wanted to try the potatoes as my side, but they had run out! It was a very popular place.

The pork was really tender and garlicky, and you can tell you get SO MUCH of your side choices. They were good too but there was no way I was going to finish all that. It’s a very good value and a quick place to stop for lunch.

Lastly, we stopped at Whole Foods before heading back to the house (and me having to make the long drive home) and I picked up some more macarons. I don’t have a Whole Foods in my area, and I was excited to try them. Normally I wouldn’t buy so many, but they were pre-packaged and so worth it.

The rosy-colored one is raspberry and pretty much that and the green one (though I can’t place its flavor) are my favorites. If you have a Whole Foods near you and like macarons or just want to give them a try, pick some up. 🙂

This concludes my Orlando mini-vacation recap. Hope you enjoyed. Did you go anywhere over the 3 day weekend? I was glad I could get out of town for a while.

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Pico de gallo (salsa)

Colin had been holding out on me. Just recently (in the last couple months) he made this amazing pico de gallo and I was so impressed! I made it myself today for the first time and I felt obligated to share the recipe.

I also thought I’d share how affordable this is for nice, fresh salsa. Much better than what you can buy at the grocery store! This recipe makes *almost* 4 cups of pico de gallo, which is a lot!

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic (33 cents)
Juice from one lime (25 cents)
1/2 bunch of cilantro ($1.19)
2 poblano peppers (96 cents)
1 jalapeño pepper (16 cents)
3 plum tomatoes ($1.13)
1/2 red onion ($1.15) = $5.17 with enough leftover garlic, cilantro, and red onion for another batch. Plus you could shop somewhere cheaper than Publix (say, Walmart, not that I’m advocating that) and possibly make it even cheaper
Optional: salt and pepper if desired, to taste

Recipe:

1. Finely dice your tomatoes.

2. Cut up your poblano peppers in the same way.

3. Cut up your jalapeño (you can leave the seeds in or take them out.)

5. Chop about half of your red onion.

6. Chop your garlic. Add onion and garlic.

7. Wash, shred, and add your cilantro.

8. Cut and juice your lime over your pico de gallo.

9. Complete!

Now, just enjoy your fresh pico de gallo with some chips, with practically any Mexican dish, or straight from the container. Whatever you want. 🙂
This is one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa