Right now I’m in Heaven. It’s been cool and cloudy and foggy for two days and now we’re getting a snowstorm. The air yesterday had that quality that made everything smell good and really enhanced the smell of food. This weather makes me want to cook!
We have been using a lot of bread lately so I am going to start making it again. I don’t like to make it when we’re not eating much because it takes me a few batches to get it to come out really well. It always tastes good, but sometimes it’s too crumbly and not so good for sandwiches.
I also plan to make whole wheat tortillas, and start a pot of beans for burritos, bean dip, beans and rice, and whatever else sounds good with bean in the next few days.
I am making chicken soup from homemade stock and leftover chicken bits from a whole chicken I cooked a while back, and lots of parsley. We are going to have chard w/bacon and black-eyed peas with the soup tonight.
I am making veggie burger patties from black-eyed peas that I will freeze and then we can just pop them in the deep fryer, and I am going to start some sprouts. The sprouts will go well on the veggie burgers. We put humus on them too. Sometimes I make it, but our grocery store carries some that we like a lot.
That should take care of my cooking for a while and save me some time.
Don’t freak out! I am not trying to wean myself off meat. I was trying to find a way to stretch the meat and save some money. Beef and bean burritos are great, so I thought I would try mixing beans with my meat for burgers. The plan was to use black beans and ground turkey since it cheaper than beef, but when I went to the store they were out of ground turkey, so I tried it with beef.
I tried using 2/3 beans 1/3 meat, but that was too mushy, so I added more meat making it half and half. That felt right, and I chilled it for a while to make it as firm as possible. I was able to make patties. The plan was to grill them, and that’s what I started to do, but the weather and the fire didn’t cooperate, so I brought them in and cooked them in the iron skillet. Turns out, that was a blessing in disguise. When they were done they were just crumbly enough that the grill would have been a disaster.
I think the crumbliness could be fixed by adding and egg or maybe a spoonful of bacon grease. I probably won’t be trying it myself, though. I wasn’t that impressed with them. My boyfriend liked them, and they weren’t bad at all, but they in no way satisfy a burger craving. So, at this point, if I want to save money, I’ll just eat burgers less often and really enjoy them when I do.
Here is how I did it. Just remember, like most substitute foods, this is good as long as you don’t try to think of it as the real thing.
2 cups Black beans (cooked)
2 cup Ground beef
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Oats
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs Maple syrup
4 large cloves fresh garlic
Drain beans, reserving a little liquid. Put everything except the meat in the food processor until smooth. You can add a tiny bit of the bean liquid if needed. Place in a large bowl with the meat and mix together with your hands. Chill the mixture. Form patties, cook for about 7 minutes on each side.
These are so versatile. They are similar to an African dish called akara, also known as accra, akara, akla, binch akara, bean balls, kosai, koose, kose, koosé, or kwasi.
I usually serve these in one of two ways – as veggie burgers with hummus and sprouts or with fried eggs and topped with maple syrup. The Worcestershire sauce is optional, but definitely a plus if you are making veggie burgers.
Black-eyed peas (dry)
Flour (spelt if you have it)
Coconut oil or bacon grease
Soak the dried peas for 8 hours, overnight, or longer. If you soak them for a long time, drain and rinse them occasionally. If you sprout them, it’s even better for you! Most recipes for akara say you should rub the peas together between your hands and remove the husks. I have worked hard at this and never got them all off. The last time I made this I decided not to bother. I couldn’t tell the difference. It’s up to you.
Put the soaked, uncooked peas in the food processor with just a little water and process into a pancake batter consistency. Add the rest of your ingredients and process until thoroughly blended. Heat a good amount of oil or grease in a skillet on medium high. Use about ½ cup of batter for each patty. I use a soup ladle to pour the batter in the pan. Brown and flip. You will probably need to add more oil after flipping. They really soak it up. Brown the other side, and they’re done!
Be careful when you flip the patties. The last time I made these, when I flipped one of the hot batter and grease squirted out of the pan on me! You will be using enough oil or grease for some popping and splattering, so you might want to wear protective gear. A full radiation suit would be overkill.