Tuesday, April 23, 2013

reinventing leftovers

I don't know about you, but I really don't care much for leftovers.  Now, that's not to say I don't eat a LOT of them -- especially during the week, as I like a hot lunch and don't have much time to cook dinner these days -- but they aren't my favorite, you know?

I love new ways to reinvent leftovers, though!  We finally got around to trying these two-ingredient veggie burgers last night, and I'm happy to report they were a hit.

How to make them?  Blend together 1 cup quick oats and 1 cup moist leftovers (bean stew, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, drained soup, etc.)  A food processor would be ideal for this blending, although I used my stick blender with good results, as I don't have a food processor.  I'd also suggest adding some additional salt and/or seasonings, as the quantity of oats may make your burgers pretty bland.  Cook the burgers in a moderate skillet, as they may be a little "wetter" than typical veggie burgers, and you want them to have plenty of time to dry out and firm up.  Voila!  I even had good success freezing the burger base until I was ready to use it.

I see a lot of veggie burgers in our future.  Something tells me John won't complain one bit!  :)

What's your favorite way to reinvent leftovers?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

too spicy!

While John and I both enjoy spicy food, our systems handle it less well than they did when we were each younger.  Getting old is so much fun, isn't it?  ;)

So, if that doesn't qualify as an "overshare," I'll keep going with this post.  I made some deliciously healthy Caribbean Red Beans and Brown Rice for dinner the other night, with a side of greens:

I vaguely remember this dish being on the spicy side the last time I made it . . . but of course, it didn't occur to me to cut the amount of cayenne in half!  Shoot.  And then I added too many chili flakes to the kale.  How to save a meal that's too spicy?

1. Add guacamole.  Or sour cream.  Or both!

2. Freeze some of the leftovers, hoping storage dulls the capsaicin.

3. Take a cup of leftovers and puree with a cup of quick-cooking oats for nearly instant veggie burgers. (More on that technique later, as I haven't actually eaten those veggie burgers yet!)

4. Serve the leftover kale with black-eyed peas, over leftover Millet-Cheddar Polenta.

I suppose we'll look at this "too spicy" meal as a blessing in disguise -- I learned some new ways to think about leftovers!  I'm particularly excited about this quick-cooking oats veggie burger idea.  I'll letcha know how it turns out . . . just as soon as we try them!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Lately we've been . . .

1. Watching Oliver get adjusted to his new digs:

I admit, he looks really relaxed and content in these pictures.  He has moments where he feels like that, it seems.  However, he still spends much of the day hiding, and managed to get himself locked in the linen closet for most of the day yesterday!  We finally figured out where he was late afternoon, when we heard muffled meows coming from upstairs.  :)

2. Celebrating John's birthday with Pecan Pie:

And Nutloaf, buttermilk-chive mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and Quick Gravy:

3. Starting plants for our backyard urban farm:

We are ecstatic that we saved nearly enough TP rolls to make little pots!  (Egg cartons to the rescue!)  We spent a total of $4 on cheap baking sheets from the dollar store, and a few bucks at Target on some plastic pots for herbs.

4. Eating pizza:

(It's kind of a Sunday night "thing" at our house.)

5. And still getting organized:

Spice racks went up yesterday!  Wahoo!  Our kitchen is finally organized, which is a big deal for this cook.  Very few unpacking projects remain . . . .

What have you been up to?  Anyone else chomping at the bit to get gardening?