Showing posts from March, 2014

Northern/Kidney Bean Hummus

I discovered great northern beans quite accidentally. In progresso macaroni and bean vegetarian soup. It was great over salad. It had cheesy overtones and a tomato backbone. The beans really made it filling. Curious, I tasted a few all on their own. They have a soft texture and a buttery taste that instantly made me think they'd make an awesome puree. I used this puree as one might use any condiment. I spread it on bread for my sandwiches. I also used it as a thick salad dressing which I thinned out with either vinegar or hot sauce. It's similar to hummus, but still stands apart in many ways. It's also easier to make than hummus. As chickpeas are a pain to puree if you don't have a food processor. Which I don't. But you do need either a standard blender or an immersion blender. Ingredients 1/2 can great northern beans rinsed and drained 1/4 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained Zest and juice from 1 lemon 6 cloves garlic crushed 1 tsp smooth peanut butter

Red Wine Braised Lentils and Barley

You can never go wrong with lentils. At least that's my thinking. Lentils are always tasty and satisfying. They also are a blank canvas upon which you can layer any flavors you desire. They will readily soak them up and reward you with superb taste and texture. Try cooking your lentils in a onion/garlic broth that utilizes what we would normally discard. Save your onion skins and garlic clove skins. Simmer then for at least 15 minutes in 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Simmer longer if necessary. Until the broth smells quite oniony. Ingredients 1/4 cup dry lentils 1/4 cup dry pearl barley 1/3 cup red wine 7 cloves minced garlic 1/2 medium onion minced 1 medium tomato diced 1/3 cup three color frozen bell pepper with onions 2 tsp Ms. Dash salt free chipotle seasoning Salt, pepper to taste Add your barley to the broth, ms. dash and another tsp of salt. Also add several good grinds of black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add your lentils. Cook 5 more minutes a

SmashBurger 2.0

So armed with a $50 gift card and a hefty appetite I revisited my neighborhood smashburger. I'd been there once before when they had first opened and was not disappointed, but not really impressed either. For a better understanding view the post about my very first visit to SmashBurger restaurant in my home town. My second visit was a very different experience from my first even though my order was nearly the same. Again I got the spicy black bean burger. Again I requested it sans mayo and tomato. This time I did not eschew the gauc. And this time I also asked for grilled onions in addition to the standard toppings of lettuce, red onion, pepper jack and jalapenos. Maybe it was the grilled onions. They are sweet and crunchy and delicious. Maybe it was the guacamole that added some needed fat and moisture. I got a big scoop of guacamole, but just spread a tsp on the top of the bun. Perhaps it was the combination of the two. I can't really pinpoint the reason. Maybe the coo

Pleasure Principle

Do you eat more in the cold weather? I seem to and can't really help myself. Do you consume more snacks and junk food when the winter is in its thick? That certainly seems to be the case for me. All summer long I dined on salads and small slices of bread thinly lacquered with peanut butter. I shunned cookies and chocolate of virtually every sort. It wasn't much of a struggle at all. Warm weather and sunshine seem to suppress my appetite. This must be a scientifically measurable phenomenon. I was going strong until the sun started to set way too early and the temperature began to drop. Suddenly I was overcome by cravings I found myself unable to resist. Is this something that has been studied? Because it feels like it ought to be. The relationship to mood and weather is already accepted. So the relationship between eating habits and weather seems a logical subdivision. Perhaps some survival mechanism in the brain still subtly convinces us to gorge for fear that we'll f