Tag Archives: Eats

Fed Up With School Lunch

Ever wonder what goes into those bellies five days a week (ten, if you include breakfast?)  “Mrs. Q” did and recently finished eating a year’s worth of school lunch (one weekday at a time, of course).  Fed Up With School Lunch explores the unknowns of public school lunch in 162 unhealthy, sometimes mysterious, meals.  Though lunches may vary from school district to district, from personal experience I can tell you there are two themes that seem to prevail:  processed and packaged (canned, frozen, wrapped, etc.).   Her personal challenge has recently ended but Mrs. Q has decided to continue her blog and explores other topics concerning health and kids.

Check it out here: Fed Up With School Lunch Blogspot

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Black Bean Burgers

As soon as I tried this Moroccan White-Bean Burger recipe from Redbook I knew that I would be using it to make a black bean burger.  I love black bean burgers but when you order out or buy them frozen you never truly know what’s in them.  Below is a simple and healthy version, a little different from the white bean burgers.

  • 1/2  green bell pepper, cut into 10-12 pieces
  • 1/2 c. of chopped red onion
  • 1/2 c. Italian parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t no-salt seasoning
  • 1 can (15.5-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil
  • Buns
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce leaves and tomato slices

In a food processor, pulse green bell pepper, red onion, Italian parsley, garlic, and seasoning until finely chopped. Add beans and pulse until coarsely mashed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl; add breadcrumbs and egg. Mix until well combined. Fold in blue cheese.  Shape into 8-9 (1/4-cup) burgers. Place on a plate and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel.

Spread inside of buns with mayo and top with lettuce, tomato, and burger.

Moroccan White-Bean Burgers

Check out these yummy bean burgers from Redbook Magazine.  They’re easy, healthy, and tasty.   The original, plus nutritional info, can be found here. I slightly altered it by adding 1/2 a lemon’s juice, using plain mayo, dropping the salt and a couple spices, and substituting panko breadcrumbs for regular since that was what I had on hand.  I definitely plan on using this recipe as a guide for black bean burgers in the future.

  • 1/2  red bell pepper, quartered
  • 3  scallions, quartered
  • 1/2 c. cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 can (15.5-ounce) white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • olive oil
  • Pita breads
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce leaves and tomato slices

In a food processor, pulse red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, garlic, and cumin until vegetables are very finely chopped. Add beans; pulse until beans are coarsely mashed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl; add breadcrumbs and egg. Mix until well combined. Shape into 8-9 (1/4-cup) burgers. Place on a plate and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel.

Cut pitas in half and toast lightly. Spread inside with mayo and stuff with lettuce, tomato, and burger.

Butternut Squash Soup

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.  Here’s a recipe to help squeeze out those last few days of fall flavor.

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 – 1 c. pureed pumpkin
  • 1 c. water, plus a little more
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 c. light cream, half and half, or whatever you have on hand that’s similar
  • 1/2 t powdered ginger
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/2 t curry powder
  • black pepper to garnish
  • sour cream to garnish

*If you want a thicker soup, lose 1 c. vegetable broth.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut butternut squash once vertically and place face down in baking pan with water just covering the bottom (about 1/2 an inch).  Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Finely chop onion and sautee in butter until clear, about 5 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, reduce temperature to 400 degrees.

Let cool for about 5 minutes and with fork and knife slice squash and carefully remove skin.  Cut into chunks and return to pan to bake for 10 minutes more.

Remove from oven, let cool about 10 minutes and put chunks into food processor in batches with onion mixture until pureed, adding a little water as needed.

Put in large pot with vegetable broth, water, pumpkin, and spices and bring to low boil. Turn off and add cream. Serve with garnish.

One large can of pureed pumpkin (29 oz.) will get you pumpkin waffles, two batches of pumpkin muffins, and this soup.  So nothing goes to waste!

Tofu Broccoli Quiche

The thing about quiche is that one can have as many as 4-8 eggs, resulting in a ton of calories, fat, and cholesterol.  The thing about making a quiche without eggs is it’s pretty hard to get it to taste like a quiche and have quiche consistency.  Below is a work in progress.  Adding one egg will help keep it together if you are iffy about the tofu.

  • 1 9″ crust
  • 3 c. chopped broccoli
  • 1 package (14 oz.) firm tofu
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t. mustard
  • 1/4 t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake pie shell for 5 minutes then remove from heat.

Steam chopped broccoli for about five minutes.  In meantime, sautee onion and garlic in 1 T olive oil until golden brown.  Remove from heat.

In a food processor, combine tofu, cheese, onion and garlic, milk, mustard, and pepper until smooth.  Fold into broccoli in a bowl and then pour into pie crust.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Taken from Publix Grape magazine

  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t plus 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. blanched almonds, toasted
  • 1 1/2 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 c.  Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 20 or so wonton wrappers

In a medium skillet cook onion and garlic in 1 t hot butter over medium heat until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor combine 1/4 c. of almonds and the rosemary.  Cover and pulse until nuts are finely ground.  Add pumpkin, 1/4 c. cheese, onion mixture, and pepper. Cover and pulse until combined.

Working with 2 wonton wrappers at a time, top each wrapper with about one teaspoon filling, brush edges with water, and fold in half into a triangle.  Press down to seal and force any air out.

Coarsely chop remaining 1/4 c. almonds.  In a medium skillet heat remaining 1/4 c. butter over medium heat, add chopped almonds and cook, stirring until butter browns, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.

Bring water to boil and cook ravioli 2-3 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and toss with a little oil.  Drizzle almond/butter mixture before serving and sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese and pepper to taste.

Baked Potato Soup

Here’s a variation of Baked Potato Soup taken from one of those handy produce aisle recipe cards you always seem to accumulate yet rarely use.

  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 4 c. milk
  • 2 c. peeled, diced baking potato
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/2- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lemon’s juice
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced

Melt butter in a big pot over low heat.  Add flour and stir until smooth.  Cook, stirring constantly, at least one minute until thickened and bubbly.

Gradually stir in milk, potato, onions, tomatoes, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes until thickened and potatoes are cooked.

Stir in majority of cheese (save some for topping) and cook a couple minutes more until melted.

Makes 4 hearty servings.