I finally decided to go back to our theme-night style of menu planning as it helped make dinner so much easier when I was using it. Here's are my themes for the time-being:
Wednesday: Salad (with or without meat)
Thursday: Whatever Mike wants to cook!
Friday: Takeout (see how I gave myself 2 nights in a row off!)
Saturday: Anything goes!
There are SO many different variations of each meal, it shouldn't be hard to keep it interesting. I'll probably change it around every one or two months.
So, last night I decided to make bean burgers (because somehow we got mixed up and had tacos on Monday night 0_0). I used this recipe by Mark Bittman:
Bean Burgers (found here)
Time: 20 minutes, with cooked beans
2 cups well-cooked white, black or red beans, or chickpeas or lentils, or 1 14-ounce can, drained
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
1 tablespoon chili powder, or the spice mix of your choice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bean-cooking liquid, stock or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water or ketchup) if necessary
Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.
1. Combine all ingredients except liquid and oil in food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed. If necessary, add a little liquid for a mixture that is moist but not wet. Let mixture rest for a few minutes.
2. With wet hands, shape into patties and let rest again for a few minutes. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Film bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to medium. When hot, add patties. Cook undisturbed until browned, about 5 minutes; turn carefully with spatula and cook 3 or 4 minutes until firm and browned.
3. Serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, chutney or other toppings.
Yield: 4 servings.
I used canned cannellini beans (1 can) and for my spice mix I used about a tsp of garlic powder and paprika. After eating the burgers, I would have added a tsp of minced fresh garlic and a little more paprika. Since I didn't cook my beans from dry and I didn't want to use the liquid with the beans (I rinsed the beans well in cold water before using them), I used a little chicken stock. If you are going for vegetarian, you could use vegetable stock, water, or whatever you have on hand.
My food processor is tiny so I did mine in two batches. The first batch turned out like bean dip, really creamy. The second batch I just pulsed several times in order to leave the beans kinda chunky. I mixed the two together and it was way too soft to form into patties. I put the mixture in the fridge in the hopes it would tighten up some.
After about 30 minutes I took the mixture out of the fridge and it was still pretty soft. So, I took some panko bread crumbs and put them in a plate. I got my non-stick pan, added some olive oil and set the burner on medium heat. I wet my hands and formed a patty, flipped it over onto the panko and pressed the bread crumbs all over the patty. This was really messy. I got 4 good-sized patties. I let them sit for a few minutes before putting them in the pan. In hindsight, I might have put them in the fridge for a little while. Anyway, I cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side, until they were golden brown. Let them sit for a couple of minutes and as they cool, they will firm up some.
They were really good. Mike liked them and I even got my picky 2 year old to take 3 bites! We didn't eat them on a bun. I just served them with a chopped salad and some french fries. We used Tapatio hot sauce on them. Yummy!
Sorry, I didn't take pictures. I promise I will next time.