But Sugar is Sweeter

Archive for April, 2013

Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce

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You know the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person?”  Well in the past month, I have found that this saying is pretty much spot on.  Somehow when I was working 10-12 hour days, studying for shelf exams, running, being a wife, and taking care of a puppy, I had time to post all these new things I made.  Then second semester fourth year happened, and  for the first time since I can remember, I have a lot of free time, yet  I have posted almost nothing on this blog! It’s really true, when you are busy, you just get more done!  That being said, it’s not like I haven’t been in the kitchen.  I have been trying out lots of fun recipes – everything from making my own greek yogurt, tiramisu cupcakes, shrimp enchiladas and the very delicious but dangerous blackberry pie bars– I just didn’t get any pictures! So finally, here’s a new recipe just in time for the summer-like weather.

I loved this dinner because it’s healthy enough that you feel good about eating it, but the avocado cream sauce gives it just a touch of sass that still makes you feel like  your cheating.  And if you really feel like being rebellious,   I think it would go great with these cookies. 

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Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce

– Makes about 18 patties

For the patties:

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed,  divided in half
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers*, divided in half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal or panko (plus more, as needed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil

For the corn relish:

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the avocado cream sauce:

  • 1 avocado, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup greek yogurt or light sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

*To Roast the Red Peppers: Preheat oven to 475°.  Line a baking pan with aluminum foil Coat the outside of each pepper with olive oil.  Cook the peppers for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is lightly browned.  Remove from oven and pull aluminum foil around the peppers.  Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, then peel of skin and remove seeds. Can be done several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

1. To make the bean patties, place half of the beans in the bowl of a food processor with 1 coarsely chopped bell pepper, the eggs, oregano, cumin, and chipotle.  Process until smooth.  Finely chop the remaining bell pepper.  In a large bowl, lightly mash the remaining beans.  Stir in the bell pepper, onion, and smooth bean mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

2. Stir in the cornmeal or panko, a bit at time, mixing lightly just until the mixture firms up.  (Pick up a bit and see if it can be easily molded into a ball.  If it is too sticky, add a little more. I ended up needing at least 1 cup).  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.

3. While the bean mixture is chilling, make the corn relish.  Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the corn to the pan and sauté briefly until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Stir in the tomato, lime juice, and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. To make the avocado cream sauce, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Process until completely smooth.

5. Form the bean mixture into patties approximately 3½ inches in diameter.  Heat about 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the patties in batches, cooking until lightly browned and firm, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve the patties warm topped with the corn relish and drizzled with the avocado cream sauce.

Source: Annie’s Eats 

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Quick and Easy Chinese Orange Beef

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It is not very often that I like to make something twice, and it is also rare that I like to eat leftovers… so the fact that I made this twice in one week, AND had the leftovers for lunch, should tell you that this meal was a total winner.  The first time I made it, I wasn’t expecting much.  I mostly just made it to add some variety to our menu, as I have a hard time incorporating lean beef.  Then I made it and completely fell in love.   For non-marinated flank steak, it was incredibly tender and orange flavor really shines through.  Plus, any meal that satisfies my sweet tooth with something nutritious and delicious, is an obvious A+ (Think Blueberry Salmon, Mango Salmon, and  Strawberry Pizza). I think this will be a regular in our rotation, because it really does make great lunches the rest of the week.

This meal is ready from start to finish in less then 30 minutes, but some of the steps are more time consuming then the others.  For example, the zesting the orange and grating the ginger.  To save time even more time you could easily buy the ginger in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator section, or make the sauce ahead of time.  Be sure to start the rice early so it’s ready when the meat is done! IMG_4740

Quick and Easy Chinese Orange Beef

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2-3 teaspoons grated orange zest (I just zest 1 whole orange)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cornstarch
vegetable oil for pan
1-1/2 pounds flank steak (to clarify: that’s one steak, that weighs about 1.5 pounds)
3-4 green onions, sliced
hot white or brown rice for serving

Instructions

Trim fat from flank steak, then slice as thin as possible across the grain. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Whisk orange zest and orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger, and cornstarch together in a bowl.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Drizzle pan with oil and tilt to coat.  Add half of beef, breaking up any clumps and let cook without stirring for one minute.  Stir beef and continue to cook until browned, about 2 minutes; transfer to a bowl and cover.  Repeat with remaining beef and transfer to bowl.

Whisk sauce to recombine, add to now-empty skillet, and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Return cooked beef, with any accumulated juices, to skillet and toss to combine.  Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Source: Our Best Bites