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Timesavers - Gotta Love 'Em

A shout-out to a great technique spawned by Scott – Each week, pick one cookbook and choose 5-6 recipes to use for dinner ideas. It’s an easy way to develop a grocery list and it saves us time/effort during the week when we’re sitting on the couch after work, beer/cocktail in hand, going “Whaddaya want for dinner?”

The "test week" was Classic Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals: The All Occasion Book. Yeah, it’s Rachel Ray, but she has some good ideas once a while, minus her annoying “Evoo”-speak.

Next was the Better Homes and Gardens Easy Everyday Cooking, which was awesome. I highly recommend the Ratatouille Pizza.

This week, we’re all about the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals. The Moosewood is an Ithaca, NY establishment known for its veggie-friendly menu. Or, in the words of a former newspaper colleague and Ithaca College grad who was a total meat and potatoes guy, “that place where they have that weird vegan stuff. Their brownies suck.”

It’s not vegan, but it is meatless. If you can’t do without the meat, you can find ways to tweak most of the recipes. Last night I fixed their Chili Burgers, served with Oven Fries. For one who’s just starting to accept beans as a food product, I have to say it was pretty great, if not a little on the mushy side.

Chili Burgers:1 cup chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup peeled and grated carrots
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans (2 15-oz cans, drained)
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup or 1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Add carrots, chili powder and cumin and gook on low heat for 5 min. Set aside. Mash the beans in a large bowl. Add mustard, soy sauce, ketchup or tomato paste, and the sauteed vegetables. Mix in the oats. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form the burger mixture into 6 3-4 inch patties.Lightly spray or oil a pan (we use cast-iron) and cook the burgers on medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes on each side.


  1. sounds great. I've been meaning to get one of the moosewood cookbooks for awhile.


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