Growing up, if I saw my mom using a recipe, I would have thought something was wrong; she’s just not the recipe type: she’s just good on her own. When Dustin and I first got married, I wasn’t the recipe type either. When someone would ask me for a recipe, I would say, “ummmm…. a little of this, a little of that, and if you think it needs a little more, throw it in.” Not saying that my food was decent, even edible back then, but that’s just all I knew.
When I started blogging, way back when , that’s when I all of a sudden started following recipes: because I was following other blogs, mostly food blogs, offering good ideas and recipes.
Sometimes, however, I feel like trial and error sometimes makes for the best dinners, whatever it is that you are trying to make. Yeah, you may be forced to eat something you’d rather not, but at least it was your own effort that went into it (I’m sure Dustin would disagree).
Sometimes when we have unusual things, like when I first started making things Dustin wasn’t used to, he would say, “Did you just make this up?” AKA, why didn’t you follow a recipe? The first time I used kidney beans (or maybe lentils, I can’t remember) in my spaghetti sauce, Dustin asked me if this was “an Ashley invention?” Where’s the trust!?! I mean, can’t a newly wed wife get a break!? Just kidding, but seriously, cooking isn’t something we learn over night: it’s a gradual process and it really does take a life time. If you think about who is the best cook that you know, most likely, it’s your grandmother. I wonder why? Maybe because she’s had the most practice. I would bet that she wasn’t an expert cook her first few years of marriage.
When Dustin was still playing baseball, living arrangements were always…ummmm….well, just not normal? I guess that’s the right word. Usually when two people get married, that means living together, alone, for some, maybe the for the first time in their lives. Well, not us. Because of the way baseball works, every January through April, we lived with two other couples and since Dustin was hurt our first few years of marriage, we had to stay in Orlando. Because of this, whenever any of his friends got hurt and were sent to rehab, usually they lived with us throughout the season too.
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that I don’t like eating out because of the horrible things that are served, claimed to be food. Because of this choice, cooking and eating at home, became pretty customary for Dustin and me. The problem,however: we had many, many roommates. This left me to learn how to cook usually on about eight people a night. That’s a horrifying dream for any bride. Serving your husband a terrible meal is one thing, serving his friends and their wives a terrible meal is completely horrifying! Needless to say, I got through it and I guess you could say that it made me a better cook because of, but seriously, I wouldn’t wish that upon the best chef… come on, we all have off nights, right??
Last night, I decided that it would be a trial and error kind of night, and I think that it mayyyy have worked in my favor!
Chipotle Black Bean Burgers served over a bed of Spinach, with Mashed Garlic Cauliflower, and Roasted Squash. (Vegan and Gluten Free if you swap the barley for something like brown or wild rice or quinoa.)
Chipotle Black Bean Burger Ingredients
- 2 cups black beans (separated)
- 1 cup barley
- 1 zucchini, shredded (that’s the yellow in the picture; I’m not sure what kind of zucchini it is)
- 1 piece whole wheat bread ( I used Ezekiel 7 Grain; to make breadcrumbs)
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 chia egg (1 tbps chia seeds + 3 tbsp warm water, let sit for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes )
Soak, rinse, and cook black beans. Prepare barley. Preheat oven to 350. Sauté in EVOO, onion, garlic, shredded zucchini, and seasonings. Place 1 cup of black beans and bread into food processor. Blend until broken down. Place other 1 cup black beans and 1 cup barley in with the sauteed veggies. Add beans and breadcrumbs from food processor to mixture. Mix everything together. Add chia egg and mix until even. Form patties, I was able to make 6. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
Mashed Garlic Cauliflower Ingredients
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/4 c + 1 tbsp low sodium vegetable stock (separated)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 c Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread
- 1/2 tbsp dry parsley (or fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
Steam cauliflower. Place into food processor with 1 tbsp vegetable stock. Process until smooth. In a pot, melt the Earth Balance. Sauté garlic in Earth Balance. Add cauliflower from food processor along with the rest of the vegetable stock. Add seasonings and serve.
We’re off to Kansas City for the weekend! So excited! I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!