January 23, 2013

Sunflower Seed Burgers, Creamy Carrot Soup, Spinach Cupcake-Quiches

sweet potato rounds, clementine sections, avocado, cheese

sunflower seed burger, kalamata olives, spinach, apple slices

To my taste, store-bought sunflower seed burgers are a little dry, mealy, unexciting. I wanted to try making my own that were grain-free and packed with savory vegetables. The taste of these is terrific. Texture-wise, I'm still working on it. The outside tends to over-crisp in the oven before the inside firms up. Shaping burgers into a miniature size helps, and makes for a fun hand-held snack for little ones.

Sunflower Seed Burgers

2 cups raw sunflower seeds, ground into a flour-like consistency
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 1/4 cups organic crushed tomatoes
1 Tbls. soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 Tbls. ground flaxseeds

Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients well and form into small patties (1/3 cup or less of mixture per patty.) Bake 30-35 minutes on first side, flip, and bake 15 minutes more.

"Texas caviar" with black-eyed peas, veggies, garlic, and herbs

The little monster himself

Garlicky mushrooms, banana chunk, Ezekial breadsticks, creamy carrot soup, and garbanzo beans

This is a very easy, elegant carrot soup! Good things happen when you have a half gallon of organic milk to use up.

Creamy Carrot Soup

3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3/4 cup half and half
dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in a swirl of extra virgin olive oil or pat of butter until translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add carrots and saute 5 minutes more.  Add 2 cups cold water, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, until carrots are very tender. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender, then add milk and blend again. Add salt to taste (I think I started with 1/2 tsp.) freshly ground pepper and a sparing dash of nutmeg.

Cheesy spinach bites made with our friend's fresh eggs!

Cheesy Spinach Cupcake-Quiches
(makes 8 cupcake-quiches)

3 whole eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
~4 cups fresh spinach, chopped somewhat finely
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 and fill a muffin tin with aluminum foil liners.

Saute onion and garlic in a swirl of olive oil until translucent. Remove from heat and add spinach to pan, allowing it to wilt slightly. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs thoroughly, then stir in cottage and Mozzarella cheeses. When vegetable mixture has cooled slightly, add it to bowl along with salt and pepper to taste, then stir well to combine.

Fill muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes, or until centers have completely set.

Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Cheesy spinach bite, blueberries, carrot shreds

Roasted chicken and vegetables, black beans, avocado

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