Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bean Burgers Part Deux

Berries outside our front door... they'd be awfully pretty with a snowdrift, but alas, no snow here in Oakland...

So I've decided to take my friend Nicki's advice and plan the menu in advance for week, on Sundays. We tried it out this week and so far it's working out very well. Here is the menu for the week:

Sunday: lentil stew (this was sooooo yummy) and corn muffins
Monday: leftover lentil stew and muffins
Tuesday: bean burritos with homemade refried pinto beans
Wednesday: veggie burgers made with leftover beans, and baked oven fries
Thursday: leftover burgers, maybe coleslaw or salad
Friday: a big meal-sized salad

We were actually going to have something else on Thursday, but the burgers turned out so amazing tonight (and we had a few left over) that we wanted to have them again tomorrow. What a relief to know in advance what we're having for dinner! I have a terrible time coming up with weekly menus (I'm more of a decide-at-4-pm-what-I-feel-like-making sort of person), but here's what I did to make this a little easier: first, I made a big list of all our favorite meals that I make on a regular basis. I came up with a list of about 22 or 23 different dishes. That's about three weeks of meals. Plenty to mix and match. Then, I chose something to start the week with (this week, lentil stew) and went from there. It was good to be able to see how I could use something from the previous night (like refried beans) and make something different the next night.

Then I wrote the menu on our board on the fridge, and Terri got a kick out of inspecting it, and then OK'ing it with her initials. Hey, it's the little things.

I meant to do some painting tonight but I got too excited about the bean burgers. I'm such a geek about stuff like this. So here's what I did differently this time (these were so much better than the last time I made these burgers).

* I used homemade pinto beans (in refried form, but I'm sure they'd be good plain too) instead of canned garbanzo beans
* I added half a chopped red pepper to the mix
* I also tossed in a couple spoonfuls of falafel mix to add body and flavor

The texture of these were terrific, and the red pepper added such great flavor.

The baked fries were great too. Here's how (for two people):

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Peel (or not) two russet potatoes, slice into steak-frite sized pieces.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with chili powder, cumin, seasoning salt, etc.
Line a baking pan with foil, arrange potatoes on this.
Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the fries, and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

Watch them carefully because they can burn easily.

Enjoy! Now, I'm off to bed to try and get some reading done.


Eva said...

I love menu planning!! I find it incredibly soothing to figure out how to get good nutrition, finding recipes that use the same ingredients, if I know I'll have to buy more than I need for one, making my grocery list (I even draw boxes next to each ingredient and check the boxes off when I'm at the store). I'm just an utter list person, lol.

Nicola said...

I LOVE this! Now if only I could figure out how to get may menu to have yummy home-made stuff like your's...instead of stuff like mac&cheese/tuna/peas and grilled cheese sandwiches. Guess I'd need to get a personal chef for that to happen! Ha!