The Weekender: Back Up North, Reese’s Birthday, & Yoga Fun

Coconut CItrus SlushWell I’m back in CNY, and given the negative temperatures I was greeted with, I’m not sure why I bothered returning. This coming week, we’ll take a look at all the eats I encountered whilst I was down south, but for now, you’ll get a few sneak peeks.

First, let’s take a look back at what we cooked this week.

    1. Coconut Citrus Slush
      DSC03827
    2. 22 Super Bowl Snack Recipes
      Winter 142
    3. Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Cookie Cups
      DSC03614
    4. Roasted Red Pepper Cream Soup
      DSC03873

I swung by WKTV News Channel 2 this weekend to discuss Super Bowl snacks, specifically my Caprese Bites. If you missed it, check it out below:

Join me again on WKTV this Sunday, Feb. 8 for some Valentine’s Day treats! Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I’d say I’m ready with this adorable Love Bug Watch from Charming Charlies. Man, I love that store!

lovebug

While y’all were worrying about the Super Bowl this week, I was more concerned with another celebration: Reese’s 6th birthday!

reesebday

Happy Birthday, Miss Reesy!reesecakeNot only is she a loyal pup, but she makes a great workout partner too. She joined me every morning that I was visiting down there for some BODYSTEP.

reeseworkoutOf course, these guys make pretty good workout partners too. They make weight-lifting fun! And selfies don’t hurt either.

pumptrioI took the challenge from one of my fellow fitness freaks to try out this yoga pose. It’s easier than it looks, really! The hardest part was avoiding feline photobombs…

poseNow that I’ve done all that working out, I can justify this grilled cheese creation coming to you this week:

grilledcheeseHow was your week? What did you eat?

 

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Soup

DSC03848

Mothers have a way of getting into your head. They implant an idea, and even if you think you’re successfully ignoring it, eventually, it pops up out of nowhere. Take Mother Cookie, for example. Every time I’ve asked her what I should cook, she clamors for soup. I’ve been mostly ignoring this because I just haven’t been in the mood for soup. But sure enough, weeks later, I realized soup would make a great addition to our dinner.

Why are they always right?

And if that’s not enough, I also incorporated a second suggestion of hers when she wanted a red pepper cream sauce. Basically, you have her to thank for the existence of this incredible Roasted Red Pepper Cream Soup.

DSC03876

I can’t thank Mother Cookie enough for suggesting it, to be honest. I might’ve been stubborn, but wow, this soup was exceptional. I’m not even that crazy for peppers, and yet, I couldn’t get enough. Those roasted reds provided a surplus of sweet, robust flavor. They’re blended until smooth with some rich and velvety cream, then spiced up with my secret ingredient: a few drops of hot sauce.

It’s a simple soup, but it will take you straight to heaven in a soup ladle. Layer after layer of sweet, tangy, spicy flavor wrap you up in warmth and comfort. This Roasted Red Pepper Soup is delicious enough on its own, but pairs magnificently with crusty bread or a good ol’ grilled cheese.

Now, I’m wishing I did not let my parents keep all the leftovers.

If you’re searching for a wow factor soup, this is it. It’s irresistibly good and smooth – everyone will think they’re eating at a 5-star restaurant. But the good news is, you don’t need those stuffy table manners that you would at said restaurant; put your elbows up and slurp away.

DSC03873

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can make this soup ahead of time then let it simmer until you’re ready to eat.
  2. Don’t have an immersion blender? Puree the peppers & basil in a blender before adding to the pot.
  3. Always simmer soup; never boil. You don’t want to burn it. It also helps to stir occasionally.
  4. Stop by next week for the perfect grilled cheese to accompany this soup.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¾ cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6-oz. tomato paste
  • 1 15-oz. jar roasted red peppers + juices
  • 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers drained
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring olive oil to medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, stock, cream, tomato paste, peppers, and basil. Let simmer for 10 minutes then use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. You can leave it chunkier, if you prefer.
  3. Add the hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. You can turn down the heat and let it simmer as long as you like. Enjoy.

DSC03855

Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Cookie Cups – January Mystery Dish

DSC03597

Do you know what today is? It’s Mystery Dish Day! Every month, a group of us food-loving fools gets together to come up with recipes based on a “basket” of about 12 ingredients cooked up by one of the bloggers. It’s always interesting to see how we each come up with such different ideas from the same list of ingredients. And I like the creative challenge; it makes me feel like I’m on Chopped.

Last month, I was in charge of the list, and I made a Peppermint Bark Milkshake. This month’s list was compiled by Katie of Made to be a Momma. I loved her list because it let me create the perfect little desserts for Super Bowl Sunday! Here’s what I had to choose from:

  1. Poppy seeds
  2.  Lemon
  3. Cream cheese
  4. Hot sauce
  5. Chicken
  6. Orzo Pasta
  7. Baby spinach
  8. Coconut
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Ritz crackers
  11. Fresh herbs ( any kind)

Can you guess which three I selected for my Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Cookie Cups? It’s not hard to figure out! You know me – I’m always thinking ahead when it comes to food, so I created these to be light and refreshing for spring. That being said, their bite-sized poppableness (totally a word) makes them perfect for serving up at your Super Bowl celebration as dessert, so keep that in mind.

And yes, they’re easy too. A short ingredient list yields a tangy yet sweet and fluffy mousse filling studded with toasted coconut and piled upon a chewy lemon cookie. If that doesn’t sound tempting, then I don’t know what does.

DSC03624

Here’s what the other Mystery Dish ladies whipped up this month:

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you can’t find the Tollhouse cookie dough, you can use a plain sugar cookie dough.
  2. On a similar note, if you can’t find the brand of lemon filling I used, then use another brand.
  3. Be careful not to overwhip the heavy cream unless you want butter.
  4. The cornstarch serves to set up the whipped cream so it won’t separate.
  5. You must stir the coconut halfway through toasting it or it will burn on the edges.

DSC03590

Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Cookie Cups
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Tollhouse Lemon White Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 23-oz. jar Clearbrook Farms Lemon Fruit Tart Filling
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop individual pieces of cookie dough into a mini muffin tin and bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. As soon as they are done, use the rounded bottom of a spoon or spatula (I used the thick bottom of an ice cream scoop) to press indents into the center of each cookie while still warm, creating a little cookie bowl.
  2. Once cookies are cooled, gently remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Spread coconut out in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes. Stir and bake another 3 minutes or until golden. Let cool
  4. Beat cream, vanilla, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl on high speed until stiff, fluffy peaks form. Fold in lemon filling, 3/4 of the coconut, and poppy seeds until evenly distributed.
  5. Pipe or spoon filling into cooled cookie cups. I like to use a makeshift Ziplock piping bag. Top with remaining coconut. Store in fridge in an air-tight container.

DSC03614

22 Superbowl Snack Recipes

Winter 142

I learned a long time ago not to complain about the Super Bowl just because I don’t care about sports; Game Day gives me a perfect reason to feast on fried finger foods galore, all while sitting on my happy butt. I don’t care what’s on the television as long as I’m gorging on delicious things. Who can pay attention to a game when there’s good food to be had anyway?

Okay, I know some of you actually care to watch the game. More power to you. But you’ve still got to make sure you have ample appetizers on hand. Why? Because becoming “hangry” (hungry + angry) is a real thing, and you do not want to combine that with the tension of watching the big game.

Luckily, I’m here to take care of you. I’ve got a list of finger foods that are as delicious as they are easy. I’ve got something for every craving.

  1. Onion Ring-Topped Mac & Cheese Muffins
    DSC02932
  2. Mini Caprese Bites
    DSC02892
  3. Loaded Black Bean Cheese Fries
    DSC03306
  4. Brown Butter Basil & Tomato Garlic Knots
    DSC02441
  5. Coconut Citrus Slush
    DSC03827
  6. 3-Cheese Bacon Party Bread
    `
  7. Crispy Potato Bites with Guacamole
    DSC00362
  8. Spicy Parmesan Fried Tortellini
    DSC02753
  9. Caramel Brownie Batter Dip
    DSC01974
  10. Cheesy Sundried Tomato Garlic Bread
    DSC00620
  11. Peanut Butter Swirled Reese’s Cupcakes
    DSC08491
  12. Jalapeno Popper Party Bread
    DSC00352
  13. Extra Creamy Hummus
    DSC07642
  14. Lil Pizza Bites
    dsc_4473
  15. Galaxy Bites
    DSC05495
  16. Oven-Roasted Mini Pepper Nachos
    DSC03760
  17. Bacon Guacamole
    DSC_3243-2
  18. Loaded Cheese Fries Dip
    DSC03339
  19. Brownie Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups
    DSC01987
  20. 4-Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip
    DSC_0594
  21. Mini 3-Cheese Broccoli Pockets
    DSC01677
  22. Loaded Nacho Cups
    DSC01372

What’s on your Super Bowl menu?

Coconut Citrus Slush

DSC03834

We thought we were going to get out of this winter unscathed, didn’t we? I have been thinking that we’ve had it a little too easy, and sure enough, the blizzard to end all blizzards is descending upon the Northeast. By some miracle of god, CNY seems like it will miss the storm. And what’s better yet is that I am miles and miles away visiting my parents in the South. But I feel for Sister Cookie who will likely be buried alive by snow in the next few days. It was nice knowing ya.

Today’s Coconut Citrus Slush goes out to all y’all who are ready to tell Old Man Winter to go somewhere. We might not be able to control the weather, but we can pretend it’s spring with this bright and sunny beverage. Not to mention, if y’all live to see the Super Bowl this weekend, you’ll need some fun and fizzy drinks to liven things up.

DSC03827

Whether you make them boozy or not is up to you. This recipe can be kid-friendly or adult-friendly.

I incorporate a trio of citrus stars to build levels of refreshing flavor within this drink: lime, lemon, and orange. All the ingredients are basic drinks you’ll find at any grocery store, but when combined, they create a sunny sipper that’s sweet and tangy. For added richness and smoothness, I stir in a touch of cream. It really turns this drink into a luxurious escape.

If that’s not what we need at this time of year, than I don’t know what is.

You’ll love the bright and bubbliness of this icy citrus treat, and you’ll love how quick it is to whip up. Add a little rum to shake it up, or keep it clean so your whole family can partake. Everyone wins with this chilled indulgence.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. A little whipped cream topping would only improve this drink.
  2. Get creative with your decor. Try cute mini umbrellas, a lemon/lime/orange wedge, or a sprig of fresh mint.
  3. If rum isn’t your thing, vodka will do.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of a fun glass or funky straws.
  5. Make this into a shake for kids by using some ice cream instead of heavy cream.

DSC03791

Coconut Citrus Slush
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 generous cup ice cubes
  • ¾ cup Sprite or Sprite Zero
  • ¾ cup Simply Limeade
  • 2/3 packet Starbucks Via Ready Brew Orange Refresher
  • ½ tsp. coconut extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Place ice in a blender and pulse until it breaks up into small pieces. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to glasses and serve.

DSC03819

The Weekender: Snow in the South, Hillbillies, & Furry Friends

Roasted Red Pepper BurgersI’m spending some quality time with the Cookie parents in good ol’ West Virginia, and would you believe the weather is no better than back up in CNY? How typical that the crap weather should follow me. Regardless, I intend to enjoy my time here with my two favorite things: family and good food.

Speaking of which, what a week of eats it has been! Seriously, have you seen the dishes I churned out this week? From sweet to savory, from indulgent to healthy – you must’ve liked something. Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie & Bean Burgers
    DSC03519
  2. Double Red Velvet Skillet Cookie
    DSC03660
  3. Simple Secret Ingredient Marinara Sauce
    DSC03572
  4. Spicy Parmesan Fried Tortellini
    DSC02733

And if that’s not enough to make you a hungry, take a sneak peek at what’s coming this week: a lemony treats that will make you dream of spring.

lemon

I suppose if we can’t have spring-like weather outside, then the next best thing is bright, springy foods. It’s true that I dragged the snow with me to West Virginia all the way from NY, and I am deeply sorry. I can’t help it.

snowwv

Even the flamingos are suffering.

flamingos

I’d suffer any weather just to see this face though. I miss Reese terribly when we’re apart. She is just the cutest beagle of all time.

reesypup

It’s funny because, just before heading down to hillbilly central here in WV, I worked on my own hillbilly style when we launched BODYSTEP 98 at my gym. One of our members picked the hillbilly theme, and it wound up being a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time!

hillbillystep

As much as I’m enjoying my trip, I am desperately missing my babies. We will be reunited soon enough!

minaback-2What did you eat this week?

Spicy Parmesan Fried Tortellini

DSC02739

I believe in the power of deep frying. I’ve fried mac & cheese, ravioli, and more – and I’ve yet to meet a fried treat I didn’t like. A few years ago, I dabbled into fried tortellini, inspired by the classic appetizer of fried ravioli. It wound up being addicting & delectable, and I’ve been desired to make it again ever since.

The deep frying gods spoke to me and told me I should add a spicier, cheesier twist to kick those tortellinis up. I am never one to argue with the frying gods, and so I worked in the kitchen to please them with these Spicy Parmesan Fried Tortellini. Crispy, crunchy, cheesy and loaded with a bit of kick, these are a worthy sacrifice for the deep frying gods.

All hail the mighty mouth-watering powers of fried cheese-stuffed pasta. These golden brown pockets disappeared fast at dinner, but I’m not surprised. Each one is poppable and light, like a potato chip. Take ‘em for a dunk in tangy marinara, if you like, or maybe some rich alfredo sauce. There’s no wrong way to partake in fried heaven.

You could serve these little cuties on skewers, making for an adorable appetizer. The simple recipe makes it easy to churn out a big batch and feed a crowd. You should reserve some for yourself as you’re cooking to make sure you get your share. I won’t tell.

DSC02753

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1.  Make sure you don’t crowd the fryer with too many tortellinis at once. It’ll lower the temperature of the oil.
  2. Sprinkle these with some fresh chopped basil for an extra kick of flavor.
  3. These cook fast, so keep an eye on them, and don’t forget to flip them halfway through.
  4. You can make a big batch of these and keep them warm in the oven at 200 degrees until you’re ready to serve.

Spicy Parmesan Fried Tortellini
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 16-20 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • marinara or alfredo sauce, for dipping

Directions:

  1. Pour the flour into a large bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and red pepper flakes into another large bowl and whisk together. Then whisk together the eggs and milk in one more large bowl.
  2. Use a fork to dunk each tortellini into the flour and coat evenly. Next, dunk the tortellini into the milk/egg mixture, soaking both sides. Finish with the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat the entire tortellini. To repeat, the order is: flour, milk/egg mixture, breadcrumbs.
  3. Once all the tortellinis are breaded, Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. Line another baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
  4. Pour oil into a large, deep nonstick skillet, filling it 1-inch deep. Bring to medium-high heat. Once oil starts to smoke and bubble, add about 10-12 tortellini to the pan. If they do not sizzle when you put them in, the oil is not hot enough.
  5. Fry each side of the tortellini until golden brown, flipping in between. If your oil is good and hot, each side should only take a few seconds. Set finished tortellinis on the paper towel-lined tray to soak up extra oil. Sprinkle with salt. Then transfer tortellinis to aluminum-lined tray and keep warm in oven while you finish the remaining batches. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

DSC02733

Double Red Velvet Skillet Cookie

DSC03660

One of my most-asked questions from readers is what do I do with all the food I make. Often, I’m making full batches of cookies and big cakes or pasta dishes, so it’s natural for people to be curious about where all that food goes. That’s why I sometimes try to craft recipes that are single servings so I don’t have to do a full batch.

For example, I decided to make a single Double Red Velvet Skillet Cookie for a one-shot indulgent dessert, rather than making 2 dozen cookies that will sit around the apartment and tempt me. Plus, I can’t deny that it’s much more fun to have one giant, warm and chewy cookie all to myself in a little skillet. It’s such a treat.

DSC03705

That vibrant red hue makes this oversized cookie feel twice as rich. The texture is soft, and the Red Velvet M&Ms studded throughout add creamy chocolatiness. I love a soft cookie, and this Double Red Velvet Skillet Cookie is the epitome of that.

If you actually like sharing (although I think it’s overrated), this guy is generously sized enough to split it with your sweetie. That red velvet color just screams “Valentine’s Day.” I can’t think of anything more romantic than snuggling up with this warm skillet, each lover with their respective spoon as a mountain of vanilla ice cream melts over the cookie’s surface.

This is a real fuss-free recipe because you only need one mixing bowl, and you don’t have to chill the dough. Save the complicated stuff for dinner; dessert should be stress-free.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can split these into two smaller skillets, no problem.
  2. Can’t find the Red Velvet M&Ms? I spotted them at Walmart, but you can use plain M&Ms or white chocolate chips instead.
  3. Any flavor of ice cream would be delicious on here. Red velvet is really just a subtle chocolate flavor.

DSC03651

Double Red Velvet Skillet Cookie
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red food dye
  • ½ cup Red Velvet M&Ms
  • Optional: vanilla ice cream for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together sugar, oil, and cocoa powder. Beat in egg and vanilla on low speed until evenly combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix in on medium speed. Mix in food dye until homogenous.
  4. Fold in M&Ms. Reserve a few for topping after baking, if you prefer. Transfer batter to a mini skillet, about 6 inches in diameter. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and set.
  5. Top with vanilla ice cream and enjoy.

DSC03693

Simple Secret Ingredient Marinara with Penne

DSC03560

The other day, as I was brainstorming a hearty dinner of Roasted Red Pepper Veggie Burgers, Mother Cookie made the unfathomable suggestion that we buy some frozen French fries to go on the side. Can you believe it? I wanted to make fresh homemade veggie burgers, and she had the audacity to suggest frozen French fries to accompany them!

I did not agree to the fries, but I did agree to make an easy side to pair with our burgers: Simple Secret Ingredient Marinara & Penne. Why was this recipe so easy? Because the sauce has less than 10 ingredients, and I utilized the juices from the roasted red peppers in the burgers. Pretty crafty, eh?

The red pepper oil is my secret ingredient. It adds this savory, zesty dimension to the sauce that makes you say, “Mm, what IS that?” It’s robust enough that it infuses into every bite, but subtle enough that it’s not outright peppery. You’ll find your tasters clamoring to know what gives the sauce its flavor.

DSC03572

It only takes a few other ingredients to create a sauce that’s both sweet and tangy. I use those must-have San Marzano tomatoes for their great flavor plus fresh oregano. My boyfriend said this show-stopping sauce was good enough to drink from a thermos.

People assume a good marinara sauce has to have 17 herbs and be cooked low and slow for an entire day by an Italian grandma. But this sauce will show you that someone with little cooking experience can whip up an absolutely incredible sauce that’s loaded with flavor in under 30 minutes.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. This sauce is also great as a dipping sauce or in lasagnas and bakes.
  2. You can make this sauce ahead of time then let it simmer on low as long as you like until you’re ready to eat.
  3. If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the San Marzanos in a regular blender before adding to the pot.
  4. You can use any brand of peppers, just make sure it’s the kind that’s jarred in oil, NOT water.

DSC03555

Simple Secret Ingredient Marinara & Penne
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredient:

  • All oils & juices drained from 2 12-oz. jars of roasted red peppers in olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 28-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp. Nectresse or sweetener of your choice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. penne pasta

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of salted water over high heat, cook pasta according to box directions. Drain.
  2.  In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, San Marzanos, tomato paste and oregano and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in the sweetener, salt and pepper. Serve over pasta with more fresh oregano or parmesan.

DSC03548

Roasted Red Pepper, Vegetable & Bean Burgers

DSC03519

There are many perks to when Mother Cookie comes to visit, and one of them is having fresh inspiration. She provides me with all kinds of culinary ideas, whether she means to or not. Plus, she’s a great taste tester.

She rambled about roasted red peppers the other day and how I should make something with them, and at first, I just said “okay” and tucked the idea in the back of my mind. But later, I was trying to brainstorm a delicious, fresh dinner for us, and her request for roasted red peppers resurfaced in my head.

But I guess that’s how all motherly advice works, whether it’s about food or not.

So I weaved her request into these Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie & Bean Burgers. The sweet, robust peppers were exactly what the burgers needed. Veggie burgers can often fall into the trap of being bland, but there’s no chance of that here, especially when they’ve also got eggplant, zucchini, fresh oregano and salty asiago cheese.

DSC03508

There are endless levels of flavors built up within these burgers. Each one is tender and hearty, with a golden outer layer. Plus every burger is customizable. Pick your toppings, eat it plain, sandwich it on a bun or perch it upon fresh lettuce. No matter what you choose, you know that a burger packed with that much good stuff is going to be amazing.

These burgers equate to an easy, stress-free evening because you can make them ahead of time then freeze them. So make them on a Sunday, and whip ‘em out Wednesday. Midweek meal = taken care of. That’s just how the Smart Cookie does things.

If you’ve yet to embrace the world of veggie burgers, now’s the time. There’s a myriad of flavors and possibilities to experience whether you’re a meat eater or not. Why be afraid to try something new when it’s so simple?

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Double the recipe and you can have burgers tonight plus burgers to freeze for a future dinner.
  2. Basil would also be a delicious fresh herb.
  3. You can add more cheese on top of the burgers, just make sure to keep the cheese mixed in too because it acts as a binder.
  4. Only have cannellini beans or chickpeas on hand, and not both? One or the other works fine.
  5. You can do these stovetop for color, but cooking them in the oven creates a better overall browning and cooks them through.

DSC03496

Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie & Bean Burgers
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 6-8 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • ½ a medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ of a medium red onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 12-oz. jars roasted red peppers, drained
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/3 cup garbanzo beans , drained & rinsed
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup shredded asiago cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread eggplant and zucchini out in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and mix them a bit with your hands to evenly coat.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes then remove. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Set veggies aside.
  3. Place onion, garlic and oregano in a large food processor and pulse until chopped. Add peppers, both beans, eggplant and zucchini and pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well until evenly combined. Mixture will be very wet.
  5. Form into large patties, about 1-inch thick. Gently pat them together and place on tray. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with whatever condiments you like.

DSC03511