Tag Archives: burgers

Umami Burger

So, where was I? After the Wine Riot, we decided to sober up eat some amazing food at Umami Burger in Santa Monica.

We = me + these lovely faces.

Well, okay, you can’t see Sarah’s face, but she was there too.

Promise.

Umami Burger was amazing. It was heaven. It was perfect post-Wine Riot food. Also, our waiter was awesome. And patient. With our group, that was pretty key. If you need to know why, check out my Wine Riot post.

Appropriately, there was lots and lots of this.

Promise.

(P.S. – please note Amanda’s Harry Potter keychain in the background.)

So, let’s get to the food, shall we?

I got the Umami Burger. I figured, for my first taste of food from the famous restaurant, I’d just get the namesake. Also, um… it had a parmesan crisp. I was pretty much sold the second I heard that. Duh.

The burger was topped with shittake mushrooms, oven roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and, of course, the parmesan crisp.

Amazing.

Mark and I also split an order of Thin Fries and an order of Tempura Onion Rings. Our sides? Umami Ketchup and Roasted Garlic Aioli.

Yea.

Oh, and don’t worry — Mark got a burger, too. The Earth Burger.

That’s a mushroom and edamame patty with white soy aioli, truffled ricotta cheese, cipollini onions, butter lettuce and slow-roasted tomato.

I know, right? I have to try that.

Amanda got the Greenbird.

It’s a turkey burger with crushed avocado, green cheese, butter lettuce, sprouts, and green goddess. I don’t know what green cheese or green goddess are. I’d ask Amanda, but she’s not on gchat. Lame.

Sarah, hilariously enough, got the Manly Burger. I was impressed.

That burger involved beer-cheddar cheese, smoked-salt onion strings, and bacon lardons.

I’m drooling over this stuff all over again.

I don’t remember what Chris, Andy or Justin got, but I know they all loved their choices. We all cleared our plates.

I mean, we devoured.

See?

Oh, and then I took a picture of Amanda in the bathroom.

(No, I wasn’t driving. Promise.)

The end.

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Pumpkin Walnut Lentil Burgers

I went home last night knowing I wanted to make something with lentils, but I didn’t really have any plans beyond that. So, I stood in my kitchen with both my cabinet and fridge open (what a waste of energy!), staring until inspiration hit me.

Why not use my new favorite ingredient?

Pumpkin!

I was on the phone with Will at the time. When I told him my plan, he said, “That sounds disgusting.”

He was wrong. Duh.

The taste of these burgers is phenomenal. It was honestly kind of hard to stop eating the burger batter (okay, that sounds kind of gross, but work with me here). The burgers don’t hold together quite as well as I hoped they would, but honestly, the taste is beyond worth it. Plus, I think I might have just flipped mine too early.

Pumpkin Walnut Lentil Burgers

makes two burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked (pre-spiced/ flavored – I used TJ’s) lentils
  • 1/3 cup canned, unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1/8 cup bread crumbs
  • handful (~1/8 cup) walnuts
  • 2 dashes cumin
  • dash nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Spray a pan with cooking spray and put on medium heat.

Throw all ingredients into a food processor and pulse, stopping every few seconds to scrape the sides, until combined but not completely mushy.

Scrape burger batter out of food processor and use hands to form into two patties.

Place burgers in pan and allow the bottoms to the patties to brown before flipping, or they’ll fall apart.

Flip a few times until browned evenly on both sides and heated through.

Serve and enjoy!

So, so good. I’m a genius. No, really.

And modest, too.

My picture from dinner last night is pretty ugly, but… oh, well. I served one of the burgers with a microwaved Green Giant vegetable medley.

I love all things fall. 🙂

Updated 9/23: I’ve added this to The Nourishing Gourmet‘s Pennywise Platter Thursdays. Check it out for other great recipes!

Updated 10/5: I’ve also added this to Simply Sugar & Gluten Free‘s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Check it out for other great recipes!

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Change vs. Routine

I started today off by – get ready for this – changing up my overnight oats.

This never happens.

The thing is, a reader and long-time friend, Tara, went and played around with the recipe and said something intriguing – that she’d made chocolate-flavored overnight oats.

Well. I couldn’t not try it.

I know it’s a light tint, but those really are chocolate overnight oats. I wouldn’t lie to you.

I used the same recipe as usual, except that I took out the dash of cinnamon and replaced it with a teaspoon of cocoa.

I still added the regular ol’ nut granola, strawberries and blueberries, though. I mean, come on. You can’t expect me to change that much in one day.

I swear there’s cocoa in there. And I could definitely taste it.

It was good, and change is good too (so I hear), but I have to admit… I kind of prefer my go-to recipe.

My mom will tell you that I don’t like change. I once got really mad at her for painting the dining room.

No, seriously.

By the way, I should mention that lately I’ve returned to Splenda in my overnight oats instead of Stevia. It may not be as good for my body, but I just like the taste better in overnight oats. I figure I do a lot of healthy things for my body and that this one little indulgence won’t kill me.

Lunch today was soooooo good. It was a planned frozen veggie burger, so I had visions of a pretty so-so lunch, especially given my last two frozen veggie burger attempts.

There was that time I had to improvise when the BBQ was off-limits for me.

And then there was that time that I was so frustrated and hungry that I didn’t cook my burger all the way through.

Well. Let me just tell you… my previous efforts ain’t got nothin’ on today’s lunch.

I mean first of all, check out all of that color! For a meal that could be very brown, this is certainly a brightlycolored plate.

I am having a liiiittle too much fun with WordPress.

This regular gardenburger, which was served atop a mouth-watering toasted pretzel roll from this week’s Farmer’s Market, was smothered with one Laughing Cow Cheese and a packet of mustard. Added bonus: a piece of lettuce that a co-worker was nice enough to give me. The cheese and the extra-special roll totally made this burger.

Served alongside it were strips of red, yellow and green bell peppers. They were such a light and refreshing thing to have alongside a warm sandwich.

Afterward:

My last FM peach for over a week, since I’ll be out of town for this Saturday’s FM.

I keep forgetting to write about my workouts… probably because, for the most part, they’re always almost exactly the same.

Man, I really am routine-based. Now you all know.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are always 45 minutes of boot camp + cardio. Usually (especially lately, due to the almost-healed sprained ankle), that cardio is on the elliptical. Times vary but it’s generally between 40 minutes and 70 minutes (toward the latter only if I feel I need a little extra). Today was no exception. I did 45 minutes of boot camp + 45 minutes on the elliptical.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are always 45 minutes of strength training + 70 minutes of cardio (again, usually the elliptical).

Saturdays are usually rest days. Some Sundays are also rest days and other Sundays are run days.

However, things are about to change!

My first week of training for the 10K begins next week. I’m still figuring out my schedule but my current plan is to switch my M/W/F elliptical workouts to gradually increasing runs, having my long runs on Sundays, keeping Saturday as a rest day, and keeping my T/Th strength training but skipping the cardio after one of those days each week.

This is the first race I’m actually training for (the 5K didn’t really require much training, plus I had injured myself weeks before the actual race), so I could definitely use advice from more experienced runners – especially those who have trained for races. Thoughts? Advice? Comments? Things you’d change?

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I Guess I Like Burgers

If you look at my recipe archives, you’ll see that I make a lot of different kinds of bean/legume burgers. I love the idea of eating a compact, non-meat source of protein that I can eat alone, with veggies, or on a roll. Plus, they’re ridiculously easy to make, yet they feel sort of gourmet.

This is actually a fairly new trend in my life, which resulted from a) my recent purchase of a food processor, b) my love for the blog world and getting inspired by other bloggers, c) my transition to cooking almost everything from scratch given my new-found sugar intolerance and d) my increasing adaptation of a somewhat vegetarian lifestyle.

I don’t think I’ll ever actually be a vegetarian, but I do think meat and poultry are becoming “every once in a while” foods in my life rather than staples. This week’s beef burger adventure was certainly out of the ordinary for me.

Last night’s dinner involved another bean burger. Obviously. I mean, it’d be kind of weird if I’d written that whole opening and then told you about my chicken dinner. Am I right?

Lentil Burgers

makes 1 burger

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lentils (I used Trader Joes’ pre-cooked and with flavors, etc.)
  • 1 tsp almond meal
  • 1 tsp grated parmesan & romano
  • dash garlic powder
  • generous dash cumin
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • ~ 1 tbs diced vidalia (or other) onion

Directions:

Throw all ingredients except the onion into a food processor.

(I had forgotten the almond meal and parmesan & romano in this picture. Pretend they’re there. They were added afterward.)

Process for about 15-30 seconds.

Scoop out the mixture. Add onions. Form everything into a patty.

Cook on medium heat in nonstick cooking spray in a pan until both sides are golden brown.

Easy, right?

On the side, I had some…

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower

makes 2 large or 3 smaller servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1- 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1-2 tbs parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower heads into florets.

Spread the florets out in a pan or on a baking tray (oh, how I need one with edges). Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder, salt & pepper over the entire pan. Toss.

Roast in the oven for 18-24 minutes. (Read: 18 if you’re hungry and impatient like I was, 24 if you want them on the browner side.)

Take out of the oven. Squeeze lemon and sprinkle parmesan & romano evenly over the entire pan. Toss and serve immediately.

All together now.

Easy-peasy.

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An Actual Beef Burger

To my vegetarian and vegan readers – this may not be the post for you.

I made a meal last night with the purpose of entering a contest on one of my favorite foodie websites, Food52. They host a new contest each week, giving a theme or ingredient and asking their readers to submit their best recipes involving said theme or ingredient. This week’s theme is “beef burgers,” and, given that beef is something I rarely consume and certainly never cook but always enjoy when it’s cooked for me, I took this on as a personal challenge.

It’s good for me and it’s good for the blog, too.

The guidelines I set for myself: keep it on the healthier side, incorporate produce, and use my Farmer’s Market pickings as much as possible.

With that, I created…

Vidalia Onion Burger with Honeydew Melon, Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90/ 10)
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • dash garlic powder (more to taste, if you so prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup sliced honeydew melon
  • 4 pretzel rolls

Directions:

Turn the grill on to pre-heat.

Dice 1/4 cup’s worth of the vidalia onion and set aside.

Cut the remainder of the onion into long slices. Heat a saucepan at medium heat and add your butter or margarine. Once melted, add your vidalia onion slices.

Stir often and allow the onions to caramelize over the next 10-20 minutes.

Empty the package of lean ground beef into a large bowl. Add the worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper and diced vidalia onion. Using a wooden spoon, mix until completely incorporated.

Form the meat into four round patties.

Put the burgers on the grill and, flipping when necessary, allow them heat to desired doneness.

Cut the honeydew melon into thin, 2-inch long slices.

Toast your pretzel rolls until golden brown.

Once the burgers are done, add the burgers to the rolls. Top each burger with 2 slices of honeydew melon, desired amount of caramelized onions, and 1/2 tablespoon of goat cheese.

Top each burger with the other half of the bun and enjoy!

I also made a simple side: boiled corn on the cob.

All I had to do was shuck the cobs…

Put them in a pot of boiling water for 6-8 minutes…

Season with a little Earth Balance, S+P, and enjoy!

It was an out-of-the-ordinary meal for me, but boy, was it good!

This probably would have been great with a beer, but given the wine tasting that had occurred just a few hours prior, I decided not to indulge.

P.S. – Check out my entry at Food52 here.

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Back to Work

I have to say, there’s something I like about the structure of a work week. I like planning my meals in advance and getting things ready the night before in my tupperware. I (almost) never worry about not having something that I’ll be able to eat.

I started the day out at the gym. I’m definitely not fully healed yet, but I honestly don’t notice any difference in my ankle on the days when I avoid the gym versus the days I go. So, I did 45 minutes of strength training followed by 70 minutes on the elliptical. It felt wonderful and cleansing after the long weekend off.

Back at home, I made a not-so-successful SIAB. It tasted pretty good, but my on-its-last-leg blender decided to unceremoniously die this morning. I wasn’t thrilled.

Can I just say that everything is breaking lately? My blender, my computer, our air-conditioning, our internet (which is back up, at least)… I mean honestly, what else? Technology hates me, apparently.

The good news is that the SIAB was, save a few pieces of spinach, blended enough.

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • blob nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs vanilla hemp protein powder
  • huge handful baby spinach
  • ~ 3/4 cup frozen mango

It was good, but it wasn’t my best. On top was some drizzled (warmed) coconut butter and a small handful of Cinnamon Puffins.

Along with making my dinner during our two viewings of The Proposal last night, I also did a lot of preparing for the week’s meals. Amongst this preparation were two chickpea burgers. Here’s the extremely simple recipe:

Chickpea Burgers:

makes 2 burgers

  • ~ 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan & romano
  • 1/2 piece Ezekiel made into breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

Directions:

Put a half of a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread into a blender and pulse until you have breadcrumbs.

Throw chickpeas & oregano into a food processor and blend until combined. Do not over-mix (or you’ll basically get hummus! I came close).

Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan & romano, salt & pepper in a large bowl.

Stir in egg until fully beaten. Add chickpea mixture and stir until fully combined. Form into patties.

Wrap patties individually in foil and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow them to hold their form.

Pan-fry in cooking spray until golden brown.

I enjoyed my first today served warm over the leftover’s from yesterday’s grilled veggies, sprinkled with some parmesan & romano.

The chickpea burger was good, but a little bit plain. I think they would also be good with some Indian food-inspired spices instead of the oregano. I’ll have to try that out.

I had an unpictured handful of pretzels and a nectarine on the side.

To those of you in the midst of the heat wave – stay cool and stay hydrated!

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Broken Computer = Unhappy Kaitlin

Oh, man. You so do not realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. Unfortunately, my computer is temporarily (hopefully) out of commission. Until it’s back in working order, I’ll only be updating from work. Let’s get to it. There’s a lot to catch up on.

I like to start fresh the day after any event during which I’ve overindulged (since it gets me right back on track without any further hiccups). That usually means starting with eggs and yesterday was no exception. I scrambled up two eggs (I really believe in using the yolks, since that’s where all the nutrients are. You’ll almost never see me use egg whites alone.) with a little shredded lowfat cheddar, salt and pepper. On the side I had one of the Blueberry, Honey & Oatmeal Muffins with a little Earth Balance.

I miss having ketchup on my eggs. I really need to find a sugar-free alternative. If anyone knows of anything, I am open for suggestions!

After breakfast, I headed out to visit my friends Eric and Lindsey to meet their newborn little girl, Boston.

(Photos courtesy of Eric.)

Is she not the most precious little girl you’ve ever seen? She’s with her wonderful mom, Lindsey, in that second photo.

Here’s one I’m shamelessly stealing from facebook, as I think it might be my favorite picture ever taken of a baby.

(Photo also courtesy of Eric).

That is one chill little girl.

Anyway, the day started to go downhill after that. I arrived home to discover my out-of-commission computer, which was pretty stressful. I didn’t feel like putting together much of a lunch at that point, so I threw together a frozen veggie burger (which I didn’t even cook all the way through), the second (and last) of the pretzel rolls, a slice of tomato and some mustard. I had an unpictured apple on the side. It wasn’t a great lunch, but it did its job.

Mamito and I dealt with our individual stresses of the day together by watching The Proposal, finishing it, and then… watching it all over again. There’s just something about that movie.

That something might be Ryan Reynolds.

Anyway, it was during the second viewing of that movie that I made my dinner, which included a far more successful attempt at making the mushroom burgers. They definitely need to be fried (in a healthy way, on a pan and with Pam!). Here’s the recipe:

Mushroom Burgers

makes 3 burgers

  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • ~ 3 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used a combination of portobello and white)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/4- 1/2 (to your taste) garlic powder
  • 1 piece Ezekiel, crumbled into bread crumbs (or 1/3 cup breadcrumbs – read my note below)
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan & romano
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Combine the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a bowl and mix together.

Warm the olive oil in a saucepan and sautee the mushroom mixture until the mushrooms and onions have browned slightly (about 3-5 minutes).

Crumble (or, though I didn’t think of it at the time, throw into a food processor) a toasted piece of Ezekiel bread until it resembles breadcrumbs. (If you are not avoiding sugar, breadcrumbs are probably a better option here).

Mix together oats, breadcrumbs, parmesan & romano, oregano, salt, pepper, and your egg (make sure it’s thoroughly beaten in the mixture). Add mushroom mixture and let sit for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to settle. Shape into patties.

Pan-fry the patties in cooking spray until browned and formed. They may lose their form somewhat, but it should keep for the most part.

On the side there, I just have some grilled veggies. They’re very simple – I just cut some zucchini, squash and bell peppers lengthwise, brushed them with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and grilled them for a few minutes on each side.

It’s a healthy and delicious side dish in just minutes.

Dessert, since I nearly always have one, was a half mug-full of cherries.

With that, I called it a night. Today is a new day! Thank goodness for that.

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