Friday, March 27, 2015

Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of making homemade Mexican that there hasn't been leftovers! I have to munch on chips, salsa and guacamole as the entree is getting ready. By the time I'm ready to eat dinner, I'm full. I always have leftovers!

Last week was no different, we had a little Mexican fiesta with some friends and as always, there was leftover refried beans and spanish rice. The next day, I used a little bit to make quesadillas for lunch, but it didn't even make a dent in what we still had in the fridge. I was full just thinking of eating another taco too!

So, I decided to do what I do with most leftovers ... make them into burgers. I was going to make some black bean burgers, but I realized I was out of oats. A little bummed, I stood in the kitchen eating the spanish rice trying to think of what I was going to make for dinner now. Then, the lightbulb moment hit and I practically threw the rice out of my hands hoping I still had enough to use for the burgers! I don't need oats, I've got perfectly good rice already made and ready to go!!

Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

This would be a true leftover burger. I looked at the other things I still had in the fridge from Mexican night and it was perfect to make a burger with. Beans, rice, peppers, onion ...burgers were back in business!

The best part about making these, is it just took one pan to put them together! Most things were cut and prepped already so in a matter of ten minutes the burgers were in the oven! Repurposing leftovers is the best!!


Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

1 cup refried beans
3/4 c spanish rice
1/2 c shredded cheese (if doing vegan, daiya cheese works best)
1/2 c red and orange bell peppers, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
juice of half lime
1 1/2 c breadcrumbs or rice chips
Salt and Pepper to taste
... I usually always give an amount but with this recipe it all depends on your rice and beans if they need more salt and pepper. I usually just add a sprinkle of each.

In a pan, saute your onion and red pepper in a little oil. Once onions are becoming translucent add in carrots and saute for another 3 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Taste a little bit to see if it needs more salt and pepper and add some if you think it needs it.

Divide mixture into 6 burgers and place on a sprayed sheet tray.

Bake at 350ยบ for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 5 more. Top with some of your leftover salsa or guacamole, fresh greens and serve!

Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

Leftover Refried Beans & Rice Burgers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

You know when you get in a relationship and one person takes on certain jobs and they are just theirs to be had from that point on. It's almost as if they claim that duty. For the first 7 years of our marriage, making hard-boiled eggs was Paul's job. Strange as it may be, he seemed to have the magic touch when it came to eggs. Too often, mine would come out a little raw in the middle or the yolk would start to turn grayish on the outside from cooking too long. For some reason, hard-boiled eggs were my nemesis!

When I started staying home with the kids, I decided it was time to take a few duties off of Paul's hands. Since I am such a generous and giving wife, I decided I would do the hard-boiled eggs! What a doll, hey?!

I did still have the occasional oops here and there, but after awhile, I got it dialed in! With a few tricks, my eggs are now 100% delicious 100% of the time. They come out fluffy and perfectly done every time. Never raw, never too hard, never cracked in the pot and always easy-to-peel!!


The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

Since it is prime hard-boiled egg time with Easter just around the corner, I figured it was time to share the secret! And, if you do plan on dyeing some this year, it is so easy (and I think much more fun) to make your own naturally dyed easter eggs!


The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg


1. Fill a pot with water and add in your eggs right away. Make sure that they are completely submerged. By adding your eggs before the water is hot, it prevents a cold egg from cracking from the shock of boiling water.

2. Set your timer for 18 minutes.

3. Bring the water to a small rolling boil. I leave the pot uncovered so it doesn't boil over.

4. Once your 18 minutes is up, drain the water and put the eggs into a ice water bath. The more ice the better. By cooling them fast, they will shrink ever so slightly and separate from the shell.


The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg
5. After at least 5 minutes, I start to peel them. They should no longer be hot to the touch. I roll them around, cracking them on every side. The peel should fall right off.

The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg
6. Eat up! I love eating them right away because the center is just a tad warm and the yolk is deliciously fluffy!

The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

The Perfect Hard-Boiled, Easy-to-Peel Egg

As a little side note, always try to buy organic eggs. Even though the cage-free, vegetarian fed 'natural' eggs sounds yummy and healthy they can still be fed with GMO seed and hormones can 'sneak' in. If you buy organic you are certified to be free from GMOs and hormones. Yes, I know they are slightly more expensive, but think about it the next time you buy a coffee or one more cocktail when you're out. That one extra dollar you spend on 12 eggs for your family is sure to be worth it!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Watercress Wake Up Juice

The first sign that spring is coming is when my dad brings us a bag of watercress. In early March, since I was a little girl, there is a place that he goes to pick watercress. It grows along the sides of slow moving rivers and streams. As a kid, I used to hate the taste of it. It was spicy and sometimes a tad on the bitter side. Now, I look forward to that spicy bitter green every year!

Watercress Wake Up Juice

The first time I was pregnant was when he gave us our first bag. I had a book about different foods that were good for you at different stages of your pregnancy. Watercress is very high in iron and calcium. In fact, it has more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach! It's also a good natural source of folate. This mixture is a dream for pregnant women! During my second pregnancy, I was anemic, but sadly it was the wrong season so I had to buy watercress. It was well worth it. It's rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, iodine, vitamin C, beta-carotene. Did I mention it's great for your skin and hair? This stuff is amazing, right!?!

Watercress Wake Up Juice

Let me quickly just say that I am not pregnant now, but I love watercress pregnant or not. This stuff is too good for me to pass up! This weekend, my parents brought over a bag (he even washes it for us!). I've been adding it to every sandwich, every salad and this morning it was finally time to have some juice for a big good morning punch! Watercress totally gets me going in the morning, add it with the natural sugars and vitamins of apples and carrots and you will surely think twice about that cup of coffee you think you need. I also like adding some ginger to this juice when I have it. I usually use ginger to help aid digestion, but it can also help speed up your metabolism and circulation.

Watercress Wake Up Juice

Thanks for the watercress Dad. We love it and you!


Watercress Wake Up Juice

Makes 2 cups

1 cup of watercress
1 medium apple
2 medium carrots
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 inch of ginger (optional)
1/2 cup ice


Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and mix until it is smooth. Drink up and wake up!

Watercress Wake Up Juice

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