Eggplant Burgers

Hi friends! We are officially in “holy crap, holy crap, holy crap!” mode over here! The living room looks like this:

And the kitchen looks like this:

But we managed to clean up enough to make eggplant burgers this week. And I managed to catch my breath long enough to blog about them.

I snapped this picture during a (very) late dinner after a (very) long day at work, so it’s certainly not as piled high with toppings as I would normally enjoy. I was more interested in getting the food straight to my belly!

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ discs
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • green bell pepper, diced
  • 1T dried parsley
  • 14oz great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small handful of walnuts
  • 1/2c hummus
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1t salt
  • 1t cumin
  • 1c breadcrumbs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange eggplant in a single layer. Mist lightly with olive oil.
  • Roast for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and roast for an additional 5 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1T olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion until soft, 8-10 minutes.
  • When eggplant is cool enough to handle, quarter each slice.
  • Place eggplant, onion, bell pepper, parsley, beans, walnuts, garlic, salt, and cumin in a bowl and stir to combine. Add hummus and stir.
  • Place the mixture into a food processor and mix until everything comes together (only about 30 seconds).
  • Return the mixture to the bowl and add breadcrumbs, using your hands to make patties (I got 8).
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Place the patties on the foil and cook for about 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  • Serve on buns with spinach/lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocados, or any of your other favorite burger toppings.

I actually followed the recipe until step 6 over the weekend, then tossed the mixture into a Tupperware and stuck it in the fridge. I had a few meetings late after school this week, so all Brian had to do was come home, turn on the oven add breadcrumbs to the eggplant mix, and form the patties himself. The mixture is much easier to work with when it’s cool anyway.

Enjoy!

Cook Your Own Beans in Instant Pot

OK, so even though we bought a house and my life is totally crazy and up in the air right now, I’m still going to try to keep blogging because I love it and I love all of you!

Last year I made a whole bunch of resolutions. I kept some of them (I ran my second half-marathon, read more, brought less work home, saved money) and didn’t keep some of them (cooking from a cookbook 1x a week, doing more yoga, running 1000 miles). Quite frankly, 11 resolutions was a lot to keep track of!

This year, I want to focus on self-reliance.

For me, a big part of learning to cook has been learning to make things that I used to buy all the time. Nut butter, bread, pickles, BBQ sauce, marinara, salad dressing, pesto, etc. It’s fun realizing that I can make all of these things myself and exciting to save money, reduce packaging, and control things like salt and preservatives. Why wouldn’t you make your own when had the opportunity?

Today, let’s talk about making something that I always assumed was kind of complicated and time-consuming – cooking your own beans.

We eat a lot of beans here at Casa Ellis. And while paying $.099/can is not a terrific hardship, I was sure that by cooking my own beans I could cut down that cost significantly.

I started with 2 pounds of dried black beans from the bulk section at Sprouts. They cost $1.67/lb, so I paid $3.34 total.

When I got home, I sorted the beans, removing any broken ones, and rinsed them. Then, I dumped them in my slow cooker with 12 cups of water (6 cups per pound), turned it on high, set the timer for 4.5 hours, and walked away.

I checked them at 4 hours and they were nice and tender, so I drained them, rinsed them, and set them aside to cool. When they were cool enough to handle, I weighed them out into 15oz baggies. I ended up with 6 bags, bringing my cost per can (bag) to $0.56, a savings of $0.43. It might not sound like a lot, but when I buy 5 cans of black beans a week, it certainly adds up. And when bulk beans go on sale, which they are sure to do, you can bet I’ll be buying instapot to make a mega-batch!

I think I’ll try garbanzo beans next – we don’t eat a lot of them during the winter, but I go through cans of them like crazy when it gets warmer.

Do you cook your own beans?