Tag Archives: basil

I’m giving myself an A for effort with bean burgers. I’ve been working on perfecting the perfect veggie burger for nearly three years. I still haven’t gotten there yet, but each time I do feel a little bit closer.

This was an experiment from start to finish. Sort of like my life. Yes. I just mixed a bunch of things together to see what would happen, and something did take shape. It was certainly the colors I expected but not the consistency. Hum. Just like my life. Weird.

These were incredibly hearty. A superfood burger, if you will. The main culprits being kale, red kidney beans and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. I feel like I could run a marathon now. Or maybe I need a nap? I can’t tell the difference anymore.

Try for yourself.


  • 1 c. red kidney beans, blended in processor
  • 2 c. green kale, finely chopped in processor
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, chopped in processor
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic (one piece of a bulb – that’s a clove, right?)
  • fresh basil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt, pepper


1. Mush up your beans.
2. Chop up your kale, then add it to the beans.
3. Mix together the seeds, garlic and herbs in the processor. Then add those to your mixture.
4. Add breadcrumbs. You may need more or less, depending on what you like.
5. Add salt/pepper to taste.
6. Form into patties. Grill on an oiled skillet for about 5-7 minutes.

This summer I think I became so sick of tomatoes that I actually started liking them. For years these little buggers would cause me nothing but stomach aches and acid reflux. Now that I know how to control my insides a little better, I’ve almost taken a liking to tomatoes. I’m not going to start eating them in slices like my mother would (love you, mom) but I can tolerate them in sauces, on pizzas and in salads.

The roommate’s dad helped her plant her garden. She thinks he may have confused her with her sister, who adores tomatoes. Neither Cat nor I are in love with them, but we sure do like making our own use of them. On Sunday morning, I walked out to the garden, picked everything I saw that was red and threw it all into a pot.

Honestly, I still don’t know how to can. I don’t have one of those fancy canning pots like my grandmother, but I think this will work just fine. The recipe is simple and basic, and I can’t wait to toss this on some noodles and call it dinner.

Homemade Tomato Sauce


  • 4 lbs of tomatoes, your choice
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Slice your tomatoes.
  • Place into a food processor.
  • Add to pot.
  • Add all the other ingredients.
  • Slow cook it until it tastes mighty fine.

It’s easy and most importantly – delicious. Also, a pinch of sugar was suggested by a friend. I didn’t do that, but have it, my friends.

Aunt Doll’s Healthy Pigs-in-the-Blanket


In certain circles, my grandmother went by “Aunt Doll.” I always longed to call her Doll instead of Gram, but it didn’t feel right (with her being my gram and all). Aunt Doll is quite the woman – and known for many things. Large plates of Christmas Cookies. Cards on every occasion (sometimes with a $5 spot inside). But most importantly, Doll is known for her cabbage rolls, a.k.a. “pigs in the blanket.”

Tonight I channeled my inner doll and sought out to make a slightly-healthier version of her cabbage rolls. We have mounds of swiss chard in the garden, and I just received a delivery of ground beef from my grandparents’ farm. The herb garden is being severely neglected. No better time than the present to make my first-ever-batch of pigs-in-the-blanket, this time with a more locally-grown twist.

When I was young, I had no taste whatsoever for cabbage rolls. I turned my nose up at cabbage. Then, for a while, tomato sauce wrecked my existence (and still does, on slight occasion). But with age has come wisdom, and I’m excited to share that I thoroughly enjoyed my first batch in the privacy of my very own backyard.

So no, Aunt Doll didn’t make these. And this isn’t even her recipe. But she deserves the credit/namesake. That woman always made these look like a breeze. Try them for yourself, when you have time. You won’t be disappointed.

{Full Recipe}


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