February in Food

Our kitchen didn't produce a high number of outstanding meals in February. Being busy meant turning to old stand-bys and only making a few adventurous dinners. But here are some recipes that stand out.

Black Bean Cakes with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce from Annie's Eats.

My only complaints here were that this recipe took kind of forever and it has eggs in it, so it's not properly vegan. But they were SO flavorful! And I'm glad to have made the avocado cream, which is just lime juice, mashed avocado, and greek yogurt together. Dream come true.

ndurance Crackers from OhSheGlows.

When I made these, I felt like I'd performed a magic trick! Chia seeds + water + time = glue. These are gluten free, soy free, nut free, and vegan. Just a bunch of seeds hugging each other in a delicious cracker. I think I'd add a little more salt and pepper, just because I expect a cracker to be salty. They were delicious and we'll definitely make them again. I loved taking them with some hummus for my lunch.

Quarter Pounder-Style Beet Burgers from Post Punk Kitchen

These may look and sound a little strange, but I cannot wait to make them again. We both drooled over these burgers. The texture is great, and they look disturbingly similar to ground beef! Cast iron worked perfectly to give them a little browning, and they held together better than any veggie burger I've made. This is my new favorite veggie burger by far.

Beet Bourguignon from Green Kitchen Stories.

John has a thing for the real version of this dish with the beef, and when I saw a beet version, he was ready to try it. Neither of us is big on beets, but after the burgers went so well, we figured this preparation might also be good. It's basically just a stew made with wine - what could be bad about that?
I think we both wanted to tweak this recipe slightly. It calls for 8 beets, and we felt that was too much labor and too much beet. Four would be plenty, and we would up the mushrooms. Big slices of portobello give this a meaty flavor and texture, especially when combined with the lentils. We served it over mashed potatoes. I think I would also up the herbs (more thyme, especially as a garnish) and wine (maybe 1.5 cups instead of 1, and definitely an additional splash with every re-heat). Still, we were both pleased with it and it was a delicious way to end a cold, damp day in February.

I'll leave you with two images from our trip to Bloomington a couple weeks ago. First, this onesy I saw in the window at Greetings. Excellent.

And last, John and Mark in the on-going arm wrestling battle. Even though John has built up a lot more upper body strength, he has yet to beat Mark. Ultimately, Mark has a fierce desire to win that John cannot seem to match. This month's battle took place at Nick's where we watched the IU basketball game with my mom and some other IU people. It was a great trip to Bloomington and I'm glad that we'll have more and more reasons to return there soon!

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