Marie-Joanne Boucher’s Oats Burgers

(translation of the original recipe from French)

This super easy vegetarian burgers recipe makes 4 to 8 patties (depending on how thick you like them) with a texture ressembling ground meat that do not crumble as most veggie burger patties do, and are much cheaper (and tastier!) than store-bought burger mixes or patties. They require no chopping and very little preparation, but do take about 45 minutes in total (most of which is waiting). The recipe can easily be doubled, and the cooked patties can be frozen and re-heated in the oven for a quick, healthy and filling meal on a low-spoon day.

Recipe

- 1 cup rolled oats

- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

- 1/2 cup shredded cheese

- 3 eggs

- 1/4 cup sesame seeds

- 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds (or any unsalted nuts/seeds you have on hand)

- spices, to taste (suggestions below)

- 1/2 cup water

- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

- vegetable oil for cooking

1. In a large bowl, mix the oats, the breadcrumbs, the cheese, the eggs, the sesame and sunflower seeds, the spices and the water, until homogeneous. Let the mix sit for 15 minutes.

2. Now that the oats have softened, make 8 patties with the mix. (Note: Making 8 patties with this recipe will make them quite small, so make 6 or 4 if you like them a bit larger.)

3. Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a thick pan and fry the patties until golden.

4. Pour water into the pan until the patties are almost covered, add the tamari or soy sauce and let them cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning them a few times.

5. Serve as soon as the liquid is completely reduced.

As the base of the mix is very neutral, you can use any spice you like or have on hand to season it. Steak spices mixes work really well, as do dried herbs, dried vegetable flakes and curry powder. Paprika or turmeric will give the patties a nice colour, but are not necessary. I like to use onion and garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin and pepper.

Sloppy Joe Pasta

Hey, all!

So, I’m a grad student. Which means I have absolutely no time to cook ever, nor any money to order in, and I’m always really, really hungry. I just sort of made this one night, and it turned out really yummy, so I thought I’d share!

Ingredients/Tools

-1lb ground beef/ ground turkey/ ground whatever meat (or more if you want extra leftovers/are feeding a lot of people. I usually use 1lb because it’s what the can suggests and it makes enough for when I’m really hungry + leftovers.) *I use 93% lean ground beef

-1 can of sloppy joe sauce (I use Manwich, but feel free to use whatever you want in however chunky you want it, or however spicy you want it. I tend to use Extra Bold for more flavor.) Also! Please be aware that if you use more ground meat, you’re going to need more sauce. Read the instructions on the can to figure out the ratio. It’s usually 1 can per every lb of meat, but depends on the specifics!

-1lb any pasta (I use spaghetti, but whatever your favorite is works!)

-A skillet

-A pot

-Cooking spoon

-Strainer

-Buns/bread (if desired)

-Any additional seasonings or spices. Suggestions: Hot sauce, died tomatoes, kidney beans, peppers, shredded cheese.

How to make

Put a pot of water on the stove, wait until it boils. I suggest doing this first because it’s usually what ends up taking the longest.

While you wait for your water to boil, brown the ground meat in the skillet. You want to make sure there isn’t any visible pink spots, but if it’s not thoroughly cooked, it’s alright—it will be on the stove for longer.

Once your water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook until it is your desired softness (I like al dente, but I had a roommate that liked her pasta borderline mushy, so it depends on your preference! You can check by taking out a noodle, running it under cold water, and biting into it. Wit until it’s flexible and less tan looking, though.)

After your meat is browned, add your sloppy joe sauce and any other ingredients/spices. Mix thoroughly and heat until that is bubbling just a little bit.

Strain your pasta, add to the sloppy joe mix and stir well. Get all your pasta coated with it. Or, if you want, you can make sloppy joe sandwiches on the side in addition to your pasta.

I like this recipe because it’s quick, and great for low spoons. Also, it tends to make a lot for leftovers, and fills me up pretty well. An added bonus is that the recipe is fairly flexible. You could pretty much add whatever you like to it and it would still be good. I’m not very creative in the kitchen so I just make it plain, but it’s easy to change to individual tastes!

One-pot low spoon chili

This recipe is easy to do variations on depending on your food needs, spoons, and tastes. I’ll share my favorite way to do it =)

  • 1lb ground meat (I always use turkey, vegetarians could sub extra beans or another favorite protein)
  • 2 cans of your favorite beans (I use garbanzo and pinto)
  • 1 can of diced tomatos (I like the kind with celery and onion mixed in for flavor - if you like spicy chili maybe try the kind with peppers?)
  • 3-4 portions of your favorite rice (Minute brand makes a multi-grain medley that is delicious in this!)
  • *** optional veggies if you would like and have the energy to chop them: a bell pepper or two? A few stalks of celery? Some fresh diced onion?
  • 4 cups of your favorite stock/broth (any flavor)
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic/onion powder, etc) to taste
  • BBQ sauce to taste (about 1/2 to 1 cup - try Archer Farms Sweet Hickory from Target)
  • Your favorite shredded cheese to garnish

Get out a big stock pot. Cook the meat in the bottom, breaking it up into small pieces (season it while cooking if you like). Don’t bother draining it. Dump everything else in on top, stir it up, and cook 20-30 minutes at a low simmer, covered and stirring occasionally.

Leftovers reheat just as good if not better than the fresh chili - portion it out into tupperwares and stash in your fridge or freezer for an easy meal. Depending on your sauce and season choices, this is easy to make gluten free. Other allergens can be substituted out pretty easily as well. Could be easily doubled if you’ve got a pot big enough and want to stash a bunch in your freezer, or feed a group without exhausting yourself (or making a mess of your kitchen!)

Will it waffle? …probably.

I recently got a craving for waffles and so pulled out the old trusty waffle iron and then got to thinking about the convenience of having something that presses food flat and cooks from both sides and so I did some research and this is basically just to let people know that you can put so many things that aren’t waffle batter into a waffle iron and get deliciousness in return. 

Got some tater tots? thaw them if frozen, then put them into a waffle iron and cook until golden brown for the quickest hash browns ever!

Love cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies but don’t want to make a whole tray and all your mugs are dirty? Waffle that stuff for quick, single serve treats! 

Not feeling up to all the stirring that goes into scrambled eggs? Pour some beaten eggs into a waffle iron and have fluffy (and portable) scrambled eggs!

You can even cook ground beef or chicken breast in a waffle iron, and it’ll cook evenly and nice and fast. 

And for my personal favorite, buy a can of pre-made cinnamon rolls and waffle them up for a quick and delicious cinnamon roll that hold the icing much better!


this is an easy, pantry tomato soup i came up with. i’ve been eating a lot of packaged food lately and figured it might be best to actually make something for myself. craving grilled cheese and tomato soup with no money or soup to speak of, i realize pasta sauce and tomato soup essentially have the same ingredients and after a bit of googling, figured something out with what i had at home!

what you’ll need:

  • a jar of any pasta sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • a pat of butter (a tablespoon, maybe less)
  • herbs to taste (fresh or dry. i used dried basil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a creamy element. i used some creme fraiche from trader joe’s i had in the fridge for a bit that wasn’t going to keep for much longer but heavy cream can naturally be substituted. whole milk, sour cream, ricotta, maybe even parm are all things to can use to add a cream element as well or you can skip it altogether if you prefer!
  1. if you’re a fan of chunky soup, skip this step. for a smooth soup, dump the jar of pasta sauce into the blender with the 2 cups of water
  2. melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the herbs and sautee for a minute or so.
  3. add in the sauce/water mixture
  4. add a little sauce and pepper to taste while bringing to a boil.
  5. reduce to simmer on low after it’s reached a rolling boil, stirring frequently. at this point, you can simmer for however long you’d like. i tend to like letting it sit on low for a bit while i go read in my bedroom because i like the more concentrated taste but 5-10 minutes would be enough!
  6. whisk in your creamy element! in my case, creme fraiche.
  7. continue adding salt and pepper to taste (or don’t) until you feel like the dish is seasoned to your liking
  8. serve! if you’re me, you’ll accompany this with a grilled cheese and toss little pieces into the soup and eat them right out of there

Hella Easy Peach Cobbler

  • 2 28-oz cans of sliced peaches
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cube butter
  • as much cinnamon as you desire
  • vanilla ice cream (optional)
  • cool whip (optional)
  • 9x11in baking dish

Drain both cans of peaches most of the way. Dump peaches into baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the peaches. Pour the cake mix over the top of the peaches. Make sure it’s spread out fairly evenly, but don’t worry about any clumps. Melt butter in a bowl (you can add cinnamon to the butter if you’d like) and pour it over the top of the cake mix. Don’t worry if the butter doesn’t completely cover the cake mix, just try to get it on there pretty evenly. Bake it in the oven at 375F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. It’s best eaten warm with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Note about the peach juice - the juice is delicious to drink on its own, mixed with Sprite or another juice. You can also pour a little bit on the cobbler after you pour the butter on.

Tomato Tuna Melt Mac and Cheese

I always think I like tuna more than I actually do, so I end up buying more tins of it than I want to eat so sometimes I get creative. The idea behind this was kind of a tuna melt sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup all combined. This could be made gluten free by using gluten free mac and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • One box mac and cheese and milk and butter as the box calls for
  • one tin of tuna, packed in either water or olive oil
  • oil (I used sunflower oil, but whatever you have is fine) if the tuna is packed in water
  • marina sauce
  • vegetable/chicken/some kind of broth
  • oregano, salt, pepper, other spices that you like
  • two pots

Drain your tuna and empty it into one of the pots, or a small sauce pan. If the tuna was packed in water, add about a tablespoon of your oil. Add your oregano and pepper. Let that warm up over medium low heat for about a minute. You don’t want your tuna to brown or anything, just get it hot. Add some marinara sauce to the tuna (I used maybe 1/2 a cup, but you can adjust depending on how thick you want the sauce). I also added some broth to make a thinner sauce. Stir that up and let it simmer for about ten minutes. While that simmers, make your mac and cheese according to the instructions on the box. When the mac and cheese is made, dump your tuna mixture into that pot. Put the lid on the pot and let it get all nice and steamy in there for like 5-10 minutes so that sauce gets soaked into the noodles and reduces a little.

And your done! I added pepper to mine at the end and some Frank’s Red Hot because um I put that on everything. This is a really easy way to dress up a can of tuna and a box of mac and cheese, and get rid of any extra tomato sauce you might have. You could also use a can of tomato soup instead of the sauce/broth mixture, and it would probably be really creamy and delicious, but I didn’t have any on hand. Enjoy :)

Baked apples and cranberries

2 apples chopped with 1 cup dried cranberries, 2 tbsp honey (brown sugar if honey isn’t an option), 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, half cup strawberryapplesauce, dash of grapefruit juice, put in a small pan and put it in an oven preheated to 375 for about 35 mins. Generates 2 servings

yumyum

cheesy potatos + ham: cold weather favorite

always ate these as a kid. low spoons, warm, can be cheap, can make large batches for later meals, saves in fridge/re-warms in microwave well, filling + protein. does contain milk and probably soy and msg, depending on the brand. non-vegetarian unless you can improvise replacements.

materials

  • cup to measure water/milk
  • whatever else individual brands of potatoes may require to cook
  • if baking, casserole dish
  • if microwaving, microwave safe bowl
  • if stove-top, small pot

ingredients

  • any sort of fully-cooked diced ham (i like Farmland, sold at Walmart), usually sold canned or refrigerated, can replace with diced turkey or ham/turkey that is not pre-diced
  • any sort/the cheapest scalloped potato/cheesy potato-type boxed mix (I like any Betty Crocker)
  • whatever the potato mix requires for cooking, usually milk, butter, and water
  • can also add most sorts of cooked mixed veg like corn, broccoli, peas, sliced/diced carrots, green beans, etc. both taco meat and bacon bits have been suggested to me before, but i’ve never tried either. seasoning (pepper, garlic…), salt is not recommended, there’s already a ton in the boxed potatoes. extra cheese (sharp cheddar or parmesean is gr8). make it a full meal, treat yo self.

steps

  1. Mix ingredients following directions on box.
  2. Cook veg.
  3. To cook the full dish, follow one of next two steps. Add as much or as little meat/veg as you wish.
  4. If baking, cook potatoes following directions on box, add meat and/or veg with potatoes. 
  5. If using stove-top or microwave, cook potatoes following directions on box, add meat/veg near end or after cooking on stove-top or microwave.
  6. Stir and let sit after cooking. Add extra seasonings or cheese as you stir. It will look a little watery, but it will begin to thicken as it cools. 
  7. Eat once the temperature is reasonable and the sauce coagulated and/or refrigerate/freeze.