Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Veggie burger

     This is a recipe I have had for years but don't dust off often. I am a born and bred carnivore who loves a good steak, which ,by the way, is all most vegetarian recipes are missing. LOL I do have quite a few friends who are veg and more and more vegans are popping up so I have collected a few recipes so they aren't consigned to the crudite plate when they come over to my house.

     I am not a fan of tofu so don't like most of the commercial options out there but have had a few that are good. I like this recipe better. The rice and beans for the binder, provide the complete amino acid profile you need and the mushrooms provide a nice texture.

     I'm also posting this because of my house mate Kristen.

      That's her in the red looking all sweet and innocent

She's holding her grandmother's molasses cookie recipe hostage until she gets this one. LOL You owe me a recipe, Kristen.

     Seriously, it is always nice to have something for all of your guests to enjoy so you can make this one into sliders, they seem to be all the rage this holiday, or meatballs for cocktails parties. Serve them with on salsa, with a little guacamole, or slice of avocado, and your veg friends will love you.

Veggie Burger
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced
2 cups cooked rice, brown or white
1 can kidney beans
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp sage

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions, mushrooms, garlic and herbs in cooking oil. Cook until onions are transparent, about 5 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mash together beans and rice with a potato masher or fork, or pulse in food processor. When you have the consistency you like, the finer it is the stickier it is, add the cooled mushroom mix. Mix until well combined.
Form patties and cook as you would for your favourite hamburger, fry, grill, broil or bake.
If the patties are too sticky, dredge in a little flour, white, whole wheat or spelt before cooking.

     As mentioned above, the beans, rice and mushrooms are the legs of this recipe, everything else is for taste. Use as little or as much as you like, or change them completely.  This recipe works really well with all the spices from the curried lentil recipe, or make your own creation. You can add other vegetables to this but I prefer them grilled and on top as garnishes. If you don't dredge this in flour it is as gluten free recipe as well.

     For anyone who is interested, Self magazine's site has an amino acid profile guide. It is a great tool to use to combine foods to make sure you are getting your complete sequence. Your body can't make DNA, RNA or ATP with out it. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spinach Dip

     I got everything I wanted done with a little time to spare so I'll post a few odds and ends, cocktail party stuff,  before the real crush of holiday baking starts next weekend. There are a few design changes to the blog, a search bar so you can look for things within the posts and a link to my cousin Leslie's blog. The next few weeks will be full of Christmas baking, get togethers and shopping. This is also my window to try a recipe or two before before all hell breaks loose and there is just no time.

    I'm sure you are all wondering what is he thinking posting a recipe for spinach dip. Everyone has a recipe for it, it has been around for ever and is simple to make. I've included this because I love the stuff and there is a silly story that accompanies it. It involves my aunt Karen and so far the Craig side of the family has been under represented. It is a bit of a rambling tale so just bear with me.

All eleven of the Craigs with my grandparents.
This has to be the early '70's when we had just moved to the farm
I recognise the paneling in the living room and those drapes.
Karen is front and centre in the purple pants

     The first time I had spinach dip was at a family function at my Grandma Craig's. Karen, who had moved to the big city of Kingston, brought it. Now remember this is almost thirty years ago, dip was for chips and came in dill pickle or onion. I remember thinking how worldly and exotic this dish seemed and to be served in a bread bowl, well. The fact that I liked the stuff was just a bonus. I also used to think my aunt Deb was very sophisticated because she cut up her lettuce for salad with a knife, not tearing it like my Mom did. Go figure.
Growing up in rural Eastern Ontario, we didn't get exposed to a whole lot of new ideas very quickly. No Internet, three channels on the television, a party line  for the telephone, and no that isn't one of those 976 numbers, how did we survive? LOL

     There it is, my introduction to spinach dip. I have no idea if the recipe is the one Karen used and it isn't the one I serve, but it is a classic that still shows up at family functions and I still love it.

Karen , a few years later with her own family, husband Mark and her three boys, Mitch, Matt and Marsh

Spinach Dip
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 package vegetable soup mix
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 loaf round pumpernickel or crusty bread

Combine all ingredients, except the bread, and mix until well combined. Cover and let sit for several hours or overnight.
Cut a well in the loaf of bread and place the dip in the well just before serving. Use the removed bread for dipping.

     I have used this actual recipe but not for years. I replace the mayonnaise with strained yogurt and usually add a little cream cheese as well. Throw in some green onion, a couple of chopped hard boiled eggs,  replace the spinach with Swiss chard and that's my recipe. If I'm feeling overly ambitious, chopped water chestnuts add some crunch. This recipe shows it doesn't have to be complicated to be good. Enjoy.

Paul Craig, November 16, 1964

     Welcome to my photo page
A life still under construction
Click on any image to see full size
Paul Donald Craig
November 16th, 1964
I loved that purple shirt

Charlie Brown,
I loved the cartoon as a kid and carried the nick name until, well I'm sure there are people who still think my name is Charlie
Lynda Condie took the Peppermint Patty route and called me Chuck

Ma and Pa
Eric Craig and Joan Fisher Craig

Me and mom, at our first house in Smiths Falls

I'm sure Dad is smiling thinking about all the boiled eggs and tomato soup I'd have to eat until I learned to cook. He cooked when Mom was working midnights. Enough said

Ever the scholar

For Dad, a picture of the farm when we moved in

What it looks like now

A view from the highway,
Imagine what I went through shovelling that driveway LOL

Mom's Trans Am, the first car I drove
I wish I had pictures of some of the trucks, especially the Mansfield mobile

Mom, Sadie and the car, a private joke with the car pics, but it's Mom's to tell

Jack, Lynne me and Maddy in Trois Rivieres for French immersion
The only mullet I ever had, I'm sure that French barber did it on purpose

The whole Trois Rivieres gang,
We almost got sent home for a water fight that got out of hand and flooded the dorm

Melissa and I,
and as Ferd so kindly pointed out, yes I had abs back then
I started with a six pack and now have a two-four, it's all good

Me and Mom ready for somebody's wedding

Dad and I, same wedding
The goofy face is because I'm crouched down so I'm not taller than Dad
check out where I am on the door behind me in the previous picture

Me and Lesia, the only girl I dated Mom ever liked 
A wild and crazy woman, we got into all kinds of trouble together
I met her while I was living in Kingston with my aunt Rita

Yvonne, another friend from Kingston
She called me Puh, I called her Oev, we both have names you can't shorten
She also created Chip and Didi, our California surfer alter egos

House warming, for my first place on my own in the "Big Smoke"
A bachelor apartment you couldn't swing a cat in
Part of the Shopsy's crew I worked with Micheal, Paul and can't tell who the casualty is

 I had a lot of fun there
More of the crew, Tam, Joan(they're married now) and Fast Eddie

Louis, Winona and Fast Eddie again

Gerrard, one half of the infamous Keegan brothers

Micheal, Julaine and Mark, still more of the Shopsy's gang
Julaine, an opera singer, had a big booming laugh that would stop a room

Ryerson schoolmate Sherry and I going to convocation
theatre school, design students, what more can I say
Half the fun of that evening was actually making those out fits.

Sherry and her room mates, Paul and Martin
Collectively known as the PMS Society
They hosted the best parties

Chris wearing one of my outfits
Same job, Shopsy's, different design school
I made clothes for people to help pay tuition

Same design from the back

Erin wearing another of my designs at my studio
She was a concert pianist and I made a lot of stuff for her

Chris and Gillian, Christmas party, both my designs
Chris is so pregnant in this picture and the fur trim was her idea

Wayne and Kathyrn, I made her dress too
There were six at that Christmas party

Agy, a crazy friend. The Boggle was her Halloween costume.
She would get me drunk and make me sing Hungarian nursery rhymes. She thought it was hilarious.
Thank God there are no pictures

Kimberley, me, Allison and Ron in the Bahamas

Allison and I again, I spent so much time snorkeling they were teasing me I would grow gills

Skiing at Tremblant

It sure has changed since Rita, Sherry and I went there

What a view


Luke and Erica


Only In Quebec

Where I live now, great view on a corner lot
If only there were some windows

Halloween, you can never have enough zombies

Stewie was awesome

The relatives I raised hell with the most, a little older, but wiser???
Wayne and I in back, Sherry and Leonard in the middle and Wendy and Deb up front

My fearless cousin Sherry and a perfectly framed picture of Karen's chest LOL
The story of my life would be incomplete with out Sherry.
She is the sister I never had.
We have raised more shit together, laughed and  fought but have always had each others back when the chips were down
There are a million stories, Sherry vs the Giant Spider is my favourite
It has been almost thirty years and it still makes me laugh and I'm sure she'll hit me for it the next time I see her and call me a fool

Me and Sherry as kids

Ferd, my partner in crime, and up to no good if that silly grin is any indication

Mom, my friend Cindy and I
Poor Cindy, Steve and I tormented her so much when we all worked together.
Thank God she's a good sport.
Our view on the world
A lot of us ride, all three of us did and there have always been horses at our farm.
There are tons of pictures shot between our horses ears LOL

My first horse, pony actually
A little Shetland, Pepper
Pepper was followed by, Candy, Cactus, Streaker Joe.....
I had my own horse until I left the farm

Me and more horses

The sugar camp, an old building where they used to make maple syrup.
It was our fort when I was little
Dad bet Wayne and I we couldn't stay over night, in February
Well we did and arrived the next morning, really early, reeking of smoke from the camp fire
Mom was so impressed

Wayne and I
We probably weren't much older than this when we stayed overnight at the camp