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Sunday, August 18, 2013

I am a vegetarian----NOT!!

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a little girl.  When I was in elementary school, I had my very own hibachi grill.  My parents weren't too fond of grilling over charcoal, but I loved it!! Living in an apartment for those formative years until I was a junior in high school, I had the envy of my closest neighbors when I would grill my lonely burger, steak, or fish on the patio.  My love for grilled food has not changed and if I can eat it, I probably have cooked it over charcoal.  Hands down, my favorite foods cooked over charcoal is Greek Lamb and  Greek style kabobs or the burger.  Oh wait, what about seafood?  Oh my,  perhaps that is a favorite too.  So with this being said, I could never possibly say the words, "I am a vegetarian" and truly mean it.  I can't remember the last time I had chicken or pork.  I really don't miss it unless someone is cooking a burger.   I must say that I truly enjoy a nice rare steak although I've not had one in some time. Whenever my sons are at home, I am put in a position of cooking for my carnivores.  Sometimes, I can just eat everything else, but when they suggest cooking on the grill that's another story.

I enjoy shopping and I am always interested in cooking gadgets.  A store was going out of business and I saw a "Make your own stuffed burgers" on a package of three plastic gizmos.  It was less than a cup of coffee at my local coffee haunt, so how could I refuse.  So last night was the night to try out this newest item. David and his friend, Bebe got out the burgers that I purchased in bulk as if I was having a party of 12 and started the mad assembly.  My son knows my tastes and asked: "mom, do you want Swiss?". Absolutely, I want a delicious medium burger cooked with the Swiss cheese pooling in the middle of the burger.  Cooked over charcoal on my grill that must be at least 20 years old gave it that taste that keeps me from ever becoming a true vegetarian.  Sure, I will make veggie burgers and eat them, but a good old juicy hamburger hits the spot.

Weekends are also an excuse to eat fun foods that I've not had in quite some time.  Tater tots!! Yes, we had tater tots with our burgers.  Being that I also try and keep a healthy lifestyle albeit with burgers and tots, I did make one of my favorite Greek bean salads.  It was one of those days where I could not decide to use cannellini or Lima beans.  After much deliberation, I decided to use both!  I prefer the little tiny green Lima beans as opposed to the larger ones.  I rarely use measurements, and apparently one can be a successful food channel chef with just saying "a bit of this" and "oh about a handful of...." when giving a demo.

Here are the ingredients...... just incorporate all of it until it tastes just perfect to you.

I used canned beans just for the quick preparation. Cannellini and Lima beans (drained and rinsed)
One small onion sliced thinly so one can pick them out if they don't want to eat them (I do that sometimes)
juice of one lemon
feta cheese cut into chunks
lemon pepper
red bell pepper
Kalamata olives diced
1 can of hearts of palm (my eldest son doesn't like them anymore as I put them on EVERYTHING!
extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar to taste
fresh lemon thyme and parsley
1 clove crushed garlic

This can be made way in advance to have all of the flavors blend.  You can really go heavy on the dressing then drain the salad before serving it in a bowl of salad greens.  That way, all of the beans have the great Greek dressing infused within. The photo shows the cheese and greens ready to be topped with marinated beans!  The only thing needed is nice crunchy Greek bread.

Luckily, I made enough for an army (Is there any other way to cook?) so I have enough for lunch tomorrow at school.

Labels

Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar
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