Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hello Again ... Cooking for One

Hi Cafe folk,

Before I start today's post, I have to give a big ole shout out to my friends here at the Cafe for filling in for me for the past few months. These ladies have been so amazing and supportive, and I am forever grateful for their friendship and love. Thank you Jan, Mindy, Missy, and Ruthy!

For those of you who don't know, back in February, my husband suddenly took ill. After about 3 weeks of false starts, the diagnosis of a very aggressive cancer took our breath away. Just about two months after that - three months almost to the hour I first called the ambulance - on May 21st, my husband was called home.

I'm still reeling from the suddenness of the loss, but it's time to ease my way back into life. That means resuming my hostessing duties here at the Cafe.  The only problem is - cooking for one just hasn't been inspiring me much.

Unfortunately, our summer heat wave doesn't really inspire either.

But a woman does have to eat something other than pizza (though I could happily eat pizza every day!).

One thing I've begun to do is cook something that can be frozen for future meals. So, I thought I'd share a recipe today that my daughter and I made for 4th of July.

Way back in May of 2016, I shared my love of the Beet Burgers I'd first enjoyed at the Marriott during RWA 2015 in NYC.  You can read that post here.

So how ironic is it that I finally got around to sharing a really fabulous version that I loved as much as those burgers just as everyone is gathering for RWA 18 in Denver.

Okay, so what that really tells you is I'm a snail when it comes to trying out recipes.

But the real reason it took so long is that no matter how many beet burger recipes I looked at, none of them looked like they'd be right. They all had quinoa or brown rice and I just knew that wouldn't be the same consistency.

So this summer, when my vegan daughter decided to humor her mom and make beet burgers as the red in our red, white and blue meal, she found a recipe that looked promising.

To give credit where credit is due, I'll just post a link to the recipe. It's so simple and has only 4 main ingredients plus spices and water.

Power Hungry Beet Burgers

(Her pictures are much more appetizing than mine, too, so I encourage you to go check out the link even if you don't love beets as much as I do. Go ahead, I'll still be here when you come back.)

The recipe was FABULOUS (despite the fact that I broke the food processor as I started and had to do it in batches in the mini-Cuisinart).

Don't be put off by the coconut flour. It was PERFECT. The burgers were moist and juice and the spices made them pop with flavor.

So these are my photos. Don't you just have to admit that the beets look gorgeous? So jewel-like.

Blending the black beans and roasted mushrooms.

Mixing it all together.

Next time I'll make fewer patties and make each one larger.

These froze really well. In fact, I'm having one tonight as I type this. I added slices of avocado and served it on a Hawaiian roll which is appropriate since I first learned of them from Missy!

So yes, the one with the weird recipes is back. I've missed you all!


  1. Welcome back! You inspire us to eat healthier. I just asked yesterday if anyone has made beet brownies before! I love them, but sadly I am the only one in our house that will eat them. Beets just cooked and topped with salt and pepper sounds amazing too! Now I want beets!

    1. I wonder if the kitchen aid meat grinder attachment would work instead?

    2. Hi Katie!

      Beet brownies sound amazing. You make them and I'll come eat them with you. Actually, you could make them for a blog post! Let me know.

      I LOVE beets. I roast them and leave them in the refrigerator to snack on. I just love the flavor. Fresh beets are definitely not the bottled beets or canned beets of my childhood memories.

    3. Stop with this nonsense, you mavericks!!! I'm issuing a cease-and-desist order!!!! I am covering my ears!!!! LALALALALALA. I CAN'T HERE YOU!!!

      I went through a time in life (with four kids at the time) when I got "health" conscious...


      And beans, lots of beans.

      I was convinced that mac-and-cheese was from the devil and that chocolate was the bane of all existence.

      I still apologize to my six kids (none of whom remember this) because what was I thinking???

      Carob does not taste like chocolate.

      Just saying.

      Beet brownies....

      (shakes head. drops chin... sighs...)

  2. I'm not sure about the meat grinder. I don't have that attachment. The mini-Cuisinart worked well. I'm just angry because this is the second time I've had to replace the big one because the plastic lip that locks it into place snapped off. I'm calling it a design flaw.

    1. I've got the meat grinder for my Kitchen Aid mixers and if you try to do something too hard, you can make it very unhappy.

      Although I've ground carrots in there before and that worked, so maybe in smallish pieces?

  3. Welcome back, Cate! We've missed you.

    Those beet burgers look good - but then, I'm another beet lover. :-) I probably wouldn't try to substitute them for my much-loved hamburgers, but I could see having them as part of a meal like the one you pictured!

    The Cuisinart problem is a puzzler. My food processor is a Hamilton Beach, and I've never had a problem with it. But I've never tried to shred beets with it, either....

    And finally, my condolences on your loss. Praying for continued peace and comfort as you navigate these new waters.

  4. Thank you, Jan.

    The cuisinart thing is weird. It has nothing to do with what you're shredding. The problem is the outside latch - the one you have to click into place before you can turn it on. It never fits smoothly and this time I must have pushed too hard because it snapped off and went flying across the room. Ooops.

    1. Plastic on plastic, right?

      I haven't broken mine yet, but it's that system, the locking system. And if one part snaps, the whole thing doesn't work because it won't turn on.

    2. Yes, it's that plastic on plastic locking part. Apparently it's a well documented problem. I saw one person refer to it as the Achilles heel of the Cuisinart system.

  5. Oh, Cate, I knew something was going on but I didn't realize how serious it was. I've been praying for you and will continue to do so now that I can be more specif. Praying peace and comfort and courage as you go forward.

    Beet burgers sound intriguing and very healthy. Must give this a try -- and love that website/blog...saw lots of recipes that looked intriguing. And if we can have black bean brownies why not beet brownies? I hope you can convince Katie to share the recipe.

    1. I am the only holdout?

      I AM ALONE?????


    2. Thank you, Kav. It's been a sad, rough time. I greatly appreciate the prayers.

  6. Cate, I'm so sorry about all that's gone down... My heart aches for you and your beautiful girls.

    It does not, however, darling, ache enough to try beet burgers.

    There are rules about beets, my love.


    We simmer them or nuke them and serve them with butter, salt and pepper.

    My father-in-law used to add sugar.

    There is in no way, shape or form a reason to make them into BURGERS....(Ruthy sighs and presses her fingers to her temples to thwart the encroaching headache!!!) :)

    Okay, okay, I might try them.

    I did find some weird veggie black bean burger at Sam's Club before it closed and it was good. We bought them for a son's girlfriend.

    The taste surprised me.

    But there's still nothing like going to Bill Grays in Rochester and getting a burger with cheese and the works....



    1. Ha! See, that's why you write the cowboy stories, Ruthy. I read 'em, but I pretend all that cattle is really a dairy herd who will blissfully spend their lives chewing their cud and birthin' babies and giving milk. I'm not so sympathetic when it comes to beets.

    2. I confess, I did have Kav in mind when I posted this. I mean beets, black beans, mushrooms, spices, coconut flour. What's not to love???

      Ruthy, I expect to see the farm selling beets sometime soon. I might even come visit just to see it!

  7. Mary Cate, I'm sorry I didn't get by yesterday. We've missed you and have been praying for you. We're so glad you're back. We need more healthy recipes!

    I would LOVE to try this. I love beets. But what danger to grind them up! I will have stained clothes and towels for sure. I must put on old workout clothes before I start and will be thankful for dark countertops and sink! :)

  8. I think I gave the wrong impression when I talked about breaking the food processor. The beets are roasted first, so it's not hard at all to shred them. It was the locking mechanism on the food processor that broke.

    I have made plenty of messes with beets, so I know what you mean, but this wasn't messy at all. Well, there may have been some stained counters and an apron would be a good idea. :)

  9. Welcome back, Mary Cate! We've missed you. And yes, even I will agree that those beets are pretty. I'm intrigued by this recipe, too. Wonder what my guys would say? Or maybe I don't want to know.