Mini Mushroom-Parsley Patties

Never one to pass up a good deal, I snatched up an 8-ounce package of button mushrooms that was on for half price yesterday.  It was expiring that day, but at $.86 how could I pass it up!  Though the outsides of the mushrooms were beginning to show their age, the insides were surprisingly firm and white. Still, I thought it would be best to use them immediately while they still had a good amount of life, so I started thinking up mushroom-intensive side dishes to go with our main entrée that night. 

The only thing I could think of off hand was a sautéed mushroom dish I like to make that has a good amount of spice and flavor … but, something new would be better.  It was then that I remembered my desire to make mushroom veggie burgers.  While I didn’t need whole burgers, what about some mini-mushroom patties? …

Mushroom-Parsley Patties

My husband really liked these with our evening entree, though I preferred them the next day (served with poached eggs), after the flavors had some time to sink in.  When preparing, you will find that this makes more of a batter than a firm burger-like consistency, so they should definitely be made on the stove top, lest you risk dropping the entire batch through the slats of your grill!

Mini Mushroom-Parsley Patties

  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 Teaspoon Medium to High Heat Oil, divided (I used peanut, but another refined oil or avocado oil should work well)
  • 1/3 Cup Minced Onion (¼ of a large one)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 8 ounces Button or Cremini Mushrooms, Finely Diced
  • ½ Cup Nuts or Seeds, Ground (I ground 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds and 1/4 up of almonds together in my spice grinder. I do think almonds or cashews will go best for the flavor combination, but seeds help to keep the cost down and the nutrition up!  Oh yes, and grind only until they reach a coarse powder consistency, before it begins to clump (not a problem with seeds))
  • Scant 1/2 Cup Flour of Choice (I ground just under 1/2 cup of oats in my spice grinder to acheive a flour, but any flour (including gluten-free) should work)
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced
  • ¾ -1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 2 Medium Eggs, lightly beaten (since this was a very moist batter, I think 1 large or extra-large egg would work fine if that is the size you have on hand)

In a large fry pan, heat the 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.  Place the onions and garlic in a medium-sized bowl, along with the remaining ingredients.  Stir until everything is well combined. 

Returning to your fry pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.  You want it hot, but not too hot, so be careful.  If you can handle the batter, feel free to shape it into nice round 2 to 3 inch patties.  If not, simply drop large spoonfuls of the batter onto the fry pan, flattening them to create patties with the back of your spatula.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned and cooked through.

Yields about a dozen small patties

Sugar-Free, Guilt-Free Banana Bread

The Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread recipe is now viewable in a new post for you to trial!

With a couple of over-ripe bananas beckoning from the counter, I knew it was time to take some baking action.  Luckily, blogging buddy Ricki reminded me of the “Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread” in Go Dairy Free. Though I was a banana shy of a full loaf, the recipe could easily be halved to make 2 mini loaves! (The original recipe will make 4 mini loaves or 1 9×5-inch loaf) 

About a year ago, I found myself a bit lost when faced with yet another mound of darkening bananas. With piles of cookies and sugary treats lingering in our house, a sweet banana loaf was the last thing we needed.  But then, I began to wonder what a quick bread would turn out like with no sugar at all.  After all, aren’t overripe bananas sweet enough on their own?  As it turns out, the bananas add just a hint of sweetness to the bread making it perfect to enjoy with jam in the morning, or any time of day really … and best of all, it is virtually guilt-free … no added sugars AND made with whole grain flour (the one pictured below is 100% spelt)!

Of course, you can add a pinch of stevia or some sugar if you please, but I recommend just a tablespoon or two, and certainly no more than 1/4 cup for the whole recipe.  It isn’t intended to be a dessert, but rather a nutricious quick bread that you can enjoy anytime of day, topped with jam, honey, or your favorite spread.

So, for those of you who have my book, the mini loaves seem to take 22-24 minutes at 350º to bake to perfection. I was out of vanilla extract (I know, and I call myself a baker!), so I subbed in almond extract (about 3/4 teaspoon), topped each little loaf with a generous tablespoon of sliced almonds, and slathered my first slice with … I am a bit predictable aren’t I? … almond butter!

Mini Sugar-Free, Spelt Banana Bread Loaf

Whether you use my recipe, or prefer to tinker with your own banana bread recipe, try cutting way back on the sugar for banana bread that isn’t made for gifting, but rather for a quick, tasty, and healthy breakfast or snack!

“Gold Coins” for Good Fortune and Health

If I were to guess the one thing most people are wishing for in 2009, I would have to go with good fortune.  Tough economic times have taken hold, and while hard work perseveres, a little good luck and some well wishes never hurt!  Having read quite a bit about traditional foods of good fortune consumed during the Chinese New Year, I was curious if we Westerners had any traditions of our own. Too my pleasant surprise, I discovered quite a few. Leafy greens signify, you guessed it, the almighty (or not so might, depending on the day) dollar, and black-eyed peas arose as a symbol of prosperity from a Civil War legend. Pork symbolizes progress and pushing forward; something that we could use a little of too. You will find many delicious New Year’s day recipes using these foods (see some of my suggestions below), but something seemed to be missing in my mind … the coins! …

Brilliant in color and packed with nutrients, these carrot and parsnip coins could not only be considered a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, but also of health and well being for the New Year.  Really, what more could we wish for?

Glazed Carrot and Parsnip “Coins”
Adapted from Recipezaar
These coins are lightly sweetened to help enhance their natural flavors.  Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of honey used, depending on your desired taste, and how sweet your carrots and parsnips are to start with. Though I haven’t tested it, you could always substitute maple syrup or agave nectar in place of the honey if you wish to make the dish vegan.

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or more as needed; can sub water)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon oil or margarine (I used coconut oil – goes beautifully with root veggies!)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/8 teaspoon salt, no pepper)

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.  Add the carrots and parsnips and allow them to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender.  Drain the vegetables and set them aside, but make sure to keep the liquid for another use;  You have just created double strength broth!

Heat the oil or margarine in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the onions and suate until tender and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the honey and the carrots and parsnips. Saute for just a minute or two, until the vegetables are glazed and heated through.  If desired, season with salt and/or pepper.

Yields 4 Servings

More Prosperous New Year’s Recipes

Foodie Words of New Year Warning

All good symbols can be counteracted by an evil one.  Try to hold out on those cravings for luxurious lobster (if not simply for the ridiculous price tag!) – since they travel backward this symbolizes setbacks when consumed for New Year’s – we certainly don’t need more of those!  Also, for you frugal foodies, take a day break from chicken; they scratch backwards, which can cause dwelling in the past.  In fact, all “winged” fowl could cause good luck to “fly away.” Not that I am superstitious or anything : )

Happy New Year!!!

Best Wishes from the Dairy-Free and Frugal Foodie (aka Alisa)