Our meal time keeps getting later and later. Last night it was closing in on 7:30, and I still didn’t have a clue what I was going to fix. I just knew that it was Friday night, and I did not want to be in the kitchen all night. (My husband, who does the dishes, also asked that it be a one-pot meal, but I callously ignored that.)
I decided to fix oven-baked hash browns before I knew what would go with them. While I weighed the merits of scrambled tofu or barbecued beans, I got the hash browns started. Here’s what you do:
- 10 2-inch diameter red potatoes or 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- non-stick spray (optional)
- chopped onions and bell peppers (optional)
- seasoning of choice such as Creole seasoning, Old Bay, chili powder, salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Start a pot of water boiling. Cut some small potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. I used about 10 2-inch diameter organic red potatoes, but you can use yukon gold or whatever. Since I leave the skin on, I wash them extra-well beforehand. When the water’s boiling, toss the potato cubes into it and boil for 5 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes well, and lightly oil, spray, or otherwise lubricate a cookie sheet (or use a silicon mat or parchment paper). Spread the potatoes out on the sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes. Then turn them with a spatula and bake for 10 more. Check them for brownness. When they look almost done, you can toss in a handful of chopped bell peppers and onions and cook for 5 more minutes. Or you can skip the peppers and onions altogether, but just take them out before they’re burned.
- While they’re still hot, sprinkle them with the seasonings of your choice. I used some hot and spicy powdered seasoning called Pico de Gallo on ours, but my daughter E. doesn’t like spicy, so she had celery salt on hers.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s) Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 205 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 16mg sodium, 1120.9mg potassium, 46.5g carbohydrates, 5.9g fiber, 2.1g sugar, 5.4g protein. (Potatoes only; oil spray, optional ingredients, and seasonings will add calories, fat, and sodium.)
While the hash browns were baking, I finally decided what would go with them: Black Bean Burgers. There are “official” recipes for black bean burgers, but I didn’t feel like looking them up, so I made this up on the spot.
(E. took the photo, by the way. In one shot. Now that it’s published here, she will never understand why Mom takes 30 photos of each dish.)
Black Bean Burgers
- 1 can black beans (about 16 ounces), drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper (or chili powder of choice)
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- (1 tbsp. corn starch, optional)
- Start by sautéing the pepper and onion in a tablespoon of water, just until they start to soften. Mash the black beans and add the peppers and onions and the other ingredients; mix well.
- Spray or brush a non-stick skillet with oil, and heat. Spoon the bean mixture into the hot skillet, forming patties. It’s best to do this by dropping spoonfuls into the skillet and using the back of the spoon to shape; they don’t do well if you try to form them into patties beforehand. Cook until well-browned on each side, turning once.
- A note about the cornstarch: I made the first 3 burgers without it, and they were hard to turn without them falling apart. So I added a tablespoon of cornstarch to the remaining mixture. Those cooked up much more firm, but I don’t think I cooked them long enough because I could taste the starch. I’ve reduced the amount to 1 tablespoon for the entire batch in my instructions above, but if you use it, be sure you cook them thoroughly.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Nutrition (per serving): 125 calories, 19 calories from fat, 2.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 104.3mg sodium, 243.4mg potassium, 21.4g carbohydrates, 5.8g fiber, <1g sugar, 5.5g protein.
That’s it! I got the meal to the table in about 30 minutes, minus the time I spent taking photos. We served these with salsa, onions, black olives, jalapeños, lettuce, and tomatoes, but you can have them however you want. In fact, E. put hers on whole wheat bread with Nayonaise and Ketchup. (We don’t know where that child got her taste buds!)