Easy Basil Vinaigrette

Whipping up a salad dressing is so easy and can be as simple as oil and vinegar plus some salt and pepper.  This takes it up a notch using two shortcut ingredients, frozen basil and garlic cubes (picture below).  I find these at most stores these days including Trader Joes and Harris Teeter.  I don’t always measure exactly when making a dressing.  You can wing it and go by your taste but I typically go with a 2:1 ratio oil to vinegar.  This recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch.

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Makes 3/4 cup

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Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (could also use fresh lemon juice)
2 frozen basil cubes
2 frozen garlic cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

I make this directly in the measuring cup.  Just add oil to 1/2 cup then add vinegar to reach 3/4 of cup.  Add in the basil and garlic cubes.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until they thaw, then whisk together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

BBQ Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger

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Summer is here at last!  I’m craving all the summer foods including veggie burgers.  I do buy some store-bought ones but I’m super picky about ingredients so sometimes I just prefer to make my own.  I love BBQ flavor so I created this burger to use BBQ sauce.  It’s smokey and a tad sweet.  Yummm! My favorite toppings for these are tomato, onion (would be great sautéed), avocado, bread and butter pickle chips and yellow mustard.  They would also be great with coleslaw on them or on the side.

Makes 6 patties

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Ingredients

1 small sweet potato, baked whole and cooled

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed; or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 heaping cup of brown rice

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp worcestershire sauces

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce (plus a little extra for glazing)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1/2 tsp chipotle powered (optional)

Method

Scoop the sweet potato flesh out of the skin into a large bowl.  Discard the skin.  Add black beans to bowl and use a potato masher to mash everything together.  Some whole beans are ok.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until everything is well combined.  Chill mixture  in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Don’t skip this!  It will help the patties stay together better.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Form mixture into 6 patties and place on a large parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush tops with olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Brush tops with BBQ sauce.  Flip over and brush other side with BBQ sauce.  Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes without touching them.  This will help them to set.

Enjoy on a bun with toppings.

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