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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Spinach burgers with green bean casserole

I have new toys :D  I was gifted a new cookbook for Christmas that I've already marked about 2 dozen recipes in called Fresh from the Farmers Market.  It's a nice mix of single-ingredient and convenience-food recipes and many include directions for freeze-ahead and prep-ahead cooking.  Keep tuned for a possible giveaway of this book and more recipes from it ;) 

Tonight's dinner consists of two recipes from this book...spinach-ified burgers and Emmitt Smith's Green Beans.  I'm tweaking (as usual) to suit ingredients on hand and to create less work (most notably the grilled turkey burgers are baked pork burgers tonight).  Both are prep-ahead friendly; the burgers are freezer-friendly.  Together, the recipes come in under 500 calories per serving (yes, we are counting calories as a New Year's resolution...sigh). 

My husband declared these burgers his "favorite ever", and the green beans could totally sub in for a lower-calorie (but still very rich tasting) version of the usual holiday green bean casserole.

Spinach-ified Burgers
Makes 4 big burgers

1 lb. ground meat (turkey, chicken or pork would all work well)
1 1/2 cups raw spinach, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp fruit preserves (I'm using apple jam)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-4 tbsp chicken stock, if needed
4 buns (optional)

Chop spinach, parsley, and onion finely by hand or in a food processor.  Stir into meat and add bread crumbs, preserves, salt and pepper.  Moisten with stock if needed.  Form into 4 patties and bake 30 minutes at 350F, turning once.  Serve on buns if desired.

Emmitt Smith's Green Beans (Kinda)
Makes 4 servings

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans, trimmed
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tbsp grated citrus zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp chicken stock
5 Ritz crackers, crushed

Cook green beans according to package directions, if frozen.  Boil 15 minutes in lightly salted water if fresh, then drain well. 

Heat butter or oil over medium heat.  Saute onions until lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  Add parsley, zest, salt, pepper and flour and cook 1 minute.  Stir in sour cream and chicken stock.  Cook 1 minute.  Stir in green beans.  Top with crushed cracker crumbs.  Bake 20-30 minutes at 350F. Pin It

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