Browsing Tag


Garlic Feta Burgers

March 26, 2012
Hey, everyone! How was your weekend? We had a wonderful weekend over here. My mom arrived on Friday night and stayed until Sunday after church. And she brought Nutmeg with her, too! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be reunited with our little fur baby after two weeks without her. 
The weather in Iowa was absolutely unreal this weekend, too, so we made the most out of it by spending a lot of time outside. Tennis was played, more than one long walk was taken and we grilled out, too! Since we don’t have a deck or much outdoor space in our apartment, Joe and I are stuck grilling on our little baby grill (pictured below), which I realize is incredibly lame. But I’m shocked at how well it works. I think it will have to do until we have a larger place to store a grill. 
I made these Garlic Feta Burgers for my mom and Joe on Saturday night and served myself a veggie burger. And we paired it with a fresh salad and steamed green beans. If the calendar didn’t say it was March, I could swear that summer is already here. 
Back to the burgers…
Out of the pound of ground beef that I had on hand, I made three burgers. I seasoned the meat with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper, then formed it into six small patties. For the filling, I combined chopped garlic, feta cheese and oregano for a little Mediterranean flair. Then the filling was placed in the center of three of the patties and topped with the remaining patties for a salty, juicy filling. Just be sure to seal the edges of the patties completely in order to be sure the cheese doesn’t come in contact with the grill.
The burgers were a huge hit with my mom and Joe, and I enjoyed my veggie burger, too. 😉 Now let’s bring on summer!
Garlic Feta Burgers
*1 lb. ground beef
*1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*2 ounces crumbled feta cheese 
*1 clove garlic, minced 
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
*3 hamburger buns
*In a bowl, combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt and ground black pepper. Stir until well combined. Form the meat mixture into six thin patties, about 4- to 5-inches in diameter.
*In a small bowl, combine the feta, garlic and oregano. Place some of the feta mixture into the center of three of the patties. Top each of the feta-topped patties with the remaining patties. Seal the edges tightly with your fingertips to completely cover the cheese. Form the patties into well-formed circles.
*Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill the burgers for eight to ten minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking. 
*Transfer cooked burgers to buns. Serve immediately.
Happy Cooking!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

August 16, 2010

Wow, thank you all so much for making the one-year anniversary of Espresso and Cream better than I could have imagined. I loved hearing about your favorite desserts and gaining a little insight into who you all are. Day to day I think about what recipes I want to share with the readers on this site without really knowing who those readers really are. Every time you post, comment, or e-mail it gives me a little bit better picture of you all, the readers who make this site so worth pouring my time, energy, and heart into.

With that said, there’s a giveaway to get to. And the winner is… Heather (13th posting) whose favorite dessert is a fruit tart. To claim your prize, e-mail me at with your name and address and I’ll ship them your way!

Today’s post offers another peek into what I’ve been munching on over my lunch breaks and dinners when I need a quick meal after a trip to the gym. I love recipes that can be made in advance and heated up throughout the week for ease and versatility and homemade veggie burgers like these certainly do the trick.

Based on my love for sweet potatoes, I knew I wanted to use them as the base for these burgers. The decision to use corn and kidney beans was based more on what I had available in my pantry than anything else. The selection of spices came after that. The point being, take liberty in your own kitchen to substitute ingredients you have on hand. If it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time, keep experimenting and playing around with flavor combinations that suit your taste. 

Southwestern Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
(Printable Recipe)

*1 medium sweet potato
*1 (15-oz.) can kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
*1 (8.5-oz.) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
*2 Tbsp. all-purpose or whole wheat flour
*2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 
*1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 tsp. salt
*1/4 tsp. black pepper
*1/4 tsp. ground coriander
*1/4 tsp. paprika
*1/4 tsp. chili powder
*1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese
Additional Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

*Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
*Microwave the sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave, split in half and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin. Place the flesh in the bowl of your food processor (this all can be done by hand with a potato masher if you do not have a food processor) along with half the kidney or black beans, half the corn, the flour, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, coriander, paprika, and chili powder.
*Process until almost completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer blended mixture to a bowl and add in the remaining beans, corn, and the crumbled feta cheese.
*Form mixture into four patties (mixture will be soft) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, flipping gently half way through baking.
*Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Happy Cooking!


Black Bean Veggie Burgers

June 15, 2010

A few months ago I did something I never thought possible, something a little crazy, a tad unusual, and something that made J’s dad, a cattle farmer, scratch his head in bewilderment. I became a vegetarian. It started over dinner at a Mexican restaurant near my apartment while eating with a good friend. She introduced me to a website of a family living and eating vegan. That means no meat, cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs – basically anything that comes from animals, not just the animals themselves.
I knew going vegan was not for me, since yogurt, milk, and butter play a huge role in my kitchen. But it did get me thinking about vegetarianism, not because I believe there is something ethically wrong with eating meat, but more because I was inspired by the idea of eating more. Eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, the things most often tossed aside in the traditional American diet.
Sharing this on Espresso and Cream was something I’ve been avoiding for months now because I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea. I don’t think everyone needs to be a vegetarian; I’m not even sure how long vegetarianism will be a part of my own life. What I can say, however, is that I’ve learned a lot about how important it is to eat plenty of fruits and veggies and how hard that can be.

The question I am most frequently asked now when people find out I’ve been living vegetarian is, “How do you get enough protein?” Well there are plenty of ways, but one of the most delicious ways is a good old fashioned burger. Well, a Black Bean Veggie Burger to be exact. I’ve tried quite a few commercial veggie burgers. They aren’t all that bad, some are even pretty good, but they all just taste a bit too manufactured after you’ve had a homemade patty like this. And isn’t that the case with all homemade things? They just taste so much better.
Because veggie burgers are a bit more delicate than the meat variety they don’t hold up as well to grilling. If you do want to toss them on a grill, go ahead and bake them as instructed for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to grill. Then, toss them on a well-oiled grill for 10 minutes, flipping once half way through cooking. 
Black Bean Veggie Burgers
(Printable Recipe) 
*1/2 cup shredded carrots
*1 medium bell pepper of any color, seeded and quartered
*1/2 to 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and halved
*1/2 tsp. ground cumin
*1/2 tsp. ground coriander
*1/4 tsp. paprika
*1 tsp. kosher salt
*1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
*1 clove garlic, peeled
*1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1/2 cup rolled oats
*2 Cans Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
*Preheat oven to 300*F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
*In the bowl of a food processor, place all the ingredients except the black beans. Pulse for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the ingredients are finely chopped but still have a some texture.
*Add in 3/4 of the black beans (note: not 3/4 cup, 3/4 of all the beans) and continue to pulse with the food processor for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the beans start to break down and ingredients begin to hold together.
*Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining black beans by hand. Form mixture into six patties and place on baking sheet.
*Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until edges become crisp and patties start to hold together. Allow patties to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before placing on bun. Or refrigerate until ready to use, then reheat in the oven or microwave.
Happy Cooking!

Turkey Burgers with Broccoli Tomato Salad

September 23, 2009

Tired. The word of the day, week, and maybe even the month! It’s not so much the kind of tired that you feel when you had one night of bad rest, but rather, the kind of exhaustion you feel when that one night of bad rest becomes multiple nights and tasks and responsibilities pile up. I don’t have kids or a family, but I think I’m beginning to understand why so many moms resort to the help of take-out when exhaustion settles in.

But let’s be honest, take-out can be a minefield to navigate. Often expensive and unhealthy, sometimes getting back in the kitchen is truly the best option. Truth be told, it dinner doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. There are nights for that, and then there are nights when it’s just about nutrition and fuel, and if it tastes great, count it a bonus.

So while this may not be the definition of culinary brilliance, it does meet the basic requirements of a healthy, tasty, weeknight-friendly meal. A nice way to add a little extra weight to this meal would be to put the turkey burger on a whole-wheat roll with some typical burger toppings, like lettuce and tomato. The salad oh so good! Chopped broccoli, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a bit of balsamic vinaigrette make it super simple. Serve it cold and enjoy the leftovers for lunch.

Turkey Burgers:
*1 lb. ground turkey
*2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix together the above ingredients and form into 4 patties. Grill or pan-fry over medium-high heat, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until no pink remains. Place burgers on foil lined baking sheet. Turn oven to broil. Sprinkle the cheese over the four burgers and place broil for 2 minutes, until cheese is nicely browned.

Broccoli Tomato Salad:
*1 head broccoli, steamed and chopped
*4 medium tomatoes, chopped
*4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*4 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Mix together the above ingredients and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, until chilled. Serve with turkey burgers.

The bottom line? Life is too short and cooking too fun to stress about weeknight meals. Let these recipes get you on the path to healthy, family-friendly cooking when time and energy is running low.


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