Black bean burgers to warm my black heart

* This Post somehow never had the publish button pushed. Little over a year later I realize the fall I took was the kick I needed to change everything about my life.  From the work, relationships and most importantly how I view myself.  It’s been amazing. I’m so thankful now for the box that took me out.  This burger has been in our menu rotation since.  I still try to eat less meat but I won’t pretend I’m vegan or vegetarian. I’m just trying to feed my body the best way I can.

August 2017    I’ve been in a funk due to an injury I got when my elbow less than gently kissed a title floor with all my weight pressing down on this union. The result was messed up tendon that a month later has me feeling a bit changed forever. Silly I know but let’s be honestly, if you know me I was on the road to change anyhow, it had been creeping in ever so slowly.

My injury left me unable to brush my hair or do anything that required much movement of my arm. I went from being right handed to left handed with issues. Life would go on but not being able to cook left me wishing I had just lost my arm.

It’s funny when something so stupid takes you out of your normal routine and forces you to deal with some emotions and crap building up in your life. Just with the frustration alone I have gone through a week of sleeping, a week of being super pissed off about it all, a week of feeling down right depressed. In between I have found new ways to express myself in ways I have always done with cooking. I have also learned that a right handed girl can learn to be left handed when there is coffee and make up involved.

It’s been a really interesting journey down a path I never saw coming. I am not fully grateful for it yet as my little black heart is still processing some stuff that I would have never seen before in my life but I know, like all things, there is a reason and being shook up is always good.

After nearly watching nearly every Netflix documentary on food and the effects it has not he environment, and looking a bit deeper at my own health , I deduced it was time to eat way less meat. Not to mention our reduced income sorta called for it. I also had to look for recipes that were easy for a one armed woman to make. Or at least easy enough to do very little with my healing arm.

The following black bean burger recipe was just the thing. To my shock my son, who is a give me meat or give me death, kinda of guy loved these. When i made them a second time and he got excited, I knew we had a winner.

Black bean burgers. Makes 4 patties

2 14 oz cans of black beans drained and rinsed

1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal

1 small red or green  bell pepper chopped

1 shallot chopped

cumin to taste

corriander to taste

chili powder to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg or vegan egg substitute

What you do:

Set aside 1/2 cup of black beans.  Take remaining beans and mash in a large bowl.  Add in remaining ingredients and whole black beans you set aside.   Mix well.

Form into four patties place on a plate and put in fridge untill ready to cook  I have made these ahead of time like night before I plan on cooking them

In a heated skillet place a tablespoon or two of avocado oil and heat till warm   Add patties and cook about 4-5 mins a side   You could grill them too

Serve on a toasted bun or lettuce wrap with fresh avocado and sprouts



Farmers Markets start to bloom

So this spring I thought I might get  my garden back and grow some of my own produce.  It’s been a bit of a while since I had a really nice garden going. What I didn’t plan on was that I have some very invasive mint growing in one garden bed and that the family of rabbits living under my shed that I find “oh so adorable ” would be eating things before I could get to them.   So the kale is gone along with a few other things. My radishes didn’t come in like I hoped and well I am having a good laugh. I will have a small crop of peas if all things work out right and my rainbow chard looks beautiful. Of course the raspberry bushes I have had for to many years to count and we cut back to nearly nothing , have come back with a vengeance.

What’s going very well is the pots on my little deck outside my kitchen. Herbs and tomatoes I have growing there, It’s my little zen spot so maybe it’s the energy along with the lack of wildlife having a snack.  I will be trying a trick one of the chefs in the kitchen I work in shared with me to keep the creatures at bay. If it works I’ll share.

Thankfully the farmers markets all start up locally this week. I am a farmers market junky. Which is good. I have a neighbor I ran into at the local farm/garden center who saw I was buying tomato plants and he laughed said he just picks up the produce when they sell them at the farm store. Easier that way. I laughed and put my plants in my car. After this spring start, I almost see his point.

Happily I had Saturday off this past weekend with great excitement I looked forward to going to the local farmer’s market. I decided to even go without a list and see how much good stuff I could find and then make a menu for the week around my haul.  I was surprised at what I found. My favorite farmer just had plants at the moment. But new to the market (to me anyhow) was a certified organic farmer with produce at really great prices. I think everyone was excited and there was a line which I happily waited in and picked up all that I could along with hubby holding items,  and was shocked when he said it was all under $20.


My husband and I also found a farmer with meats. Guess it is a turkey farm but they also have sheep and goats. You say goat meat to me and I get excited. I picked up mutton sausage and goat stew meat for some meals this week.

My brain began to create dishes as we hit the local ice cream truck with it’s amazing and odd flavors. Yes, we were eating ice cream before 11am. It’s how I adult.  My hubby and I found a shady spot next to a local resturaunt that was on “Chopped” that was cooking up breakfast goodies  from items they purchased at the stands  at the farmers market (Rainbow Gardens if your curious is the place) and I realized I needed some bread from the local bakery to round things out.  A loaf of honey flax seed bread went into our bag and we were off. By the time we drove the 10 mins drive home I was read to write out my menu and run to the local grocery store to complete my shopping.

I’ll be sharing the recipes that are simple, from what I am making with my farmer market finds.  First up was the mutton and beautiful purple and dark green kale.



Mutton Sausage & Kale One Pot Saute.

  • 1 pound of mutton sausage , casings removed
  • 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of red quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • sage
  • red pepper flakes (for serving)
  • lemon wedges ( for serving)
  1. In a large skillet head olive oil. Add onion and saute till soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 min or until you can smell it.
  2. Add the mutton sausage and break up in the pan. Cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add quinoa to the pan. Stir and and then add water. Give a good stir. Place lid on pan and lower heat. Cook for 25-30 mins on low until water had dissolved and quinoa is cooked.
  4. Add chopped kale to the pan and fold in until the kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper and sage to liking.
  5. Serve with red pepper flakes and lemon wedges and a crusty bread. Enjoy!


Next up how I used that alien looking root vegetable, Kohlrabi. It’s got a lot of great uses.

If your cooking with farmers market finds I’d love to hear from you. Or if your nervous about how to use something you saw or bought let me know. I’d love to help.





You can follow me on Instagram (shellyscookery) to find out what I am up to between posts and what’s cooking in the kitchen or check out the local food adventures I am up to.


The simple things; Citrus Avocado & Salmon salad.

  • I love fresh simple easy meals.  I love complicated meals too. You know the kind that take a day of cooking on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But as the days get longer and warmer cooking simple fresh meals seems almost more rewarding than an afternoon of slow cooking.

Recently one of my meals looked like this. A simple crab salad served on a crissont with baked organic sweet potato chips and a glass of rose grapefruit  wine. Nothing fancy or hard to make but I think honestly it was just the atmosphere that night. Peaceful, slow,  and relaxed. I could have been easy to toss things on paper plates and eat standing in the kitchen that night. But I made sure to take time to make things pretty. Just like I would enjoy if I had gone out to eat on a Friday night. image



A few nights later my husband and I shared in getting dinner cooked up. We had gone out and picked out the salmon together and had a nice visit with our fish monger. Enjoyed a day together and then working on our own projects and then came together to cook and enjoy the evening.  While the meal was light, I felt more full as I tucked into my salad and enjoyed the conversation with my husband and two sons. It’s nice to reconnect like this. My tummy was full but so was my heart and soul.

That’s what mealtime should be about. A time to sit, relax , reconnect and catch your breath. Feed your body but also your soul. For some that’s beautiful plates, candles, . It might be having family gathered around the table. Stop and think what a really good meal means to you. From the food and drink to the atmosphere.

So here’s the simple salad my husband I cooked up. You can have dinner on the table in less than 30 mins.


Citrus Avocado & Salmon Salad

  • Baby spinach
  • Avocado
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Green Onions
  • Salmon fillet
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. Wash the baby spinach.  Chop the green onion. Take the skin off the grapefruit and segment it into a bowl.  Cut lemon and lime into wedges.
  2. Slice the avocado into slices and then squeeze lime wedges over the avocado to keep from browning and give it extra flavor.
  3. Season salmon with a little salt and pepper and cook on either cedar plank that has been soaked or cooked on a well oiled grill untill done.
  4. To plate up the dish place baby spinach on a plate, then grapefruit, avocado and top with piece of the salmon fillet. Sprinkle on green onion.  Dress the salad with juice from the lemon wedges. Or you can use a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.