Monday, June 17, 2013

Kevin Bacon BBQ (Veggie) Burger

Happy Monday to all! (Did I really just ask that?!)

Hope your back-to-the-grind Monday was more awake than mine... For some reason, after a very productive weekend of cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. with loads of energy, I woke up (even late!) and have felt sluggish all day :\ No bueno, but still got my needed work done so hands off to my half open eyed day!

The weekend has been our usual, but new routine.  Alex gardens while I either a. Do homework for my graduate classes and/or b. Attempt to clean the house, get all the grocery shopping down and anything else I never have the time or energy to do during the week. And if I'm really feelin' funky, I attempt to do BOTH at the same time... Can you say "listen to a module on health policies around the world while folding and putting away laundry?" BOO-YAH.

Saturday, while Alex realized our peppers and tomatoes were taking over a space we didn't exactly design nearly big enough for all we stuffed in there, so he re-planted our gorgeous herbs into pots so the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and strawberries would have room to grow ( least we hope...)

I should have kept count on how many times Alex went to some form of a store, whether Lowe's  for more soil, K-Mart for cheap-but-nice-looking pots to who knows where else.

Ma poor fella got to K-Mart, had all the pots picked out and going to pay... realized he forgot his wallet so had to run home and run back. Whoops :(

He wanted to "beautify" the area on our ugly gravel driveway by using stones from my in-laws river down in Madison, IN.  He notes: Please excuse the wired fence and AC system in the back... we always meant to put in a privacy fence for practicality and to look nice but didn't have the time or $$$

Now we have room for our veggies to prosper :) 
Fresh cherry tomatoes, 3 types of peppers, cucumbers and STRAWBERRIES (my fave!), yes PAH-LEASE!

The tomatoes plant already have cute little buds, so cute.... Is it weird I think of those little baby tomoatoes like I think of puppies by thinking they're cute and sweet?.... I think not so.  Hey, what can I say? We all have our quirks, right?

Considering it was super hot and humid, while the hubby gardened, I whipped us up some cold and refreshing cocktails before grilling out for dinner.  A strawberry infused mojito for moi and a gin and tonic for the gardener... umm... I mean hubby ;)
A tasty twist on a classic to use those last bit of strawberries you might have in the fridge about to go bad... or at least that was my rationale!

Alex and I met at the (RIP) Cinema Grill... A movie theater and restaurant in one where I served and he cooked (gosh I miss that place and my "C-Grill" family, shout out to any of you who are reading of this and big hugs and love from us!)

Anyhow, all menu items were named after a movie typically, like Pirates of the Caribbean Chicken, Raiders of Lost Artichoke and Spinach Dip or the Almost Famous Burger to name a few.  The menu ranged from appetizers to burgers, to pizza to chicken and pasta entrees. BY FAR, the most popular burger was the Kevin Bacon BBQ Burger. It sold like hot cakes, I'm tellin' ya'!

For some reason, I rarely crave barbecue even though I really love it... it's weird, I know.  After ordering some Mary Kay products from the co-owner/owner's wife, the wonderful Shellie (comment below if you want a Mary Kay hookup with a fantastic consultant!), I got to thinking of all the memories of the Cinema Grill and decided it was time to try a veggie version of the often ordered burger.  I hope I did you proud Ron :)

Here's the line up folks:

Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger*
Morningstar Farms Bacon Strips*
BBQ Sauce
Sliced cheddar (I had medium on hand)
Whole wheat burger buns
Soy sauce (not shown)
Grill seasoning (not shown)

*You can find Morningstar products at practically any grocery store (Kroger, Publix, Trader Joe's, etc.) 

My husband wasn't feelin' it as a meat eater a lover of this classic so it was brats for him.

Now let's get a cookin'!

I seasoned my black bean burgers with soy sauce and grill seasoning to pack some extra punch while my hubby enjoyed some chicken and cheese brats

Note: I was the grillin' machine this time ;)

After a two flips and both sides start to brown, add the bacon strips (they need very little time to cook, a BIG plus!) and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

And finally a slice of cheddar cheese until it melts and heats the BBQ sauce and helps cook the bacon strips...

WAH-BAM.... look at these cheesy, BBQ-ey, bacon-ey goodness... Drooling on aisle driveway....

Before this all started, I marinated some veggies in Vidalia Onion Vinagrette/Marinade and Kraft Balsamic Vinagrette (what we had on hand) for about 30 minutes for our side

Leftover largely chopped red, green, orange & yellow peppers, cubed --> soaked --> dried red skinned potatoes and large chunks of fresh cut red onion

Grilled these babies up before I slapped on the burgers and brats....

Cooked the potatoes first (about 8-10 minutes) to get them cooked and warm on the inside, with a nice grilled char on the outside before adding the veggies to basket and cooked until the veggies still had a slight bite to em' (another 8-10 minutes), all depending on how hot your grill is and big/small your sliced veggies are

.... and VOILA!

Topped with more BBQ sauce, romaine lettuce, raw red onion and sliced tomato, Kevin Bacon BBQ Burger goodness in ma' mouth.... DELICIOUS.  Even the hubby demanded a bite into this sucker :)

Oozing with BBQ sauce from all side, the bite of the bacon, lettuce and onions... Ahhh, want another... STAT!

Father's Day was low key considering my in-laws live far south of us and my step-Dad is in Milan, Italy (jealous much?!) with my momma bear... thus I think it's safe to assume he had a pretty good Father's Day. 

Here's to all the Father's of my life and hope you were able to enjoy some time with your Papa (as you can see below, Papa's come in all forms!) With love from me to you and the great Father's of the world <3

From top left to bottom right: Gary (step-dad), Roberto (professor/mentor/pseudo-Dad), Grandpa Z (maternal G-Pa), Grandpa M (paternal G-PA, RIP Papaw), my Dad

Cinema Grill "Kevin Bacon BBQ Burger" (The Veggie Version)
Adapted from Greenbriar Cinema Grill and Iowa Girl Eats Clubhouse Turkey Burger
Serves 1 

1 Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger (or any black bean or veggie burger of your choice)
2 Morningstar Bacon Strips (only brand I know that has veggie bacon)
1 teaspoon Soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grill seasoning
2-3 teaspoons BBQ sauce
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 Whole wheat hamburger bun

Red onion, thinly sliced
Tomato, sliced and seeds removed
Romaine lettuce

1. Let Black Bean Burger thaw for about 10 minutes and cover with soy sauce and grill seasoning for extra flavor.  Grill for 5-7 minutes (depending on how hot your grill is), then flip once it begins to brown/char. 
2. Add 2 bacon strips to burger and top with a drizzle of BBQ sauce and a slice of cheddar cheese and close grill to let bacon strips cook, warm BBQ sauce and melt the cheese, about 4-6 minutes or longer if your grill has started to cool down. Also take this time to toast your bun if you like it that way.
3. Remove burger from grill and add to bun and top with the remaining BBQ sauce (more or less if you like) and then whatever toppings you like.  Red onions are a PERFECT compliment to this sandwich, but many are not raw onion fans so I'll leave it to you!


Do you agree with the "no fraternizing in the workplace" rule?

I initially staunchly agreed with staying away from dating someone you work with (not gonna lie, even though thing's worked out with my Alex, I understand where "the rules" come from in MANY respects from situations we encountered), but I truly believe love can be found any and every-where.  Just be very careful and thoughtful (whether workplace lovin' or some other capacity.... Oh, and PAH-lease don't go into anything half-hearted or you may have a potential disaster on your plate)

..... Just my few tid-bits

Do you have more than one person you consider a Father/Father-Figure?

All six of my 'fathers' have brought their own unique and special qualities into my life that I'm forever thankful for :)

Have a great week!

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