Mark Bittman’s Bean Patties


A little over a week ago, I found out my cockatiel, Riley, is going to need surgery.  About two months ago, Riley developed an abscess on her wing.  I took her to the vet and got it cleaned out but Dr. Dill said he thought there was damage to the feather follicle.  If there was damage to the feather follicle every feather that grew out of it would cause another abscess. The only way to prevent this from happening would be to remove the follicle. We couldn’t really be sure until it happened again.  Sure enough, it happened again so we scheduled surgery for October 15.  In 20 years of having birds, I have never had to experience surgery for one of my birds.  I have had handicapped birds, birds with behavioral problems, birds who plucked themselves,  a bird with gout, a bird who poked a hole in her beak, a bird who scalped herself and two birds with a disease the vet didn’t even have a name for but never a bird that needed surgery.  I am a total mess worrying about Riley.

To make matters worse, there was a problem with my paycheck this week.  Yeah, so it was really short and I won’t get the money until my next paycheck.  So after paying my bills and setting money aside to pay for Riley’s surgery, I don’t have much money left in the budget for anything else.  So this week all my recipes are going to be made from stuff I already have in my pantry.  One of the great things about being able to cook and having a moderately well stocked pantry is I am always able to cobble something together for a meal.  It may not be the most amazing meal I have ever made but it will keep me from going hungry.  I can usually make it taste pretty good too.

One of the things I always keep in my pantry are a couple of bags of different kinds of beans.  Beans are cheap and nutritious.  They can be made in tons of different ways.  My favorite way to make beans is into a patty to serve as a sandwich.  I like Mark Bittman’s recipe for beans patties because of all the recipes I have tried for bean patties, and I have tried dozens, his stay together best if you follow his directions.  Feel free to use any seasoning blend you like instead of the chili powder.  I have used taco seasoning and Shawarma spice blend with good results.


Bean Patties

From How To Cook Everything The Basics

2 cups beans, cooked, or from a can, drained, any type of beans can be used I like chickpeas

1 medium onion, cut into chunks

1/2 cup rolled oats, more as needed

1 TBS chili powder, or spice blend of your choice

salt and pepper, to taste

Bean liquid or water, as needed

In your food processor, add the beans, onion, oats and chili powder; sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Let the machine run, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides.  until the mixture is throughly  combined.   If you don’t have a food processor, chop your onions finely and add everything to a large bowl.  Use a potato masher to mash everything together.    Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.  You want a moist consistency that will easily form into patties.  If the mixture is too wet, add more oats 1 tablespoon at a time.  If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of bean liquid or water at a time.  Shape the mixture into 4 patties.  Let the patties sit another 5  minutes.  Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the patties.  Cook, undisturbed, until brown and crisp on one side, 3-8 minutes.  Add more oil to the pan, if necessary.  Carefully, flip the patties and cook on the other side until the is browned and the patties feel firm, another 3-5 minutes. 


Spinach, Mushroom, Cherry Tomato Fry Up (Whole 30)


It must be getting colder.  My feed is full of recipes for  hearty soups and desserts.  Honestly, I am doing my share of baking and cooking soups too.  However,  I am trying to balance out the heavy soups and sweet desserts by trying new vegetable recipes, like this one.  Simple vegetable dishes I can throw together quickly.  Vegetable dishes that use up the bits and pieces of leftover vegetables I have in my fridge.

Spinach Mushroom and Cherry Tomato Fry Up

From Eat Drink Paleo

1 teaspoon butter or ghee (omit if can’t tolerate dairy and add a little more oil)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 button mushrooms, sliced

½ red or brown onion, sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

½ teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 garlic clove, finely diced

3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves or torn English spinach leaves

½ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of nutmeg (optional, but nice)

Drizzle of lemon juice, right at the end


Heat ghee and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until translucent.   Add the tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for a further 2 minutes and press tomatoes down with a spatula until lightly smashed.  Finally, add the spinach and stir through. Cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with a little more salt, if you like, and drizzle with some lemon juice right at the end.  Serve with eggs or your choice of protein such as sausage, steak, chicken or fish.

Instant Pot Magic Chicken Wings (Whole 30)


Every other Sunday I join a group of young guys and play the Marvel tabletop role playing game, like Dungeons and Dragons but with superheroes.  It’s a lot of fun.  Everyone takes turns bringing a little snack food or drink for the other players.  Most of the time it is pure junk food.   I love junk food but when I decided to do another round of  Whole 30 I wanted to bring something the guys would like but I could have too.  I decided on chicken wings because who doesn’t like chicken wings?  It was something compliant I could make ahead and finish at the game place.

I started researching how to make chicken wings and found you could drastically cut the time it takes to make wings if you cooked them in the pressure cooker and then sauce and finish them under the broiler.   The first batch I tried was Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic wings.   Magic Mushroom powder has been a staple in my kitchen since I did my first round of Whole 30 last year.  I use it on everything and love it on everything.  The first batch I didn’t use any sauce, it was just a let the chicken marinated in the Magic mushroom powder for about an hour, cooked them through in the pressure cooker and crisped them up under the broiler.  The wings were so good just as they were but if you wanted to you could use Frank’s Orignal Hot Sauce, not the Franks Buffalo sauce, for sauce and be compliant and serve with Whole Sisters’ Dump Ranch.   You could use Olive You Whole’s BBQ sauce for sauce and be compliant.

Magic Chicken Wings

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

2 lbs chicken wings

1 TBS Magic Mushroom power

Place the wings in  bowl that fits in your pressure cooker liner.  Add the Magic Mushroom powder and gently toss with your hands until the wings are coated.  Cover with foil.  Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or up to twenty-four hours. A half hour before you are ready to cook them, preheat the broiler and move the rack to 5-6 inches below the broiler.  When you are ready to cook them, place the trivet in the bottom of the pressure cooker along with a cup of water.  Place the bowl of wings on the trivet.  Lock the lid and cook for 6 minutes.  10 minute natural pressure release.  Remove the wings from the pressure cooker and place them on a sheet pan.  Don’t crowd the wings on the pan or they will steam not get crispy.  Broil them for 10 minutes or until they are crispy.  Don’t leave the kitchen.  The wings go from crispy to burnt quickly.  How long they take depends on your oven.   To use sauce on your wings, take the wings out of the pressure cooker and mix them with the sauce, coating the chicken well.  Place the chicken on the pan and broil 5 -10 minutes.  If you use a sauce, it is even more important to watch them as the sugars in the sauce can go from great to burned quickly.


Instant Pot Beef Keema Meatloaf (Whole 30)


When I ordered my 3 quart Instant Pot back in March, I also ordered a 3 quart Instant pot cookbook for 2.  It was the worst cookbook, of any kind, I have ever seen.  The ingredient lists weren’t complete, the timing of the recipes was way off, and the none of the recipes gave the kind of pressure release needed, and there were obvious typos throughout the book.  I was so disappointed.  The book was obviously written, solely,  to take advantage of the instant pot craze, not to provide cooks with good recipes.  This recipe made me incredibly sceptical of ordering cookbooks without actually having seen them personally.

So when Dr. Urvashi Pitre started taking preorders for her new Indian Instant Pot Cookbook on her blog,, I didn’t preorder, even though, I love Indian food and my instant pot.   I won’t make that mistake again.  Dr.  Pitre’s cookbooks are awesome.  Dr. Pitre has an incredible talent for taking complicated recipes and making them simple without losing the recipe’s heart.  Dr. Pitre’s recipes are accurate, from the ingredient lists, to the cooking times, to the type of pressure release needed.  Best of all, I have never made a recipe from her cookbooks or blog that didn’t taste amazing.

If Indian food isn’t for you, try the recipes in her Keto Instant pot cookbook or her blog,  They both have recipes for airfryers, pressure cookers, the oven and the stove.  She also has recipes for food from all over the world.  It is easy to find recipes that will become regulars in your rotation.

Originally, this recipe was for the airfryer.  I don’t have one and I don’t want one but I love Keema and the idea of making it into meat loaf.  I tried cooking the meat loaf in the pressure cooker because I didn’t have time to cook it in the oven.  It turned out very well but it didn’t have that tasty crust most meatloaves have so I put it under the broiler.  You can skip that step if you want to.

Beef Keema Meatloaf

Adapted From Two

1/2 lb ground beef

1 egg

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 TBS cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 tsp minced ginger

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch cardamom

Move the rack in your oven to 5-6  inches from your broiler.  Preheat the broiler. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Spray a 5 inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Pack the meat mixture into the spring form pan.  Smoosh it into the pan very well.  Cover the pan with a piece of foil.  Place the trivet in the bottom of the liner of your pressure cooker.  Add one cup of water to the liner.  Place the spring form pan on the trivet.  Lock the lid and cook on high for 6 minutes.  Let it natural release for 10 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure.  Remove the spring form pan from the liner and let sit a few minutes.  Remove the meat loaf from the spring form pan  and place under the broiler for 5- 10 minutes or until it crisps up and the top browns.  Serve.

Egg Drop Soup (Whole 30)


The last week has thrown all sorts of nasty, stressful stuff my way and I dealt with it by eating all sorts of non Whole 30, not good for you stuff.  I have always been an emotional eater.  I thought I had that bad habit under control but, apparently not.   I am still eating mostly compliant but until some of this stress is resolved, I have decided not to worry about being completely compliant.  I just can’t give my Whole 30 the mental, emotional and physical attention it needs, right now.  I will try again, maybe in November or December.

In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite new, Whole 30 recipes.  I make this soup for  a warm breakfast now that it is getting a little cooler here in North Dakota.  Yeah, soup for breakfast.  Who would have thought?  You can bulk it up by adding a little cooked chicken and some extra greens if you like.

Egg Drop Soup

From Eat Drink Paleo

2 cups chicken broth

5 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tsp diced ginger

1 TBS fish sauce

1 1/2 tsp coconut aminos

1/4 tsp black pepper

any green you have available

2 eggs

Add two cups of broth, mushrooms and ginger to a 2 quart sauce pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduced heat to medium, add the fish sauce, coconut aminos, pepper and leafy greens.  Cook for a minute or so.  In the meantime, whisk eggs in a small bowl.  Turn the heat down so the broth is barely simmering.  Slowly, pour the eggs over the back of the fork into the pot.  The egg will cook immediately.