Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sunbutter and “Jelly” Burger!

My goal for August and September is to live slowly and to enjoy the last glimmers of northwest summer.  That hasn’t always worked out, but it sure came together tonight.  The sky is blue, the  air is soft, and an 80s cover band is playing in the park across the street.  I chose the perfect night to try this burger recipe:

SB&J Burger from The Clothes Make the Girl

The recipe, from the website:

1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
8 ounces ground beef
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons organic (sugar-free) Sunbutter or almond butter
1-2 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced


1. In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, lemon juice, and ginger; set aside.

2. Generously season the ground beef with salt and pepper, form into patties, and cook your favorite way. I like to grill them on the gas grill so they’re crispy on the outside, but pan fried would be really tasty, too.

3. While the burgers are cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium-high. Pour the strawberries and their juice into the pan and sauté the berries until they’re very soft and syrupy. They should be reduced to about 1/4 cup. Allow to cool a bit.

4. Put the Sunbutter in a microwave-safe dish and heat until thinned, about 40 seconds.

5. When the burgers are done, top each with 1 tablespoon of melted Sunbutter and 1-2 tablespoons of the strawberry “jelly,” then sprinkle with scallions.

And . . . here it is (on my patio with a side of sweet potato fries):

This recipe was easy for an after-work dinner, and the sauteed strawberry “jelly” was light and summery.  The sauteed strawberries would be great on pork chops, too.

Now, get outside and enjoy the summer!



What is Low Carb? Plus, an Alternative Beef Burgundy Recipe.

So, I’m trying to eat a bit more carbs lately, mostly because I suspect my brain needs them, and it is easy to slip into very low-carb eating, and just as easy for me to slip into high-carb treats.  So I’m thinking I need a little more carb stability.

Here’s my fitday chart for today:

Can you read it?  It says I ate 141.7 grams (566.8 calories) of carbs today.  That included raisins, sweet potatoes, carrots, and even some rice!  Decadent, right?  But is it still low-carb?

According to, the average American gets at least 50% of their calories from carbs.   For those of you who are really bad at math, on a 2000 calorie diet, that would be 1000 calories or 250 grams of carbs.  According to Mark Sisson, people can maintain weight easily on 100-150 grams of carbs per day.  That seems reasonable to me.  In fact, it seems to me that it would be pretty hard to get to 250 grams of carbs without eating wheat or sugar.  I’m going to keep experimenting with this range and see how it goes.

Anyway, I really wanted to try the Beef Burgundy recipe Susan posted a few days ago, but she claimed it took four hours to make, and truly, I am never going to have that kind of time.  So I found this crock-pot recipe from “Stuff I Make My Husband” and tried it instead.  Here is the recipe from the website:

Serves 4-6


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat (I used top round, trimmed and cut into large cubes)
  • 1-2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Half an onion, sliced OR 1 cup frozen pearl onions (I used the former, as my husband hates pearl onions)
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 oz (weight) dried porcini mushrooms, ground up in a spice grinder or food processor or mortar and pestle
  • 8 oz (weight) sliced mushrooms (any kind will do, I used crimini)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Pour off excess fat, leaving only about a teaspoon in the skillet. Add the beef cubes and sear over high heat until the outside is brown. Remove the beef and deglaze the skillet with 1/4 cup water. Add the deglazed skillet juices, beef, and bacon to your slow cooker along with the carrot, onion, and garlic.
  2. Stir together the wine, broth, Worcestershire, powdered porcinis, and marjoram. Pour the liquid over everything in the slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Before serving, saute the mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil until browned. Stir them into the beef mixture and serve over mashed cauliflower.

Stuff I Make My Husband is an awesome cooking blog written by a fascinating female boxer.  I have made several of her recipes, and I can tell you, she is way into her crock-pot, which is a good thing!  My version of Beef Burgundy too only about one hour to prep, then I ignored it in the slow-cooker for a few hours.  It was delicious.  Here is a terrible photo:

I do have a time-saving hint for recipes like this:   I cook big batches of bacon, then freeze them to use in recipes or just to eat with my eggs.