Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quinoa and Kale AND Lentil Burgers

Food prep Sunday this week brought new recipes number 7 and 8 to my Mission 24 New Year's Resolution. The best part of these recipes - I made them simultaneously and they only took 40 minutes (together!).

Here's recipe #7 - Quinoa and Kale
Another quinoa recipe - no surprise here! I love how versatile cooking with quinoa is. The possibilities of what you can mix with it are endless. This recipe was super easy. The recipe itself called with spinach, but I have been eager to try kale, so I substituted a bunch of kale for the spinach.

1/2 onion
bunch of kale
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil for sautéing
salt and pepper
lemon juice
1c quinoa
Vegetable broth

1. Cook quinoa in vegetable broth until water is gone.
2. Sauté onion, garlic, and kale until kale leaves have wilted.
3. Mix quinoa, sauté mix, parsley and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl.
4. Top with a few squirts of lemon juice and feta cheese.

SUPER Easy and quick!

This quinoa dish is by far Nate and I's favorite quinoa meal yet! (He surprised me big time by a. not questioning the kale and b. by actually saying the kale is what makes this dish so tasty). This dish surpassed both the Tomato and Feta Quinoa and the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad meals in terms of tastiness. I will definitely be making this again next week...and will also be adding way more kale to it!

Now, here is recipe #8 (and the second new recipe for the day!) - Lentil Burgers/Patties
I have been dying to make my own veggie burgers for a while now and have quite the extensive collection of recipes gathered to try out, but I am yet to try one. Many of them seem like a lot of work, or have ingredients that I am not familiar with cooking quite yet. (I have come a long way with cooking in a short time, but certainly have a long way to go!). But when I found this recipe last week I knew I had to try it. It gets bonus points for 1) having just a few ingredients (all of which I am familiar with) and 2) being very quick and easy!

1 cup cooked lentils
1 carrot chopped
1/2 onion
Olive oil for sautéing
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Cook lentils until very soft. When water is gone, smash lentils against side of pan.
2. While lentils are cooking, sauté onion and carrot.
3. Mix the lentils, onion/carrot mix, breadcrumbs, rolled oats and salt and pepper.
4. While still warm, combine into patties. You can either freeze the patties or cook them immediately.
5. To cook the patties you have two choices. You can bake them at 400 degrees in the oven for about 15 minutes until each side is brown. OR, you can fry them up in a pan with olive oil, flipping so each side is brown. (I recommend frying them).

Wondering how the heck this is going to turn into a burger/patty?
A word to the wise when making these...cautiously add the oats/breadcrumbs. You may even want to add a little bit less of the recommended amount of oats. If you add too much and the mixture dries out, these will NOT stick together.

When I put these in front of my husband today, he tentatively observed that they "looked like meat pie." He is not a fan on meat pie. I, simply refuse to eat meat pie. The only thing that should ever be in pie is apples or blueberries. End of story. However, after his observation, he proceeded to woof them done. When done he said, "ya know, those weren't that bad." And they weren't!

Our plan is to give them a try on the grill come spring (if spring ever does come). Out of curiosity, I cooked half of the patties in the oven, and the other half of the patties in a frying pan. DEFINITELY go with the frying pan option for these as they dried out in the oven. These were not my favorite new recipe, but with a little work (more veggies and spices needed) I think I could spice them up a bit. I'll play with the recipe in the next few weeks and update it once I perfect it. What I really love about these though, is that you can prepare them ahead of time and freeze them. A very good recipe for Marathon Mondays (and other busy nights). 

Lentil Patties! Not bad...a good meal for the right mood!

On another exciting front, this came in the mail today! Can't wait to dig into this book and try out some new recipes! 

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