Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lentil-Walnut Burgers with Caramelized Sweet Onions and Mustard Greens

hyper-critical (and sometimes lazy) tiny voice VANQUISHED.
Lentil-Walnut Burgers with
Caramelized Sweet Onions & Mustard Greens.

'Cause everything's better with grainy mustard. Even the tiny voice knows that.

One of the (many)  little voices inside of my head used to have a lot to say on the subject of veggie burgers. At the grocery store it would be all naggy and judgmental. I'd stand in front of the display of veggie burgers contemplatively and then... "Shelling out five bucks for this frozen package of machine-made garbage is DUMB. We could make 'em better AND cheaper. Stop being so damn lazy. You're better than this." So I'd leave the freezer section empty handed but vaguely self-possessed and hit up the bulk bins. Triumphantly returning to my kitchen, I'd assemble the ingredients to DIY some veggie burgers like nobody's business. But, inevitably, the little voice would appear again, only this time cloaked in laziness and defeat. "Ugh. Why are we doing all of this work for? Homemade veggie burgers are never that good. You're just going to eat one and forget about the rest. Don't even bother. Let's watch some TV." 
This cycle repeated itself for years, so veggie burgers never happened 
and because of that I was sad for a very long time.
Notice the use of past tense? That's because things have changed, my friends.
And I am the one who has changed them.
I killed that naggy, judgemental, lazy, defeatist little voice. Killed it dead. 
Or at least knocked it into silent submission.
And I used this recipe to do it. 

Lentil-Walnut Burgers with
Caramelized Sweet Onions and Mustard Greens.
(makes 12 standard sized burgers)

1c brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2c uncooked bulgur
1 1/4c raw walnut pieces
3Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2c rinsed, torn and tightly packed mustard greens
1Tbsp ground flax seed
3Tbsp boiling water
1Tbsp finely ground sea salt
2tsp ground black pepper
2tsp crushed red pepper
1tsp smoked paprika

extra salt & pepper to taste

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Pan-Seared Grapes and Walnuts

because WALNUTS.
and because MOLLIE KATZEN.
(also, because everyone likes free stuff, GIVEAWAY.)
Bulgur Wheat Salad with 
Pan-Seared Grapes & Walnuts.
you wanna try this. trust me.

The Moosewood Cookbook was one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I owned (thanks, mom!) and it remains in my collection to this very day, albeit a lot more food stained and dog eared. So, when I was offered the opportunity to join a virtual salad party and put my own stamp on one of Mollie Katzen's recipes (rice salad with walnuts & grapes) I leapt at it for three reasons.
1) WALNUTS. I will eagerly seize on any opportunity to cook with 'em.
2) FREE COOKBOOKS. One for me and one for you, dear reader. I will be giving away a copy of Mollie Katzen's newest cookbook, The Heart of the Plate. Leave a comment with your contact info below telling me why YOU deserve it to enter.
Earn a bonus entry by joining the slow club on twitter.
Contest closes on June 16, 2014. Hooray for free things!
And 3) MOLLIE KATZEN. This lady kind of changed my life.
Almost 20 years ago I cracked open The Moosewood Cookbook for the first time and learned that vegetarianism could be beautiful, contemplative and,
most importantly for a 14 year old, pretty damn easy.
I never looked back.

Now, time for a little confession. My initial enthusiasm was fueled by an admittedly misguided notion that she'll see my loving interpretation of her recipe and we'll become fast and inseparable friends. Meeting up in some gorgeous, rustic Berkeley kitchen we'll clink our glasses and wax poetic about vegetarianism, art and the soulfulness of seasonal produce with endless plates of
perfectly prepared salads and roasted vegetables before us.
Hours will melt away and all will be right with the world.

A girl can dream.

roasty, grapey goodness. scallions, too.

if you don't love walnuts you don't love life.

Bulgur Wheat Salad with 
Roasted Grapes & Walnuts.
Adapted from Mollie Katzen via*
(serves 4-6)

2c medium traditional bulgur wheat, dry
1/3c + 2tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2tsp sea salt
1tsp finely minced garlic
1Tbsp agave nectar
1 large bunch of scallions, about 5-6, 
white and green parts thinly sliced
1/2c fresh mint leaves, minced
1lb (about 2c) very crisp seedless red grapes, halved
1c raw walnuts, chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Oven-Roasted Fiddleheads with Capers and Lemon

one brief week of spring-y bliss.
Oven-Roasted Fiddleheads 
with Capers & Lemon.
Roast-y, brine-y furled fronds. Plus a little lemon, for good measure.
A little spring confession, guys? I don't really care that much about asparagus. Scandalous, I know. 
It's not that I don't enjoy the taste, and I've been know to buy a bunch here and there, it's just that I don't get wrapped up in the yearly asparagus mania that seems to afflict most everyone around me. I used to care more, I really did, but somewhere along the way the infatuation more or less wore off. Instead, I reserve my spring hysteria for two food items- radishes and fiddleheads. 
OMG fiddleheads. 
Those magical furled fern fronds (alliterative food is the best food) that are only available for an ever-so-short spring window- 
they're totally worth getting frenzied over.

But alas, the moment is brief.
Enjoy them while you can.
And then wait 345 days until they come around again. 

Oven-Roasted Fiddleheads
with Capers & Lemon
(serves 2 as a side)

2c fiddleheads
3Tbsp capers
2Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4tsp sea salt
1-2 thin lemon slices