Lentil Burgers

27 01 2011

When I’m not too busy sleeping in late, I do other things, like write a food column for a Cape Cod news site. For this weeks column, I originally intended to write a fluffy piece on homemade veggie burgers. I’ve been out of town for a few days. Picking up my boyfriends mothers dog to bring home to the Cape and dog-sit for a week. Here’s LucyWhich has led to most of my brain space being devoted to preventing our cat Ché (AKA El Gato, The General, there he is below, taking up the whole damn counter) from hunting and killing this mini chihuahua. We’ve been watching over Lucy like she’s the president and we’re secret service. So it has come down to the night before my column is due. I’ll just write about veggie burgers. I’ll make these lentil burgers that I made a while back, snag a photo, boom dee doom. But while writing my article, I get stuck on a political tangent about how so many organic food brands are actually owned by agribusiness giants and disgusting corporations. AKA:  Boca owned by Kraft, ConAgra owning Fakin Bacon, etc.

So what was originally a pretty basic article has become a diatribe against these corporations, calling them out by name, citing cases in which they fought against labelling GM-foods. And now I’m wondering if my editor is even going to publish this. I’m sure I could drop a note to her saying that if necessary, all politics can be cut from the piece, and the readers will be left with a cute lil’ article on makin bean burgers. But that’s why I’m drinking limeade and vodka now, because I’d hate to take a pussy compromise on things that matter. Oh, and because it’s Wednesday.

Here are my infamous lentil burgers. Even my boyfriend likes them and he ate about 8 Tyson’s chicken patties today.

Lentil Burgers
Adapted from Hot Damn & Hell Yeah
½ cup dry lentils
1 bay leaf
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tb. olive oil
1 ½ tbs. peanut butter
2 ½ tbs. ketchup
½ tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. parsley
dash of salt
dash of hot sauce (optional)
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Cover the lentils with water in a saucepan and simmer with the bay leaf for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, drain the lentils and throw out the bay leaf.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, then place all of your ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 15 seconds.

Pour contents in a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs. Form into patties and cook in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat until the center is firm and the patties are slightly browned. Serve with all your favorite burger fixins!

Pizza Bombay

16 01 2011

This is less a pizza, but more an Indian flatbread. In place of raita, we smothered it in yogurt. Delicious. In place of wine, for the romantic dinner Ryan and I made, we stole a bottle of Sweet Rose Korbel from our landlords. Nothing like a pink champagne to accentuate some curry on the palate.

But really, this “pizza” is great. I’m addicted to nan anytime I’m out at an Indian restaurant, so to add some lentils and spinach to it and make nan the whole meal, top notch! Here we are chowing down on romantic curry night.

Pizza Bombay
Adapted from Vegan Planet

1 tb. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tb. curry powder
1 10 oz. bag of spinach, chopped
1 cup cooked brown lentils, drained
1/4 cup caramelized onions (optional)
Pizza Dough
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, stirring to coat the onion. Add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the lentils, adjust the seasonings and set aside.

Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out into the size of your baking pan and about 1/4-inch thick. (I used a half-sheet baking pan.) Transfer to the lightly oiled pan and bake on the bottom oven rack for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the spinach-lentil mixture. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve hot and with plain yogurt.

Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes

13 01 2011



We’ve moved in to the new house! It came with a giant cat and a giant kitchen. I love it and will upload some pictures shortly.

So one of my ways of balancing meals while living with an omnivore is to let him pick a recipe that sounds good for both of us out of one of my cookbooks. He chose this one and I damn near died. Cilantro. I want to go on a cilantro murder spree. Uprooting plants, digging my heels into the dirt, laughing maniacally. Hate it hate it hate it. But I didn’t want to spend forever scrounging through more recipes, so I settled. Bought cilantro. And on the verge of puking, made a pesto out of it.

Then I got the biggest shock of my life. I liked it. I fucking looooved it. It’s not overly cilantro-ish. It’s creamy and fresh-tasting. And mixed with the sweet onions and salty artichokes, this recipe is absolutely crave-able. So fuck you cilantro. You mess with my head.

Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto & Artichokes
Adapted from Veganomicon

1/2 lb. linguine (I used spinach linguine)
2 tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, cut into thin half-moons
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbs. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto (see below)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters (don’t use the kind that comes in oil. Just the plain tin cans in brine work fine)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Once you’ve added the pasta to the water, proceed with the recipe.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion in the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the water, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Lower the heat. At this point, the pasta should be done. Don’t drain it. Use a set of tongs to transfer it to the pan in batches. This works better because you can use the pasta water to thin out the pesto. When you add a batch of pasta, add a bit of pesto too, and stir to coat, adding splashes of pasta water if neccesary.

Add the artichoke hearts and toss to coat. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the artichokes are heated through. Serve!

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/3 cup slivered almonds or walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Place the basil, cilantro, nuts, garlic, lemon, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides as you go. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth.