10.05.2017

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My latest recipe for Spicy Cauliflower-Red Lentil Burgers is up on Food52. Here is a little sneak peek…

The Veggie Burger That Turns into 3 Different Meals

Making weeknight dinners on a tight schedule is my thing (see: my book), and I never stop searching for simple, adaptable, satisfying zingers that lift me up at the end of the day. My favorite recipes are both familiar and surprising, highly adaptable, and have pieces that can be made ahead of time, leaving us with slightly re-jiggered leftovers for tomorrow’s lunchboxes and dinner.

These vegetable burgers fulfill all of my weeknight dinner criteria. To prove it to you, I’ve outlined ways you can adapt this recipe to satisfy your tastes (or what you have in the cabinet), ways to prepare pieces of it beforehand (nothing better than getting a head start), and ideas of how to transform leftover burgers into a second (and equally exciting) meal.

Click here for the full story and recipe. All photographs by Elizabeth Cecil.

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04.01.2016

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Nick and I spontaneously booked a night away next weekend, just the two of us. We have been away from the boys together just a couple of times (or maybe just once to a wedding?) but this time we have no plans or packed schedule. We can’t stop talking about where to eat, where to walk, and where to eat some more. The idea of sitting together over a long Saturday lunch makes me so excited I can’t even take it. At home, most of our meals are eaten within minutes or half eaten and returned to later. Because of this busy parent relationship with food I try, whenever I can, to have a hearty salad or at least a bowl of rice and beans in the fridge for a quick lunch or just to grab and shovel into my mouth before dashing out the door. This salad is perfect for that kind of hectic mid-week eating. It’s hearty, filling, and flavorful but doesn’t weigh you down. Last night, we ate it with fried eggs for dinner.

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Farro & Sweet Potato Salad

from Clean Slate

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4), scribbed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves (do not peel)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup farro (for gluten-free replace with brown rice)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/2 cup spicy sprouts, such as radish or arugula, plus more for garnish

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1. Preheat oven to 425 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle sweet potatoes and garlic with 3 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then spread in a single layer. Roast sweet potatoes, flipping once, until tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place farro in a medium saucepan, and cover with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl. Season with salt, and let cool slightly.

3. Remove garlic cloves from skins, and use a mortar and pestle (or a fork) to mash with lemon zest and juice. Add to farro along with sweet potatoes, dill, and sprouts, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with more sprouts before serving.

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04.13.2015

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Sara Forte’s gorgeous food blog, The Sprouted Kitchen, was one of the first blogs I ever read and I have drooled over every post she’s written since. She just has it – the ability to make everyday wholesome ingredients transform into spectacular (but simple) dishes, beautiful taste, and photography that brings you right into her kitchen. Happily, Sara has just published her second book, The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon: Simple and Inspired Whole Foods Recipes to Savor and Share, and one of you lucky readers is getting a copy in the mail. To enter, simply leave a comment below and I will draw a winner tomorrow night.

Bowl + Spoon includes tips on how to build a kitchen to cook in, essentials in a whole foods pantry, and recipes for morning bowls (like Flourless Stone Fruit Breakfast Crumble) , side bowls (like Za’atar Roasted Carrots), big bowls (like this Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl), sweet bowls (like Roasted Pears in Goat Milk Caramel), and dressings and sauces (like Yogurt Ranch Dressing). There isn’t a recipe in these 225 pages that I don’t want to try. Here is the full recipe for the Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl which is delicious and easy to pull together (I’m still licking the tahini dressing jar).

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Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

serves 2

2 large portobello mushrooms

2 tablespoons toasted sesame or grapeseed oil

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce

SLAW

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed

1 carrot, grated

3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower sprouts or microgreens

TOPPINGS

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 large avocado, peeled and diced

1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

DRESSING

1/2 cup tahini

2 tablespoons white or yellow miso

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1 large orange (aboue 1/3 cup)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon juice, to taste

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To make the dressing – In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, sesame oil, and Sriracha to combine. Whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. The dressing will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Preheat the oven to 375F and line with parchment or foil. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and rub both sides with the oil and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Place them gill side up on the baking sheet and drizzle the tamari on top. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes until the mushrooms look soft and collapsed. Once cool, slice them thinly.

While the mushrooms cook, prepare the slaw. Finely chop the kale. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, shredded carrots, green onions and dress and desired. Rub the dressing into the kale to soften it and then add the sprouts.

Serve each bowl, warm or col, with a good portion of the kale, scoop of rice, a mushroom, avocado, and a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

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Here is a peak inside this gorgeous book:

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Good luck!

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05.29.2014

Nick and an old RISD friend built us an island to finish off the new kitchen. I love its white glass top and side shelves for cookbooks. I find myself still reaching for favorite cookbooks more often then not even in a world where recipes are everywhere. The internet is saturated with food, food, food. But there’s something about sitting down with a beautifully designed and photographed book, written by a cook you trust, that makes meal planning more fun. I probably have 40 cookbooks (after donating a boxful after the move) and use them all but favor a few. Still, years after purchasing them, I find myself looking at Heidi Swanson’s, Yotom Ottolenghi’s, and Susie Middleton’s books most often. My latest purchase, The Nourished Kitchen, is in the mail.

These Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers are from Heidi Swanson’s first book Super Natural Cooking (a wedding present to us in 2008). They are simple and delicious, as an old standby should be. Making dinner out of green sprouting things feels very spring (as does our blooming yard.) My mom and Dylan planted a flower garden on Mother’s Day and we’ve actually watered it every day silencing my great fear of killing everything within 1 week. So far I’m calling it a total success.


Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers
from Super Natural Cooking
makes 12 mini burgers

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts), chopped
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter

Filling:
Avocado slices
Cilantro leaves
Sprouts

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If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until tender, about 10 minutes. If you are using canned beans, jump right in. Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor and puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into 12 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

03.20.2012
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Our kid is obsessed with beans but is too young for fart jokes. Ah such bitter irony. Since the spring forward time change we’ve been eating dinner as a family. It has its bonuses (cute little family around table) and drawbacks (it’s hard to eat a towering stack of garbanzo burgers while reading Brown Bear Brown Bear). Because of our new-found family mealtime I’ve been cooking Dylan friendly dinners. This is one of ’em.

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Garbanzo Burger Stack
adapted from Super Natural Cooking

Burgers:
2 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup micro sprouts (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts), chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil

Toppings:
sliced avocado
sprouts

Sauce:
1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
salt & pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon

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Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor and puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs and absorb the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into 12 patties.

Heidi says: I err on the side of moist here because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

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Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high, add 4 patties, cover, cook until crisp brown. Flip the patties and cook the second side. Remove and cool on a dish towel. Add the second tablespoon of oil and work through the batches.

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Mix sauce ingredients together.

When ready to eat, stack burger with avocado, sprouts, and a dollop of sauce. Build a tower as high as you’d like.