aloha every day

aloha every day

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Southwestern Lentil Burgers

Upon his return from a teaching conference in Texas,
the hubs was hungry.
For some reason, I immediately thought,
"I'll make lentil burgers."

Lentil burgers?
When have I ever eaten a lentil burger?
I mean, I was sure they were good,
but I had no experience
1) making them
2) eating them
that would lead me to feel confident
making them for a hungry man for dinner.

I did it anyway.

We are now lentil burger fans.

Here is my recipe
 (I took a recipe from the internet-
and changed it based upon what we had in the fridge):

  • 3/4 cups red lentils 
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 
  • 1 can green chiles, sliced open, cut into burger-length slices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 2 Tbs. ground flax seed mixed with water...form a paste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Your favorite cheese (I chose cheddar)

    1. In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the lentils until they are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils well.
    2. Preheat the broiler. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, red bell pepper, and garlic and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cayenne and remove from the heat. Mix in the bread crumbs, the eggs (or flax), salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 1/4-cup burgers (I made 6 from this recipe).
    3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the foil and both sides of the burgers with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Broil until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
    4. Meanwhile, roast the green chiles in a medium-heated pan, approx. 3 min./side.
    5. After broiling burgers, place them in the heated pan (take green chiles out first :), approx. 2 min/side.  Add the cheese on top of the burgers to melt the cheese while in the pan.  
    6. Note from the hubs: Toast the buns (I just used cut-up wheat bread's all we had, but it was delicious!).  Top the burgers with BBQ sauce, and enjoy!! 
    Make Ahead: The lentil burgers can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. 

    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    Another gift from the sea

    I had a day to myself,
    at the shore...
    all alone...

    It's not that I don't love company
    because I do,
    there is nothing 
    more sacred to me
    than a few hours alone
    at the beach.

    I do my best thinking there.
    I feel my best self there.
    I feel most at peace there.

    So yesterday, as I was drifting along the water's edge,
    mother ocean taught me another beautiful life lesson.
    It goes as such:

    Just when the pathway ahead looks impenetrable, the water too deep,
    a path opens up, as the tide retreats
    and beckons us to move forward...
    if we are adventurous,
    we step forward
    into the clearing...
    knowing of the joys that may await,
    the discoveries to encounter
    the gifts from the sea...
    When suddenly, 
    the tide returns 
    and we find ourselves
    in what once seemed untouchable...
    and, you see, it is up to US
    at that point
    as to whether we will:
    1) dig our heels into the earth, find our balance, and wait out the tide
    2) retreat.

    Dig in!


    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Eggroll Revolution

    Dinner at hour house usually involves digging through the fridge to find anything that we can throw together to make "new."

    Recently, I had peanut, veggie, tofu stirfry leftovers...
    and eggroll wrappers.
    Naturally, I stuffed the leftovers in the wrappers
    Stirfry eggrolls!

    Well, that got me thinking:
    What else can be stuffed into eggroll wrappers and fried?
    Many combinations came from that test night.
    Here, though, is my favorite:

    Veggie Cheese Enchilada Eggrolls
    Need: Eggroll wrappers (I bought mine from Vons)
    1 can low sodium cream of mushroom soup
    1 head of broccoli
    2 small green zuchinni
    1 can chopped green chilis
    1.5 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    coconut oil

    1. Chop broccoli and zuchinni into tiny pieces (small enough to go inside an eggroll....nobody wants to bite into an eggroll and pull out a big piece of broccoli...chop that sucker up!)
    2. Saute the veggies in the coconut oil (olive oil will work well for this step, as well).
    3. Add in 1/2 can mushroom soup, green chilis, 1/4 c. salsa, and 1 c. cheese; stir until melted and combined.
    4. In a separate small pot, combine the remainder of the soup, cheese, and another 1/4 c. or so of salsa.  Stir until combined (this becomes the dipping sauce for the eggrolls).
    5. Scoop 1-2 small spoonfulls of the veggie mixture onto an eggroll wrapper.  Follow this tutorial to wrap the eggroll: 
    Be sure to wrap it tight and use water to close off the edge.
    6. Melt some more coconut oil in a pan (*note- olive oil does not work well for this step...need an oil with a higher smoke point.  Good alternatives: Avocado oil, grapeseed oil. 
    For more info on smoke points: oil smoke points
    7. Fry each side of the eggroll for about 1 min.
    I use tongs to turn the eggrolls.  Be careful not to puncture the wrappers, or the cheese will come pouring out...haha.
    8. Place on a paper towel to cool.
    9. Dip into your salsa/cheese mixture, and enjoy!

    Happy eggroll revolution!