Quinoa Chickpea Burger and Oven Fries

This is the Quinoa Burger from the book Vegan Diner. It was really quick and easy to make, held together really well for a veggie burger (they tend to have coagulation issues), and tasted great. I was looking for something similar to the Quinoa burger at Flore (always trying to replicate Flore's recipes, especially now that we live a good 15 miles from them). They were primarily made of the quinoa, chickpeas, oats and some seasonings. Nutritionally, I'm sure that they're good, but there was something so great about the RFD ones that have loads of veg in them. But it's really apples and oranges (quinoa and beets). The Rfd ones evoke a more traditional burger (the color, texture, flavor, etc)- these are a lighter (in flavor and color), squishier alt burger. Both are good, though. I would still like to find a morningstar farms-esque burger recipe that would hold up to grilling and such with more of a faux burger flavor- but those were probably made in a lab, so I may never get there.

Also, though there's not a lot of recipe to oven fries, I had to include these. I had made them a few times before both with russett and sweet potatoes, and this time I hit on the way to a good fry. My previous attempts never got crispy enough to satisfy a fry craving, but these were perfect. I minced parsley ala Cafe Stella in Silverlake (great addition), cut them very thin, tossed them in 1-2T of olive oil, then baked them on a spray greased foil lined pan for 25 minutes at 425 (stirring a few times). This delivered a true, crispy, awesome, way healthier than deep fried fry. I am pleased and will probably consume them far more often now (not necessarily a good thing :)

Also, I should out myself on this book- since we're working out a lot these days, I didn't want to commit to a diner/ comfort food book in the house as I was afraid I'd make too much bad for us food. This was one of the times that I went, "oh yeah, library!" Which was great, I had it for a few weeks, tried out a couple recipes and will probably go ahead and buy it anyway. It did make me realize that this is a smart route for cookbooks since there are duds out there that are filled with recipes that clearly aren't thoroughly tested (not naming names, they know who they are). Thought I'd pass that on in case you're like me and keep forgetting that the library exists and is full of awesome!

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

This is the Quinoa Vegetable Soup from RFD's book. I know that I swore off that book this week, but this was from last week, so other than the chicken style seitan, I haven't cheated.

I was coming down with a bit of a cold, so I made this to infuse some nutrients into my immune system. It has onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, corn, red bell, garlic and tomatoes in it, so I figured it would do the trick (I didn't get sick, but still feel it lurking- so maybe the soup kept it at bay).

It's a really good vegetable soup, extremely chunky and pretty filling. It is a very strong veg soup flavor, though, with little to break it up. It's good with crackers or crusty bread, but best with a sandwich to balance flavors so you don't feel like you're eating veg stock alone. Still, very good. It's no Turkish Lentil, but it's good.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

This is a recipe from Milwaukee's Beans and Barley café. It's a great place that I utterly miss not living closer to. This is from their teeny book "Another Little Book of Beans". I have no idea if they still sell their cookbooks, this is from the year 2000. I hope that they do, though, b/c this is volume 2, and I'd like to get #1.

Anyway, this is delicious. It's great as a side, great alone, would be great as a pot luck or picnic dish, it's amazing. For such a little salad, there's a ton of nutritious goodness in it; the qunioa, black beans, peppers, tomato, avocado, etc. It made a TON (I noticed after the fact that it said that it made 8-12 servings), and I made it only for Davey and me. So, right now, I'm tired of it and won't be making it probably until summer when we have a picnic to go to where I want everyone to be asking who made the tasty salad.

Indian Quinoa Salad

This. Is Good. This is the Indian Quinoa Salad from RFD's book. I had never made Quinoa, or, I think even had it before. It's a nutty but light little grain that tends to get everywhere when you cook from onto your clean dishes to the bottom of your feet.

This dish is delicious! It's very light, and would be a great side. I tended to just devour it by the bowl, though. It doesn't have a really distinct Indian flavor, though- the only real spice is garam masala. S'good- it'd be great at picnics, and I'll for sure keep it in my pocket to use for such occasions.