Saturday, May 30, 2009

veggie burgers

More than ever I'm working on using things up and cooking more efficiently – minimal waste of food and ultimately effort. My mom's penchant for having the refrigerator fairly empty so that she can see everything, is finally rubbing off on me. It's a challenge to please my mother, my daughter, Steve, and myself. Rachel is a vegetarian. Mom and Steve and convicted carnivores. I'm somewhere between, preferring meat as a condiment rather than a main course.
I've pretty much mastered burritos. Now I'm working on veggie burgers. Steve and my mom prefer the real thing. I like the real thing only if it's barbecued. I've tried a few veggie burger recipes – like the lentil walnut burger from The Moosewood Cookbook. When they came out with The New Moosewood Cookbook, I noticed that the lentil burger recipe had changed! I liked the original but the new one is good too. Recently I wanted to incorporate tofu in a veggie burger so searched online for such a recipe and the mushroom tofu veggie burger from the Harvard School of Public Health recipe looked pretty good, so I used it with modifications. The nuts should be finely ground so that they hold together better.
Now that I have an idea now of the various possible ingredients, I figure I can improvise and throw various things together in a rough balance of ideas of taste and the right consistency (and what is on hand!). In my first attempt I started with some tofu, which I had previously shredded and marinated and sauteed. Added cooked lentils and bulghur, finely chopped walnuts, and a couple eggs. Threw in a little hot sacue and of course salt and pepper. At the end added a bit of cornmeal as it seemed a bit wet.
Forgot the mushrooms! Rachel just put them on top. Buen idee!
A few nights a week there's more greens to cook up, since the salads can't keep up with the quantity. Last night cooked up lambsquarters, swiss chard, and spinach: LSS. I try to label the greens accordingly when I put little containers in the freezer, so that I can remember whether they were DGM (dandelion garlic mustard) or BGM (bacon garlic mustard), for instance.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


A beginning gardener is an impatient one. A mature gardener is a composter. The rich soil in the beds, built up over the years from compost, can be seen now where the dill is volunteering heavily. In the beds it grows dark green and tall, but between the beds where the soil is shallower and scraped away, the dill is lighter in color and shorter. It's harder to pull out of the ground in the paths too since it is so packed, not lofty as in the beds.

Friday, May 22, 2009

salad days

I must hard-boil some more eggs tonight for Steve's salads. This has been a great year for salads already. Spinach, swiss chard, and radicchio overwintered under the leaves. As the last summer's spinach is practically gone, now the spinach seeded in March is coming on strong with big fat dark geen leaves. One of the best spinach crops I've ever had.

Lately been eating a lot of violet leaves (I forgot to pick the flowers when they were good); there's some young lettuce thinnings to add to the mix. The lambsquarters are just starting to be big enough to bother picking and adding to the salads.

When I see garlic mustard in the yard, that goes into the mix too. I try to pull it out every year, but there's always some that still pops up here and there. I'm surprised not to have heard from Betsy Darlington this year about garlic mustard pulls in the woods.