May 10, 2013

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Burgers

All hail Marie Catrib's! This delicious Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger originated from the brilliant brains at Marie's, a sweet cafe in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was fortunate to spend many bright mornings there slinging dough, stretching pitas, and rolling buns alongside some of the nation's finest. I learned so much there! Marie is a gem and operates her farm-to-table restaurant with a collaborative spirit and unending generosity seldom found in the industry- slipping away from her gazpacho to chat with customers, kiss their babies, and slip gluten-free cookies to their kids. It's hard to imagine such sweetness! Matched with a tireless dedication to deliciousness, this place is not to be missed on your next drive across the country.

I don't have the original recipe, but this is my take on the sandwich. A hearty patty made of quinoa, sweet potatoes, red onions, garlic, tomatoes, and loads of fresh cilantro, piled high with arugula and tomato slices between two slices of condiment-slathered walnut sourdough. The burger is best when baked as I don't think it would hold up very well on a grill. I don't like my burgers to resemble meat hamburgers anyways, so I'm happy with this baked cake-like burger. I'm finally reading Eating Animals by JSF and it has me thinking about what vegetarianism must be like for those who feel the loss of meat. That hasn't been my story, but if you're a vegetarian with a nostalgia for big "beefy" burgers, you may want to try IsaChandra's Quarter Pounder Beet Burger, that's next on my list!

To the weekend!

May 9, 2013

Potato Leek Soup

I know it's spring and I should be tucking the soup pot away on some high-reaching shelf in a cramped, multi-use closet, but a week of downpours and grey skies got me hankering for this herb-filled leek and potato soup. Leeks are a lovely substitute to onions. With two growing seasons, these long scallion-cousins are available most of the year and deliver a sweet and subtle flavor. Leeks can be a bit of a hassle to clean. Beware of grit! Split lengthwise and rinse thoroughly before chopping, using only the light green portion as the tougher ends can be bitter.

4 small leeks (rinsed and chopped finely)
2 Tbs. Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
6-8 medium sized potatoes (chopped)
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and margarine. Add the leeks and saute over low heat until very soft. Add the broth, water, potatoes, and marjoram and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are very soft (15 or so minutes). Use a food processor or immersion blender to blend 1/2 of the soup and add back to the pot. Add fresh herbs, vinegar, and a hearty crank of freshly ground pepper. Add vinegar, salt, or pepper to taste! Garnish with fresh dill and serve.

Until the next soup season,