Memorial Day BBQ Vegaquarian goodies

On the menu: Warm Spring Salad from Oh She Glows and Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers from Healthy, Happy Life. I had had my eye on both of these recipes for the last few weeks, and our family BBQ turned out to be the perfect opportunity to try them.

IMG_0823
Warm spring salad pre-toss
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…and ready to serve.

The salad was tremendously tasty, with a kind of surprising flavor. It was enjoyed by everyone. I’m certain it will become a potluck staple, because it doesn’t just taste good, it’s also so visually appealing.

Ingredients

for the salad:

1 cup quinoa (uncooked)

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, sliced into half moons (If you need to learn how to clean and cut up a leek, see this video from Melissa Clark of the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/01/18/dining/100000001994515/cleaning-leeks.html)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch asparagus, ends discarded and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 cup diced strawberries

3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas (I used frozen edamame, because I couldn’t get my hands on any fresh beans)

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

for the dressing:

2-3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp seas salt

freshly ground pepper

Method

1. Cook the quinoa (I usually use veggie broth and a 1:2 quinoa to liquid ratio)

2. Heat a large skillet and add the 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Saute the leek and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Toss in the asparagus and cook until asparagus is cooked, but still crisp. Stir in the peas (I thawed mine first in the microwave) and parsley and stir, heating for a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Mix up the dressing ingredients.

4. Combine all the ingredients. You can transfer the quinoa to the skillet and mix with the dressing, or do what I did, and transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, spooning the asparagus mixture on top, then adding the strawberries and the dressing. Toss before serving.

(original recipe at http://ohsheglows.com/2013/04/15/warm-spring-salad/)

Unflattering photo of the sweet potato burgers
Unflattering photo of the sweet potato burgers

The sweet potato burgers were less of a hit in that only Ray and I ate them; everyone else ate chicken or regular hamburgers. I thought they came it pretty nicely, considering this was my first attempt at this recipe, and I experimented with seasonings. I had another one today, on a bed of freshly harvested arugula, topped with some stone ground mustard, a little ketchup, and a dab of sriracha. Yum.

Ingredients

2 cans white beans, drained

1 large sweet potato, baked and peeled

2 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning or cajun seasoning (I went a different route, with harissa, a north African blend).

1/4 cup wheat flour

any added seasoning. (I used chopped cilantro, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice).

panko crumbs (I used regular bread crumbs)

oil for cooking (I used sunflower oil)

bus, and whatever toppings you want for the burgers!

Method

1. Bake the sweet potato. After it cools, peel it and put it in a big bowl (I baked the potato a day in advance, because I happened to be using the oven, left the peel on, and kept it refrigerated).

2. Add drained and rinsed beans to the bowl with the potato. Mash!

3. Add seasonings and mash more.

4. Heat 1 tbsp of your cooking oil and a skillet over high heat.

5. Form your patties (recipe makes 7-8), coat with bread crumbs, and place in skillet. Cook until both sides are brown.

6. Transfer patties to paper towel to cool.

7. Construct your perfect burger!

(you can find the original recipe at http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/02/easy-sweet-potato-veggie-burgers-with.html)

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