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Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

 I am so excited to share this meal with you!  My boys absolutely gobbled the burgers and each had several "sippers" of Curried Peach Soup.  The burger makes use of three of my weekly staples: quinoa, homemade hummus and kale; and the gorgeous organic peaches we picked up at the market this week really shine while boosting up Vitamin A, C and Potassium.  

Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup
Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

Quinoa is such a superb seed!  Not only is it incredibly easy to prepare, versatile and yummy but it’s a powerhouse of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E.  Here, quinoa shares center stage with the amazing chickpea, aka garbanzo.  The chickpea takes on a big role as a binder, but is so mild and creamy that the other flavors come through.  

I love that only one pot and one skillet are involved on the messy side of things (if you need to make the hummus, you’ll have the food processor to contend with as well).  But, this one take relatively little effort to get great results.  To make this guy your own, try changing the spices.  You can use another green in place of the kale or try combinations of herbs instead (parsley and cilantro, thyme and oregano, dill).  Finishing the patties with rice flour gives a light crust and makes for a pretty golden brown burger. Use your hands to mix things and you will soon get the feel for the right texture so you will be able to adapt to the ingredients you choose.  My hummus recipe is a stiff hummus, actually much more stiff than commercial varieties, so if you are using a store bought hummus you may need to add in the garbanzo flour or rice flour to aid in binding and reduce the moisture level. Quinoa Burgers (Makes 6 burgers) 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water 1 Tbsp organic onion powder 2 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled 1 cup homemade hummus (recipe below) 1/4 cup minced kale (about 2 leaves) 1 teaspoon Frontier All Purpose Seasoning or your favorite herb blend 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 Tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos 1-2 Tablespoons garbanzo bean flour or rice flour (as needed) Fresh ground black pepper Brown rice flour 1 Tbsp Olive oil Preheat a skillet to medium high heat and pour in the quinoa.  Lightly toast the seeds for a minute or two until they start to smell nutty but are NOT burnt.  Add in the 2 cups of water, onion powder and unpeeled garlic.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and fish out the garlic. Put your softened garlic onto a plate or cutting board and, with the edge of a knife, lightly press on the garlic to squish it out of the peel.  Add this back into the quinoa mixture. Add the hummus, kale, herbs, smoked paprika, Braggs and several grinds of pepper into the quinoa pot and mix well.  I like to use my hands for mixing because I get a good feel for the stickiness of the dough and can tell if things are binding together or if I am going to need to adjust with the bean/rice flour and/or water.  So, once the ingredients are incorporated take about ½ cup of the mixture and make a ball.  If you can shape it into a burger type patty without anything crumbling off or wilting over, then you have the right consistency.  If you can’t, and your mixture is too wet, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of garbanzo flour over the mixture and stir it in.  If your mixture is too dry, try adding a teaspoon of water at a time and mixing.  We are looking to make a mixture that it neither too wet nor too dry.  We want moist. Continue adjusting until you get a patty that holds well on its own. [caption id="attachment_445" align="alignright" width="300" caption="ready for mixing"]ready for mixing[/caption] Divide the mixture into 6 equal bits and form into balls which you will then shape into ¼ inch thick patties. [caption id="attachment_444" align="alignright" width="300" caption="shaping and dredging"]shaping and dredging[/caption] Get your cast iron skillet hot over a high flame and coat it with the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium.  Lightly dredge the patties with some brown rice flour that you’ve put in a shallow bowl or plate.  Get your burgers into the skillet and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until you get some browning. Serve on your favorite bun or GF bread or set up a pretty plate with greens and fresh tomato and avocado.  I think a grainy mustard is a wonderful condiment for this burger, but you’ll find your favorite.   Homemade Hummus 3 cups cooked chickpeas ¼ cup tahini 3 cloves garlic juice of one organic lemon dash of salt and pepper 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper (optional) Put all ingredients in your blender.  Pulse to combine and then blend until a smooth texture is achieved.  If needed, stream in a tablespoon or two of veg broth or olive oil to thin the mixture (this step is really dependent on the moisture level of your chickpeas and tahini, so it will vary). Flavor develops more after a day in the refrigerator, but this is totally great right out of the food processor.  Use half the batch for the quinoa burgers and enjoy the remainder with veggies during the week or as an accompaniment for salad, or thin it out with water or almond milk to make a luscious dressing/dip. ************************************************** My kids LOVE this soup!  It’s a great soup for teaching, actually, because each of the components tastes so different on their own.  Taste the ingredients one by one before putting everything into the blender and then taste the final product.  When combined, the flavor of this golden peachy toned creamy soup is a little sweet, a little spicy.  Chill for an hour or more before serving, but don’t keep it for more than a day as the color will go a funny orange and the peach flavor loses something. Chilled Peach Soup 4 organic peaches ¼ cup coconut flakes 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon curry powder ½ tsp fresh grated ginger Wash and pit the peaches.  Put everything into the Vitamix and blend on low speed for 10 seconds.  Whiz on maximum speed for 30 seconds or until the coconut is thoroughly blended and the mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a bowl or container and chill for at least an hour before serving. Note: blender or food processor will work but may not yield a smooth texture.  If you don’t have a Vitamix, consider using ½ cup of prepared coconut milk instead of coconut flakes and water.

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30 Minute Garden Tomato Sauce

If your garden is also at the height of tomato glory then this recipe is for you. I feel like typing, set it and forget it, because this guy is so easy. Basically your only prep work is washing your veggies and maybe cutting some in half so they fit in the pot! This is the kind of sauce that can handle a myriad of additions.  Great way to utilize leftover veg purees or bits that you might save for stock.  I added in 1/2 cup of leftover carrot puree and 1/2 cup of leftover spinach puree.  A handful of sundried tomatoes finished this off for me, but the sauce is bright and lovely just as it is.  The bottom line is that you can and should make this your own with what you have available. Enjoy!
30 Minute Garden Tomato Sauce 2 lbs tomato, whole 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled 1 onion, whole (if the skin is in great condition), peeled (if the skin is compromised) 2 celery stalk, halved or leftover celery ends Reserve: 1 lb zucchini or summer squash, diced Note: If you are serving your sauce over pasta, set up a 2nd pot with water for your noodles now.  Your water will be boiling in 10-15 minutes and you can drop the pasta in time to be ready for the sauce.  (You can thank me for tip this later.) [caption id="attachment_435" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Right out of the gateNearing the finish line"]Right out of the gate[/caption]
Now: Add all ingredients into a stock pot with 5-6 cups water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat just after the pot boils and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat to low, use a slotted spoon to rescue the garlic and onion (if you dropped the onion with skin on, otherwise it will go with the other veggies); put these on your cutting board for a minute to cool.  In the meantime, transfer the veggies to your blender and whiz them until chunky or go further for a smooth sauce.  [caption id="attachment_437" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Softened Garlic"]Softened Garlic[/caption] Now, press on the garlic cloves and let the soft garlic squish out.  Add this to the blender.  Do the same thing with the onion, if you left the skin on… it’s pretty cool how it works the same way!  Add this to the blender too and whiz for a minute to blend everything.
 
 
 
 
Add your diced zucchini or squash to the pot and cover with the puree.  Bring the pot back to a simmer for 10 minutes.  If you are serving your sauce with pasta, now is the time to drop it into the water. Serve. Optional add in’s: a few carrots ½ cup leftover carrot soup ½ cup pureed greens ½ cup sundried tomatoes (you can toss these in at blending time if you have a Vitamix, otherwise let them soften with the other veggies while the pot is simmering.) This is how I enjoyed the sauce.  Post and let me know what you serve it with! [caption id="attachment_438" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Portobella caps with 30 Minute Sauce over greens"]Portobella caps with 30 Minute Sauce over greens[/caption]

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Peanut Butter Cookies and Bars

The beauty of summer is that my boys are with me all the time.  Yesterday afternoon, my 9 year old came inside wanting a break from the nerf war and yard play with his brother.  Luckily, my husband was heading into the woods to do some tree work and our 5 year old was more than happy to tag along.... so me and my firstborn had the kitchen to ourselves.  These not-too-sweet, not-too-peanutty treats are the result of our kitchen experiment.  We will definitely play with this dough some more to create variations, but it's a great dough right out of the gate.  Share worthy for sure! GFV Peanut Butter Cookies + Bars 1 ½  cups brown rice flour ½  cup arrowroot starch 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp xanthan gum 1 cup peanut butter 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 Tbsp flax seed meal 8 medool dates, pitted 1 cup water Turn on your oven to 350 degrees and get it nice and warm while we work on the dough. Remove the pits from the dates and place the dates into your food processor.  Pulse until the dates form a sticky paste.  Add the brown rice flour, flax seed meal, arrowroot, baking soda and xanthan gum.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Spoon the peanut butter into the food processor and pulse to combine.  Begin streaming in the water while pulse until a uniform, creamy batter comes together.  This is a bit stiff, so be careful not to overload your machine! Scoop out 24 tablespoons, rolling each Tbsp into a ball.   We had fun pressing each ball flat with the bottom of our measuring cup.  The edges crinkled and the centers were smooth.  The cookies hold their shape and don't spread.  I can fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. With the remaining cup of dough, either roll out more cookies or try this: Add: ½ cup gluten free oats ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips or minced raisins or minced dried cranberries (or all 3, but then you'll have to add 1/4 cup more peanut butter and a dash more water) ¼ cup peanut butter 2 Tbsp chia seeds + 8 Tbsp water + 1 tsp vanilla Mix the add in’s with the dough until everything is combined.  Press into a small bar pan (6 x 10 inches) or shape into a rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, cool and slice.  

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