recipe: quinoa lentil burgers and existential levitation

These veggie burgers are the perfect balance of warm, hearty winter food and light, healthy spring flavors for this transitional time of year when our feet are cold but the sun is out.

But first! I want to remind everyone that I am actively and eagerly looking for donations for my AIDS/LifeCycle ride coming up in June. If you hate AIDS and HIV, please consider donating to my ride. Your money goes directly and immediately to communities affected by this under-acknowledged epidemic, and in order to participate in the ride I need to raise $3,000.

Live Love Ride

Maybe it has to do with the end of winter feeling closer (even though winter in Santa Fe this year has been remarkably mild), but I am beginning to feel cracked open—not like an egg, but like soil as a seed starts to sprout. As with most all times of growth, this year past has been at times very painful, as evident by my lack of writing here. Behind the scenes, I’ve been actively trying to shed armor. Moving to Santa Fe, a place where I always feel safe, has been vital to that process, as has changing the dynamic of important relationships to allow myself necessary space to heal and explore without feeling explored. I’m trying to be more open, because in this year that has felt like one long meditation, I’ve come to understand that openness and vulnerability may be the only way we can support each other and thrive as a worldwide community.

An interesting part of this has been to realize that I have secrets. I’ve never thought of myself as a secretive person, though many people whom I thought knew me well-enough have said that they don’t feel like they know me at all. What’s there to know? I wondered. It isn’t that I’ve become secretive in this past year, but that I am understanding my personal truths and dreams I’ve kept hidden from myself. Around New Year, when everyone asks each other what our resolutions are, I also had my tarots read. What are you hoping to shed in this coming year? What are you hoping to gain? All these questions, now that I had honest answers, felt so incredibly intimate, even what my resolutions were, that I was left speechless. I’m not going to answer that, was the only answer that seemed fair. Yes, of course I have directives for myself toward personal growth, but to share those would mean to share where I feel my shortcoming lay. Of course there are roots in my life I would like to dig up or water, but to share those would expose the intimage dynamics of complicated relationships in my life, including with myself.

This all feels wonderful, by the way. People talk about secrets and being secretive as a negative trait, but I think that poor lighting only works to hide our truths in our own shadows, rather than expose everything equally. To change metaphors, I am in the dark room right now, developing the picture of myself. Don’t open the door.

Interestingly, this has also been the first year I’ve read Chapter 42: The Whiteness of the Whale, completely, without glazing over, and with a genuine interest and love. It is a perfect chapter! I never saw it before. I’ll need to do some more pondering to see how this fits in with my peeling open.


This has also been a year of building and rebuilding relationships outside my cocoon. It feels important to try to engage openly with people who’ve tried to be open with me, who’ve tried to create a safe space for me to talk and ponder. You know: Friends. Yesterday, one of those friends, the brilliant, talented, and all around delightful Sam taught me how to make brioche rolls. So of course, I stayed up until 1:30 making lentil quinoa burgers to accompany them. This recipe, adapted from Letty’s Kitchen and based on my black bean burgers, is vegan, gluten free, and pretty spicey because we gotta keep the fires burning.

Ingredients

  • cooking oil (about 2Tbs)
  • 1/2C yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2C finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2C chopped green chile (peeled, deseeded)
  • chile powder to taste (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/3C sliced almonds
  • 1/4C sprouts
  • 2Tbs tomato paste
  • 1C cooked lentils
  • 1C cooked quinoa
  • spices and salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp each of cumin, paprika, cayenne, Old Bay, and Cajun seasoning)
  • egg replacer for one egg (I used Bob’s Red Mill’s egg replacer because I got some in a free bin but typically like the old fashioned ground flax seed replacement. Both use a 2:1 water to material ration)
  • oat flour as needed (about 1/4C)
quinia lentil burgers
Quinoa lentil burgers awaiting their fate

Directions

  1. heat oil in skillet under medium heat. Cook carrots, add onions until caramelized, then garlic and green chile. Add chile powder and salt to taste.
  2. Prepare egg replacer and set aside (flax is more forgiving, but Egg Replacer doesn’t like to sit too long before getting too gross)
  3. Put veggies in food processor with almonds, sprouts, tomato paste, and 1/2C lentils and pulse until just pureed.
  4. Place mixture in bowl with remaining lentils, quinoa, spices to taste, and egg replacer. Add flour a pinch at a time while mixing, to get a consistency that is moist enough to stay bound but dry enough to hold a form.
  5. Measure out burgers using a 1/3C measuring cup, and place patties on a greased baking pan, silicone baking sheet, or wax paper so they don’t stick.
  6. Cook burgers on medium to medium-low heat until browned on each side (roughly 10 minutes per side on a lower heat).
  7. Allow to cook, then store in the refrigerator. Eat within a week.

Level Up: Make some Avocado Sauce

  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4C water
  • few dashes garlic and cayenne powder, to taste
  1. Blend in food processor. So easy!

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