Sunday Funday

Sunday nights might be my favorite time to cook dinner. I’m usually free enough during the day to go shopping and then do some preliminary food prep before cooking at night. I woke up this past Sunday and immediately opened my computer to browse through some bookmarked recipes. I picked a few and waited for Andy’s approval, and we headed over to the market.

Fresh produce is a daunting idea when your wallet is so thin. Andy and I were excited to remember that we had a Whole Foods gift card from over the summer to give us a $25 start to our shopping. We spent a good hour strolling around the store, unable to only buy the ingredients we needed, because we were so amused by everything else. Whole Foods trips cannot be a regular thing for us, especially without the gift card, so it’s always exciting to browse through the endless options of ingredients when we do get the chance.

We have a list of things we’ve been wanting to cook, and sometimes this results in a random assortment of dishes for our meal. Knowing our main dish would be veggie-packed, we allowed ourselves to start with fried goat cheese balls.

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Recipe: http://www.thursdaynightdinner.org/?option=com_k2&view=item&id=333:fried-goat-cheese-appetizer&Itemid=64

This recipe is rather ambiguous in regard to its directions.  We used olive oil because we didn’t have peanut or vegetable oil. The directions say, “Let oil get really hot.” However, since we were using olive oil, we ultimately decided it would have been better not to let it get as hot as we did. The outsides browned nicely, but far too quickly. This left the insides not as melted as we had hoped. Still, they tasted delicious and complimented nicely with the tomato basil pasta sauce we dipped them in.

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Quinoa burger: http://stayhungree.com/quinoa-veggie-burgers-vegan/

Kale salad: http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/easy-peanut-kale-salad/

Next, we made quinoa burgers with a Thai kale salad on the side. The quinoa burgers weren’t as easy as the recipe made them sound, but they still worked out nicely. We made a few changes to the quinoa burgers. We skipped out on the mushrooms (Andy unfortunately doesn’t like them), didn’t use the avocados we bought because they weren’t ripe enough, forgot to buy mustard, and we added some gruyere cheese, jalepeños, and some serrano peppers. These differences could have been the reason that we couldn’t get the consistency quite right. After puréeing the burger mixture, we attempted to mold them, but they were not cohesive enough. We threw a little flour in and then put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, which definitely helped. We ended up cooking them on the skillet for a little longer than the directions say as well to help form the shape. Despite these minor setbacks, this still might be my favorite homemade meal so far this school year. The sprouts and toasted sourdough provided the perfect crunch between bites of tender burger. The bitterness of fresh arugula with bursts of spice from the peppers added more interesting components to the sandwich. Can’t wait to make this again with leftovers.

As for the kale salad, we didn’t have any brown rice syrup, but other than that we followed the recipe closely.

We were too full for the grilled peaches we had in mind for dessert.

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