Lentil Burgers

I finally succeeded at making a burger that held together. I’m so proud. It started with a desire to use up some of our mountains of green lentils, since Kurt revealed to me recently that he doesn’t like them. I stumbled upon a recipe for lentil and rice burgers. Sadly we had to chuck the rice because it had bugs in it (yuck). I checked the cupboard and decided couscous would be a good stand in. I cooked the lentils, and hydrated the couscous. I then busted out our new food processor that we got for Christmas. This was one of the other reasons I chose this recipe. Before we got thing it seemed I needed one every other day, now that we have one I didn’t use it for a month. Go figure. Anyways, I put the lentils, one egg, some ketchup, grainy mustard, onion compote, a handful of spinach and cumin in and buzzed it all up. I added the couscous (with some TVP thrown in for good measure) at the end. This is what I got:

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I formed it into patties, cooked them on the cast iron until brown on each side then put them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375.

Here’s the end result:

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They are green, which is a little weird, but I hear green things are very in right now. They are great either on a bun, or just by itself. They actually were very similar to a falafel, so would be great with those types of toppings. The only problem is, I now have to keep buying green lentils!

Buying a House

We’re basically done with the house stuff now. In the past week we’ve had to apply for a mortgage, get a million documents for them (we got a better rate than we expected!), price and secure insurance (call around people, and call each place multiple times, our rates changes dramatically day to day), book an inspector, have the inspection, and then decide on any conditions based on what was found. It’s crazy.

We close in mid March. That’s when the lawyer will transfer the down payment (in Ontario you need 20% or else you pay a huge fee), we will inspect the house a final time, and we will get the title.

It’s stressful, expensive and ridiculously time consuming, but I know it will be amazing when we get those keys!

MIA

Sorry for going missing in action. On Sunday an offer we made on a house was accepted and we’ve been running around like maniacs trying to get all the mortgage, inspection and insurance stuff done. They only give you seven days so it’s really a scramble.
I will be back next week with some great stuff.
Have a good weekend! I sure am looking forward to it!

Sunday Waffles

On Sundays we like to make waffles for breakfast. We like to make quite a few and freeze the extras for quick breakfasts or snacks. We usually don’t follow a recipe, but strangely enough they seem to turn out better when we do. Last Sunday I used a recipe that was pretty good. Here it is. The only changes I made was to substitute some of the water with oil. I thought they would be mushy otherwise. We also added vanilla and used some spelt flour. Kurt was disappointed that I didn’t use any sugar, but I think the maple syrup adds enough of that.

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Newest Quilt

I just finished my latest quilt. I was amazed at how little time it took me. By far the longest part was cutting all of the little squares. It was very difficult this time because I didn’t have anyone to help me when something went wrong. When I finished sewing all of my rows together and realized my rectangle was very crooked all I could do was try my best to cut it into something workable. Despite all of the frustrations along the way I am very proud of it. Sorry I couldn’t get a good picture, but this land of the early sunsets doesn’t leave much sunlight for good pictures.

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Homer likes it, and really isn’t that all that counts?

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Couscous Salad

In an effort to use up the stuff in my pantry I’ve been choosing two ingredients and working them into my weekly meal plan. This week was lentils and couscous. The lentils were used for a cheese and broccoli dish. Couscous I find a little harder to make into things because it is so different from other things. It’s not really a grain, and it’s not really a pasta (even though it’s made from the same thing). I don’t like to eat it plain, but I can’t just throw it into a recipe either. So anyways, here is what I came up with:

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And the ultra close up:IMG_2640

It was really quite easy and adaptable to whatever you have on hand. I just chopped some spinach, artichoke hearts, bocconcini, red onion, black olives, red pepper and tomato, and put it in a bowl with some chickpeas. I mixed some TVP and couscous and then poured boiling water over it. I covered it and let it sit a while. Once it looked hydrated, I fluffed it with a fork and added it to the veggies. Kurt made a dressing with oil, apple cider vinegar and some dried herbs (maybe he will be so kind as the share a more detailed recipe in the comments?).

It was really fantastic, and even better the next day. You can eat it cold or hot. I had a bunch of couscous left over so I’m making it again tonight and adding some cucumber as well. I think this would make a great summer lunch, since it’s so easy and flavourful.

Resolutions?

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions. I read on the news that people aren’t doing it so much anymore, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I just think that a year is too long of a time to devote to one specific thing. However, I do think it’s important to actively pursue positive changes in your life. This year is going to pretty crazy for us. We are planning our wedding, buying a house (hopefully, if find the right one), and travelling. I think I might try to set monthly goals to try to keep moving forward.

This month I’m focussing on simplifying our house and stuff. So far I’ve been going through boxes in closets and getting rid of stuff. I’m trying to minimize things we have that aren’t used or important. It would be great to reduce our belongings so that if we do buy a house we won’t have to worry about packing and moving as much.

The other place I’m really trying to tackle is the kitchen. I’m trying to simplify the foods that we have/use. By this I mean, I don’t really think we need to have four types of flour on hand all the time. There seems to be a lot of ingredients in the pantry that we bought, used once and then forgot about. Or else things we bought in bulk, didn’t label, and now don’t know what it is. The first step will be to use up what we have (which is going to take a while) and then only replace key ingredients.

Hopefully my small steps help me achieve the simplicity I long for, in cooking and living

Granola

I’ve wanted to start making granola for a really long time, but I never got around to it because I was always missing some ingredients, or else there would be so much cereal in the cupboard that I didn’t feel right making more. Before Christmas I finally got around to it, because I was trying to use up some of the quinoa we have and I found out you can throw it in granola. I worried me at first, because I assumed the quinoa would be inedibly hard, turns out it’s fantastic. It’s hard to describe, but it becomes like little hard crunchy balls that add great texture.

I used this recipe as a base. I didn’t follow the baking instructions close enough the first time, so I burnt it. When you take it out, it should be a little browned, but still soft. It will harden as it sits, trust me.

The think I love about granola is that you can throw in whatever you want. I basically substituted everything I didn’t like in the recipe for stuff I like. I used oatmeal, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax, wheat germ. I sweetened it with melted apple cinnamon honey. I also used sunflower oil instead of coconut oil. I tried to keep the proportions close to what was used in the recipe, so that I would how much oil and honey to use.

IMG_2632It’s super easy to make, healthy and delicious. I’ve been eating it with berries and milk or yogurt. I definitely have no desires to eat store bought cereal again!

Holiday Recap

Well, we are now back in the swing of things. The holidays are over (sadly) and school has started again. My holidays were good, but they felt too short, and much too busy. There was a lot of travelling and a lot of ferrying back and forth to family’s houses. I really wish it didn’t have to be like that, but because I think it might always be.

I tried to be conscious of my eating and it seemed to go fairly well. There were only a couple of days that I felt really sick. I really think that drinking a lot of water helped and also avoiding greasy food. When we got back on Saturday we had a ‘detox’ meal to overload on health after all of the junk we’d been eating.

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I’d like to make this a month of super healthy eating, but despite how healthy our meals are with the amount of junk food we have in the house right now from Christmas, this will not be a healthy month.