Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of Gardens and Magic Patties...

Garden Update!

I know I mentioned to you all that I was growing my first ever garden, so today, exactly one week from my first planting, I have seedlings! I'm actually really surprised that they're growing so fast because it's been cloudy and cold. Literally almost no sun has been seen since I planted them!

On the left I have my basil, kale, tomato, and bell pepper seedlings, and on the right I have my spinach, zucchini, and marigold ones. Those zucchinis are almost five inches tall!

I'm going to be planting some of them very soon. Kale, for example, likes a good frost, and we have frost possibilities through April. I warn you though, I know nothing about gardening! I'm just starting to learn, but I'm being shown the ropes so hopefully I can have a decent harvest. This garden is absolutely 100% organic and my seeds are a mix of non-GMO, organic, and heirloom. I anticipate weeding it every single morning before I go to physics (summer class). Seriously though, when I look at these seedlings, I can't help but think to myself in a creepy voice, "I'm gonna EAT yooouuuu...".

But anyway, now for the foodz. I guess you could say I'm on a veggie burger kick. When I discover a new technique I just gotta keep reusing in every form possible. Hence, my magic red lentil burgers! These all stay together thanks to the magic ingredient: vital wheat gluten.

These lentil patties have a nice Indian twist to them, and they are perfect when wrapped up with veggies and my spicy yogurt sauce. I had two and I'm still full (it's been a couple hours, lol)! This recipe makes eight patties so you can toss the extras in your lunchbox.

Magic Red Lentil Wraps:
For the lentil patties:
2 cups water
3/4 c. red/orange lentils
1 c. finely chopped onions
2 c. finely chopped mixed white button and baby bella (crimini) mushrooms
1 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. vegan bread crumbs
3 Tb. vital wheat gluten
1/2 Tb. nutritional yeast ("nooch")

For the yogurt sauce:
1 (6 oz.) container plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt

Green leaf lettuce
Purple onion, thinly sliced
Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Tortilla shells

To make the patties:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until done (done = mushy!).
2. Meanwhile, saute the onion, mushrooms, and garlic in a skillet with some nonstick for about 5-8 minutes or until nice and golden. Add the salt and garam masala and saute until fragrant, about one minute. Remove from heat and add to a medium bowl.
3. Once the lentils are done, drain them (if necessary), and add them to the sauteed onion mixture. Add the bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and nooch and mix until thoroughly combined.
4. In a medium skillet sprayed with nonstick, cook the patties over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook another five minutes or until heated through and crisp on the outside. This recipe makes eight patties so I had to do two batches.

To make the yogurt sauce:
1. If there is any water on top of the yogurt, drain it off, then give it a good stir. Add in the parsley, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir everything up until nice and mixed.

Yes. I do enjoy my food slightly burnt. I got no shame.

To assemble:
Warm tortillas, then layer on lettuce, cucumber slices, tomato slices, onion slices, a split lentil patty, and the yogurt sauce. Roll and go!

Hehe... I'm a little short on produce... I need to do something about that! Anyway, for one patty with about one tablespoon of yogurt sauce (not including the tortilla or lettuce), you're going to get: 130 calories, slightly less than one gram of fat, and 9.5 grams of protein. Add some veggies, some low-carb/high protein tortillas (I recommend La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Tortillas), and you got one awesomeingly satisfying meal. And yes. I did make that word up. Have a great afternoon!


Jes said...

HAHA! That's exactly what I told my first little seedlings when they came up. Hopefully I can transplant some of my own kale outdoors after this weekend. Stupid cool weather!

Laura said...

Yay for gardening! Aren't seedlings adorable?!

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Yes, they are! I love them!

GreenCaller said...

Just letting you know I'm going to use that red lentil recipe! ^.^ Congrats on your babies, too, btw! I'm going to miss being so far away from a garden. I may just try a bit of herb gardening at the next faire.

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...


You'll love them, I promise!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! They are getting so big! My basil and spinach are growning really well, I am proud. Good luck!


Sonia said...

Your plants look so cute! I just got some seeds for a bunch of herbs and am going to attempt a balcony garden...
I just found your blog and I love your About Me page! Can't wait to read more from you :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my blog!

I hope your balcony garden is mucho productive! I'm thinking about getting a window box and doing some herbs as well. Mostly just ones I use a lot: parsley, cilantro, and maybe some dill and rosemary.