Half A Salad with a Full Garden

Last summer I was getting all fancy with the gardening and the fresh stuff and piles and piles of lettuce to show for all my hard work. Thanks to my appaent inability to withold memories I went and planted flowers and herbs on top of where the end of last year’s crop went to seed. So what happened? Rogue lettuce. EVERYWHERE. It was growing out of the drainpipe hole at the end of the garden bed. It was springing up from between the cracks in the sidewalk. It was sort of grow up and through a rock?? And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that even with all that crazy ninja lettuce popping up everywhere and messing up my carefully planned out herb garden I’ve gotten about 10 good leaves from the lot of them.

On the bright side (in the back where we get more sun) I’ve had so many tomatoes that the only thing I could think of after a while was to cut them in hlf and throw them in the oven so I could at least have something that still tasted like tomato and would turn to black goo on the countertop. I really hate it when tomatoes go bad. It’s super gross.

But all those poor tomatoes I just didn’t rescue in time aside, I was left with only half a salad since I was strangely without any other ingredients to help make any salad I made be more than just chopped tomatoes with salt. It takes a special tomato to be delicious without some sort of additional lubricant with taste.

Here is a picture of tomatoes.

Here is a picture of tomatoes.

But between work and more work and my entire fammily deserting me for the island homelands I have had very little to eat except vegetables for the last month. It all happened because my dear mother finished her radiation treatments (yay!) and it ended with a really really big last minute party where I tried to grill outside. Thinking I’d try something new for a big crowd I attempted making burgers. Like real burgers. The kind with meat cooked on an open flame. Well over charcoal.

For those of you who don’t know: I was raised vegetarian. At some point the family became pescatarian but even fish is a rare occurence at Chez Tobing. I have left behind those meatless way for almost a decade now but even today I don’t cook meat. So me deciding to try cooking burgers for a party was probably the worst idea. They didn’t turn out awful. Just not great. The black bean burgers I mixed up, however, turned out amazing and I’ve even made this receipe since. I usually make my own aioli with vegenaise, fresh crushed garlic, lime, and sriracha. I had also posted the burger recipe last year in “Keeping it Veggie“:

Black Bean Burgers with a Smoky Red Pepper Spread

Black Bean Burgers with a Smoky Red Pepper Spread

But alongside the semi-successful burger project I grilled about 5 billion pounds of fresh stuff: Eggplane, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, OKRA!, bell peppers, asparagus, baby bell peppers, portabello mushrooms, sweet potatoes, corn… You put the grilled veggies on a toasted bun with the aioli and a still cripsy-on-the-outside black bean burger (or a marinated and grilled portabellow mushroom if you prefer) and that makes for a good party! In the future, though, I think I’ll leave the regular burgers to a professional. The afterparty of this whole affair was me sitting on the sofa eating nothing but roasted vegetable sandwiches for the next week while watching “Chuck” and drinking the remains of my homemade “Make Your Own Juice Bar”. My favorite was the sparkling  Persian Lime with an extra shot of sweetness from the ginger simple syrup.

In honor of the vegetables (and “fruit”. That’s right, I’m looking at you tomatoes!) that kept me alive while living alone for the last month I’m dedicating the next series of posts with all the wonderful ways to eat them!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers (from SkinnyTaste)

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

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Keeping It “Veggie”

Black Bean Burgers with a Smoky Red Pepper Spread

Black Bean Burgers with a Smoky Red Pepper Spread

So, like a good Asian daughter, I’m probably at church right now. That means I’ve selected this recipe before hand and schedule it’s presentation unto you, my Foodie Nationals. At some point I’m going to go all Steven Colbert and start all my blogs with “Welcome Foodie Nation!” Since being a Seventh-day Adventist is often synonymous with vegetarianism (if you’re doing it “right”) it could be a great selling point to those who are interested in either. I’m against organized religion and totally for making my mom not cry so I’ve stuck around long enough in this religion to know I’ll survive. And just to be clear, we’re not all vegetarians. Clearly. But that’s all theological crap that really should have no place here. This is about food. And food is what I’m probably not doing right now. But I’m probably thinking about food. And in the spirit of keeping it “Veggie” here’s what I’ve got. I really, really like, veggie burgers. No, they are not real burgers in the sense that they are made from a real cow, but they are so yummy. I’ve got these masala burgers… and the burgers featured in the post just look yummy. I’ve never actually tried making my own burgers (meat or vegetarian) but I really should try sometime. It would be great to try and then I could put in all the stuff I want like roasted red peppers (the only way I will ever eat red peppers is roasted or liquefied in some way), eggplant, cheeses, spices, the whole nine-yards. Then I can freeze them and take them to work and everyone will just wonder at my awesomeness!!

Oh wait… I forgot it’s still a weekday and that this will go out on Saturday and I really shouldn’t be talking about work on Saturday. The Sabbath is sacred and I will not desecrate it with that which is not worthy.

Because Breakfast Should Never Be Half-Assed (Day 2)

Make Your Own Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups

“Make Your Own Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups” from The Kitchn

Today’s “make ahead” breakfast is “Make Your Own Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups”. I’m not actively against yogurt but it isn’t something that pops into my head as an actual food in and of itself very often. The reason I’m choosing this recipe for a Monday is because Monday is the day I work late and so my the time I get home there ain’t no way I’m going to have enough energy to cook anything. I can barely get into bed fast enough by the time I get home on Monday nights. That being said, I think I might be able to quickly dumb these yogurt cups together on Sunday and keep them in the fridge for Tuesday morning. If I do it on a Sunday I could even make my own fruit mixture with some of the blueberries we picked in the summer or from some canned fruit we have around that is nice but could be nicer.