In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I will supply you with a green recipe – not just in color, but in healthy plant-powered goodness! But first, a little history on our good friend Pat. Did you know that he wasn’t even Irish? He was a Brit who was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish pagans, but apparently he came to like his captors and, when he escaped, vowed to return. Fast forward thirty years and old Pat had become a Christian, converting people left and right, and was ultimately responsible for converting that little island called Ireland to Catholicism. So in homage to this great non-Irishman, we drink copious amounts of alcohol, dance around with shamrocks on our heads and pretend to be Irish. God, I love holidays…
Now that you understand the meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day so well, why not show your Irish pride by whipping up some spinach tempeh burgers? Tempeh is made from fermented whole soybeans, and is one of the best ways to consume soy because the fermentation process breaks down some of the phytic acid found in unfermented soy (like tofu). This is beneficial for maximum nutrient absorption and healthy digestion, not to mention you’ll be getting a truckload of protein! Combined with brown rice, toasted sunflower seeds, and spinach and you’ll be satiated until that drunken 2am I-need-food-to-absorb-some-of-this-guinness attack.
1 T cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 package tempeh, crumbled (I recommend SoyBoy)
1 small onion, diced
3 T dried herb seasoning (I recommend Penzey’s Bouquet Garni, or a mixture of savory, rosemary, thyme, Turkish oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon)
Pinch of chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder or 4 cloves minced garlic
Generous splash of white wine, any variety
1 tsp tamari
1/2 cup + stock (I recommend Imagine Foods No-Chicken Stock)
Pinch of smoked sea salt (optional, but delicious – I recommend alder smoked sea salt)
1 tsp arrowroot powder
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of nutritional yeast
3/4 cup short grain brown rice, cooked in 2 cups of stock
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds + 2 T, toasted
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (to coat patties)
Add brown rice and stock to a saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn down flame and simmer for about 40 minutes. In a big saute pan (I use cast iron), heat oil over medium flame and add onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes, then stir in crumbled tempeh, chili powder, herbs, and garlic powder. Cook for another 4 minutes or so, until tempeh is beginning to brown. Now deglaze with a sizable splash of wine, carefully scraping up any pieces of tempeh that might have become stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add tamari, stock, and smoked sea salt, then stir to incorporate into mixture. Add more stock if needed (you want to almost submerge the mixture in liquid). Dump spinach on top of bubbling tempeh and lower the flame to a lively simmer. Once half of the liquid has been absorbed, stir and add nutritional yeast and cooked brown rice. Turn off flame and set aside.
Toast sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over low heat until brown and fragrant. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt. Pour 1/4 cup of seeds into a food processor along with tempeh mixture, and pulse about 20 times, or until mixture is combined but still has texture. Pour into a mixing bowl and add remaining sunflower seeds. Time permitting, allow burger mixture to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Form into patties, then coat with flour. In a saute pan, heat 2 T refined coconut oil over a medium high flame. Add patties (depending on size of pan, you may have to do this in batches). Cook until brown and crispy on bottom side, then flip and repeat, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. To serve, toast some whole grain sprouted bread or lay atop a bed of greens with your favorite burger toppings! I recommend pickles, avocado and dijon mustard. Makes enough for 6-8 drunken unicorns guilty of using Saint Patty’s Day as an excuse to get inebriated.
Halloween is a strange holiday. Actually, it isn’t even a holiday; it’s an excuse to dress like a hooker and eat lots of sugar, all in the name of ??? Yea…weird. The reason I’m hating on halloween is because I had no plans so it’s convenient to pull the “I didn’t want to participate” line.
Halloween has always been a bit of a crapshoot in our family. When we were little, halloween always seemed to sneak up on us so quickly that we were left with 24 hours to come up with a costume. This usually limited our options to clothing already in our house (translation: mom and dad’s clothes & some reject costumes from earlier years). My mom’s favorite last minute costume? Gypsy. Going as a gypsy was easy because all we had to do was wear lots of ratty looking clothing and wear too much makeup. But after more than 3 appearances as a gypsy…we had to draw the line. Second place outfit? The infamous black cat. Black outfit (teenager = miniskirt, make-up, heels & the obligatory angst. Innocent child = Laura Ashley jumper, mary janes, and furry gloves), a set of black, pointy ears and black eyeliner whiskers. Third place outfit? Witch. I pulled this one a lot, but I never had black robes so I just wore one of my mom’s black dresses and put on the crooked pointy hat that was always stuffed in our “dress up” chest. The dress up chest was full of the most fabulously random things: grass skirts, hot pink tutus, a witch’s hat, a bizarre unitard with a sewn on squirrel tail (it was for the play Chicken Little. I was a squirrel, which wasn’t a character in the play, but after they cast me as a daisy, I asked if I could be a squirrel instead. I only had 1 line so they didn’t care if I was a rodent or a flower), a red cape with faux white fur fringe (when needing to be a king naturally), several sparkling crowns (worn by us and regrettably, by our dogs), and a beautiful egyptian head piece that we always wanted to wear but never had the right outfit for. We tried doing the whole “trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood” thing, but the houses were too spread out, so our mom drove us from house to house and needless to say, many of the doors we knocked on either never opened or opened to a very shocked resident (and it wasn’t because of our smashing costumes). We eventually started doing trick-or-treating with our friends in more populated areas, which was great. But the funny thing is, you collect all this candy, go home, stuff your face, and feel totally nuts for the rest of the night and wake up the next morning to find your candy stash mysteriously missing. You ask your mom and she looks down at you with that deceitful innocence while making breakfast, and then quickly changes the subject or says something like, “didn’t you eat it all?”
No, you say to yourself, I most certainly did not, and I was fully intending to go crazy again tonight, dress up as an egyptian king and sing songs from The Sound of Music at the top of my lungs! (this is about the time you realize why your mother would do such a horrible thing to you…)