The Miniseries, Part I

Consider this the first episode of a five-part miniseries in which I cook elaborate three-part meals using recipes I find on Pinterest and relay my experiences to you.  I get something to write about, you get recipes, and we all get something delicious to eat.  Everyone wins.  (Note: I am aware that there are already thousands of recipe blogs and Pinterest-based food-testing blogs.  I don’t care.)

For the first meal in the series I decided to make barbecue tempeh burgers with broiled pepper and vinegar fingerling potatoes and a kale salad.

All of the ingredients used can be (and were) found at Trader Joe’s.

BARBECUE TEMPEH CHEESEBURGERS

The credit for this recipe goes to Marina at Yummy Mummy Kitchen.  Check out her original recipe here.  I found it via Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod on Pinterest, along with a ton of other awesome-looking recipes.

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to make these is that tempeh is incredibly filling (but also good for you and full of protein!).  I couldn’t even finish my burger, although that may also be due to the fact that cooking large meals mysteriously makes me less hungry than when I started.  The original recipe calls for grilling or baking the burgers, but since I didn’t realize that (I have a bad habit of not reading recipes all the way through before starting on them) and couldn’t be bothered to figure out how the grill someone left in our backyard works, I cooked them in a pan on the stovetop.  Do whatever feels right.

Barbecue Tempeh Cheeseburgers {serves 2 hungry people}

  • 1 package tempeh (found next to the tofu and other soy products)
  • barbecue sauce (I went with the Sweet Baby Ray’s that one of my roommates from first semester left behind, but use whatever you have on hand)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • half of one yellow onion, sliced
  • two pretzel rolls, halved
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • microgreens (I went with pea shoots, but any sort of sprout would work)
  1. Cut the tempeh in half to form two square patties.  Place in a shallow dish and coat with barbecue sauce.  Set aside.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into a pan and sauté the sliced onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.  This will take a while, so work on something else while you wait.
  3. Lightly grease another pan or griddle and turn the heat on to medium.  Add the tempeh burgers and cook until heated through.
  4. Toast the pretzel rolls (I would recommend using a toaster oven if you have one, because you can melt the cheese right on).
  5. Once the patties are cooked, assemble the burgers by placing them on a toasted pretzel roll and adding sliced avocado, caramelized onions, microgreens, and cheese (if you haven’t already melted it on).
  6. Done.  Eat and enjoy.

PEPPER AND VINEGAR FINGERLING POTATOES

What could be better with alternative burgers than alternative French fries?  This time the credit for the original recipe goes to Carolyn at Umami Girl.  I found the recipe through Molly Moog on Pinterest.  I will say before setting out that you should probably just look at the original recipe for this one.  I have a tendency to be impatient about potatoes and not cook them as long as they should be cooked to bring out maximum tastiness.  That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed mine.

Pepper and Vinegar Fingerling Potatoes {serves 4}

  • 1 pound fingerling (teeny tiny) potatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • a significant amount of white wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper
  1. Put the potatoes in a small pot.  Add as much vinegar as you think you can spare (up to 2 cups).  Cover the potatoes the rest of the way with water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° (or, if you have a functional oven, preheat the broiler).
  3. Bring the potato pot to a boil and then lower the heat and let simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Drain well.
  4. It is recommended that you let the potatoes cool and pat them dry with a paper towel before continuing.  I did not do this, but probably should have.
  5. Toss the potato slices with olive oil and lots of fresh cracked pepper.  Once they are well-coated, spread them out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven until lightly browned.
  6. Done.  Eat and enjoy.

KALE SALAD WITH AVOCADO, CARROTS, AND FENNEL

This is probably my all-time favorite salad, and I owe it all to Heidi from 101 Cookbooks.  Her original recipe can be found here.  This salad is amazing.  I cannot say enough good things about it.  So I won’t try.  I will just get straight to the point and enable you to try it for yourself.

Kale Salad with Avocado, Carrots, and Fennel {serves many}

Salad:

  • half package/bundle of kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 package Israeli (large) cous cous, cooked
  • 4-5 carrots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved (I used a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • handful of sliced almonds, toasted (a toaster oven is perfect for this)

Dressing:

  • 2 green onions (scallions), minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons avocado
  • fresh cracked pepper
  1. Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces and put in a salad bowl.
  2. Mix the finely chopped scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, avocado, and pepper.  I would recommend putting all of the ingredients in a Tupperware container, sealing it tightly, and just shaking.
  3. Massage most of the dressing into the kale using your hands.  This is an important (and rather fun) step, as it softens and brightens the raw kale, making it much more enjoyable to eat.
  4. Add the cous cous, carrots, fennel, and combine.
  5. Add the avocados and almonds and toss lightly.
  6. Done.  Eat and enjoy.
_____________________________________________
Sam Adams Tasman Red Red IPA
The whole meal paired very well with the Sam Adams Tasman Red Red IPA, from the Limited Release collection.  Dark and mellow for an IPA, this beer complemented the sweet and  tangy barbecue sauce, the mellow potatoes, and the citrusy salad dressing perfectly.

So that’s it for episode 1.  I hope you were at least a little bit inspired.  I know that I will certainly be making that salad again, if nothing else.  In the meantime, look here for a sneak preview of what’s to come!

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NB: I know that that food photography in this post leaves much to be desired.  So does the light in my kitchen.  I will strive to do better in the future (especially since I will think of taking pictures earlier than halfway through cooking the meal).

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One thought on “The Miniseries, Part I

  1. Kate says:

    I’m doing blog catch up due to being a doof, and I just want to say, that salad looks amazing and I want to eat it with my mouth.

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