Whew, I have been running like crazy lately to get back in the groove of things. I started a fantastic new job last week (woo-hoo!) and I committed to a few lifestyle changes to get back on track to being the best possible version of myself, so I have been a little busy. All good things though, so I can’t complain.
One of the household resolutions that I share with Kyle is to create more healthy and economical meals at home, and to eat those meals at a reasonable hour. For the last few months, dinner has gotten later in the evening and I have sacrificed nutrition for convenience. Consequently, we aren’t getting the fuel we need and we are crashing into bed immediately after dinner every night. With the new job comes a new schedule (a better schedule), which leaves us no excuses to get in the way of achieving our goal every day.
We, Lauren and Kyle, do solemnly vow to quit ordering take-out and start rolling up our sleeves together in the kitchen in order to get a healthy home cooked meal on the table (almost) every night.
We stumbled a little the first night when a late trip to the grocery store, oven problems, and poor planning resulted in a dinner disaster. I was so excited to use my new mandoline to make eggplant parmesan rolls, but the rolling and baking process took so long that Kyle was falling asleep in the living room chair before dinner was even close to finished.
I was able to refrigerate them and heat them up the next night just in time for dinner so it was not a total failure. I modified the recipe quite a bit, substituting mache for chard and basil for mint, and they were excellent albeit time consuming. It was that night, as we ate the previous night’s reheated eggplant rolls, that we revised our resolution from “healthy, economical, home cooked meals” to “healthy, economical, home cooked meals. . . at a reasonable hour.” It just takes a little planning and teamwork and we are confident that we will be successful soon. The next night, we achieved our daily goal for the first time, and we have been going strong ever since.
We were inspired by the delicious veggie burgers from Boylan Heights in Charlottesville.
I found the recipe online but with a ton of ingredients and a super involved process, the recipe didn’t meet my time restriction. Plus, among the ingredients are Ritz crackers and other questionable things, AND the whole burger is deep fried which I refuse to do in my own kitchen. We liked the incorporation of quinoa and various vegetables though, so we modified another recipe to work for us.
If you can pan fry them all in one batch, this recipe is super easy to pull off on a weeknight.
We baked some sweet potato fries and green bean fries at the same time, and they were the perfect accompaniment. We are still working on getting a healthy, inexpensive meal together by 7:30 every night, but we have already made quite a bit of progress. It turns out that planning our meals at the beginning of the week, knocking out the grocery shopping on the weekend, and sharing the responsibility for prepping the meal is working for us. Basic stuff, but giant leaps toward our mastery of domesticity!
Quinoa Veggie Burgers (adapted from Whole Living)
Makes six burgers (makes perfect leftovers for lunches!)
- 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 15 ounces great northern beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
- 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 whole wheat sandwich thins
- Toppings (optional): fresh spinach, sliced tomato, stone ground mustard
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Seasonings of your choice: salt, pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, etc.