Quinoa Burgers and Pad Thai for Meatless Monday

My weekend vegetarian cooking will incorporate red quinoa, a South American grain, and a vegetarian version of one of my favourite Thai dishes, Pad Thai.

I will make Quinoa burgers or patties  for lunch.  Vegetable patties have not been my forte, but  I expect that if I make them more often, my skill will increase.  My theory is that whatever the recipe says, the cook has to make last minute decisions about whether there is enough moisture, or enough of the binding ingredient, such as bread crumbs or flour.

Vegetarian burgers are good heated up, but also go nicely in a cold packed lunch, with a bun, lettuce, and other trimmings.

The Red Quinoa Patties recipe I’ll be trying is published by the Quinoa Corporation in its Inca Red Pamphlet, available online at: http://www.quinoa.net/4600.html.  Cooking quinoa is very much like cooking rice—rinse thoroughly, and use 2 cups of water for each cup of dry grain.  The recipe calls for three cups of cooked quinoa–one cup of the dry grain yields this amount.

Quinoa Facts

It’s pronounced “Keen-wa” not “Kin-oh-ah” as I used to say it.

Not widely used in North America, quinoa was a staple of the Incas.  It has more protein than other grains and is high in vitamins E and B; and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and phosphorous.

I have found quinoa in bulk food and natural food stores.

Vegetarian Pad Thai for Dinner

According to Wikipedia, Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes.  It’s traditionally made with rice noodles, egg, fish sauce, tamarind, red chillies, and other ingredients, such as bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu.  Garnishes typically include peanuts, lime, and coriander.  The recipe I will be using can be done with eggs, or soft tofu as a substitute, bean sprouts, and Baby Bok Choy.  It calls for tamarind paste, which is perfect if you can find it–look in the international section of a grocery store or at an East Indian/Asian store.  I’m going to try to make do without tamarind by adding a bit of lemon and a touch of brown sugar instead. The recipe can be found at About.com:

http://thaifood.about.com/od/vegetarianthairecipes/r/padthaiveg.htm?p=1

Meatless Monday Menu Featuring Peanut Noodles and Lasagna–03.21.11

It’s that time again—time to think about what we’ll be eating on Meatless Monday.  If you’d like some inspiration for reducing meat in your diet, take a look at the YouTube video below.

This week, for Meatless Monday lunch, I’ll prepare Peanut Noodles, a favourite in my household.  The recipe is from the American Meatless Monday campaign website. Tasty, hot or cold, this dish can be taken to work, even if there is no microwave. Matchstick cucumbers and carrots add crunch and colour.

For Meatless Monday dinner, I’m cooking a Vegetable Lasagna using a recipe on Food.com as my guide.  I had a craving for a lasagna with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini— and this one also includes cauliflower.  The author suggests adding an egg substitute (or egg) to the ricotta cheese, presumably as a thickening agent, but I would regard this as optional.

Lasagna variations—There are many types of vegetarian lasagnas to choose from.  Two main categories are white sauce and tomato sauce versions—I’ve chosen one with tomato sauce.  Lasagna recipes come with different vegetable combinations.  Some include spinach or eggplant.  

The Lasagna featured on Meatless Monday, called “Lasagna Floret”, uses broccoli and cauliflower.

Another  Lasagna option is thickening the tomato sauce with crumbled tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Tip—textured vegetable protein (TVP), a dehydrated soy product, is best purchased organic, in my opinion, due to pesticides and genetic modification of some conventional soy beans—soak the dried flakes in boiling water, drain, and add to the tomato sauce for protein and thickening.

Serving it up–Lasagna is practically a meal-in-one type of dish, including grains, veggies, and protein, but it’s nice to have a fresh salad and perhaps garlic bread on the side.  Enjoy!

In this video, uploaded onto YouTube in the spring of 2009, Dave Way, then President of Earthsave Canada, talks about how animal agriculture is linked to climate change.