I can hardly believe it, but today is the HH and my thirteenth anniversary! And to think they said it would never last! Of course, when we met, we were just love-struck kids a one-night stand riding the subway two jaded divorcés who thought they’d never again find love.
And yet, here we are. And get a load of our conversation earlier this morning:
Ricki and the HH marvel at 13 years together (which is about 11 more years than Ellen and Portia). The HH gets ready to shave for work while Ricki brushes her teeth.
HH: You know, I had to buy this new razor yesterday. I had a two-blader, and now they only come with three blades or more.
Ricki [mouth full of confiscated toothpaste suds]: Rrrbrrry?
HH: Yes, really. I think I had that razor longer than we’ve been together.
Ricki [rinsing mouth]: That would be more than thirteen years. Wow.
HH: Yeah. Hey–that means that all of the cells in our bodies have already been replaced since we got together! So we’re not even the same two people we were when we first met.
Ricki: You’re such a romantic.
Okay, I suppose there is something a little bit special about walking around with a cellular makeup that developed entirely while I’ve been living with the HH (and the same for him). And if cells renew themselves every seven years in dogs, too, that means Elsie really is “our” dog now (though Chaser still has a ways to go).
“Mum, that is ageism, don’t you think? I mean, it’s not my fault I’m only three years old tomorrow. And what’s up with an April 7th birthday, anyway? It’s always overshadowed by your darn anniversary.”
Well, if red is the color of passion, then perhaps these beet burgers can inject an extra shot of romance into our relationship on this special day.
You may have noticed how much I adore beets, from salads to faux pepperoni and even a dessert. A much-loved vegetable in my kitchen, beets are a star in the veggie universe as well: besides tasting great, they’re packed with minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium and iron, are a great source of the B Vitamin folate, and actually help boost liver function. They contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, help prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation in the body. They’re a great source of fiber and can promote regularity. And they might just introduce a little extra passion to your mealtime.
I got the idea for these burgers when Kim mentioned “beetloaf” one day on twitter. I do enjoy savory loaves (such as nutroasts), but wanted something that would cook up a bit faster and perhaps go well in a sandwich (since I seem to be on a sandwich kick these days). After a couple of false starts (I guess there is such a thing as “too much beet”), I came up with this version: browned and barely crispy on the outside, still moist on the inside, with a naturally smoky flavor and sweet undertones. These patties make a great main dish served alongside your favorite vegetable or even a creamy pasta.
I imagined a burger that tasted hearty without being too heavy or too earthy because of the beets. The pairing of buckwheat and beets accomplishes this goal admirably; these are a mild burger, yet one that is–dare I say it–meaty enough to really satisfy.
1/2 cup (120 ml) buckwheat, dry
1-1/3 cups (320 ml) vegetable broth of stock
1-1/2 cups (235 g) brazil nuts (or use walnuts or pecans, or a mix)
1/2 cup (50 g) whole old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
1/4 cup (30 g) finely ground flax seeds
5-1/2 ounces (150 g) cooked*, peeled beets (3-4 small beets)
1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) parsley, chopped
3/4 tsp (3.5 ml) fennel
1 tsp (5 ml) ground mustard
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
up to 1/2 cup (120 ml) additional vegetable broth or stock, as needed
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a small pot, bring the 1-1/3 cups (320 ml) vegetable stock to a boil; add the buckwheat, cover, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the cover, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a food processor, process the nuts, flax and oats to the texture of a coarse meal. Add the beets, pepper, parsley, fennel, mustard and salt and process until almost smooth, yet still grainy.
Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and flatten to patties about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes, then gently turn over and return to oven for another 15-25 minutes, until the burgers are crisp on the edges. Serve plain or in buns. These go well with avocado mayonnaise or fresh and spicy cilantro sauce (both of these condiments will create a cool red-and-green Christmas vibe with the burgers, too). Makes 8-10 burgers. May be frozen.
* I bake the beets because I prefer the flavor and find they are a bit dryer that way, so the burgers will hold together better. If you boil the beets instead, you might like to reduce the vegetable broth by 2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml).
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Last Year at this Time: Dr. Ornish, You Stole My Heart: Seven Grain Dirty Rice and Beans
Two Years Ago: Lucky Comestible II (3): Quinoa Oatmeal Croquettes
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