Lentil Burger Shmerger (and a bonus recipe for a quick curry dish)

I enjoy cooking.  I particularly love finding recipes and trying them out on poor, unsuspecting Ames.  I do not enjoy the time crunch that often surrounds dinner preparation.

If you are thinking, “But you are a stay at home mom.  Why is it a struggle to get dinner ready?,” then either a) you don’t have children or b) you need a swift kick in the face.  Maybe both.

Jane hits her fussiest point of the day around 4:00 p.m.  From that time until Amy gets home, at about 5:15 or so, I am either serving as her personal jungle gym, swinging her in her swing in the front yard, or staring out the window, with Jane in my arm, trying to will Amy to get home faster.  Clearly, no dinner prep is happening then.

Amy comes in, and I begin the mad dash to get dinner done.  What is the rush?  Jane goes to bed at 6:30.  And, of course, there are baths to be had and books to be read before bedtime.  So, essentially I need to have dinner on the table no later than 6:10.

But… I am a slow cooker.  Not a crock pot.  But I chop slowly.  I read the recipe about 20 times (I am also a perfectionist).  I do not economize my movements about the kitchen.  Slow.  And that would be fine, except for the bedtime looming over my head.

Why don’t we just eat after Jane goes to bed?  Well, several night out of the week, Amy has obligations outside the house that require her to leave by 7:30 (at the latest).  See the problem here?

Perhaps all of this will help you understand my frustration with the Lentil Chipotle Burgers I made last night. Cilantro, zucchini, and onion all had to be chopped.  So did the super hot chipotles in adobo.  And they had to be deseeded.  The veggies had to be sauteed.  Then everything had to be put in the food processor.  But we have an itty bitty food processor (I swear, it is for elves), so I had to do two different batches, then mix it together.  When I type it out, it doesn’t sound too horrific.  But I swear, it took me over an hour to make those burgers. Oh, and they were impossible to flip.

Okay, I have to be honest here.  The burgers I made were too soft.  And they folded over the spatula, instead of  holding together to be flipped.  Here is the problem:  during my whirlwind trip to Publix, during which I was wearing a 10 month old who wanted to do backflips out of the Ergo, I couldn’t find canned lentils and went with pinto beans instead.  Look, I know they are not nearly the same thing.  Turns out, the lentils (like everything else good) are probably in the “ethnic” isle.  I didn’t know that yesterday.  So I grabbed a can of pinto beans and called it a day.  And there is the unvarnished truth about why my burgers were mushy.

But, even if they hadn’t been mushy, I thought I put in too much time making burgers that were just okay.  I will definitely eat the leftovers, but I won’t make them again.

For listening to my sad tale about so-so burgers, I offer you this:  Mustard Greens & Kidney Bean Curry.  The name may lack imagination, but the final product tastes amazing.  The recipe is quick and easy.  Definitely one of our staple recipes.  To make it vegan, I used vegan margarine instead of ghee and soy creamer instead of half & half.  Enjoy!

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