Getting married has made going to other weddings such a treat. Before they were still a good time, but now (after knowing all of what goes into putting on even a simple wedding like ours) I have a greater appreciation for the event. Plus a much greater feeling of gratitude that I get to experience and take part in enjoying months of someone else’s hard work. This past weekend was no exception. Our friend’s wedding was our first here in Colorado, and it was breathtaking. Out on a ranch that was so gorgeous its silly, we witnessed two incredible people commit their lives to one another. I never used to cry at weddings. Until we had ours. Now all it took was one glimpse of the bride being walked down the aisle by her dad for me to fall apart into a blubbering mess. Because I remember that feeling. My arm laced through my dad’s – the man who has loved and taken care of me his whole life. And me, the little girl who has only ever known my dad to be the one I depend on, being handed over to another man who is to take care of me now. Of course I was ecstatic about marrying Scott. But there was a kind of sadness I still felt, clinging to my dad’s arm as he walked me down the aisle to give me away.
If I thought that moment was to be the one to get me, I was so unprepared for the next. The father-daughter dance. Followed by the mother-son dance. Oh did I lose it. At our wedding it was all I could do to let go of my dad at the end of our dance. It felt so wrong. Here are our parents, who have given their lives – sacrificing more than I will ever understand – and loving us in a way I will only know once we have kids of our own. Just for what? So we could leave. Say goodbye. Go live our own lives and spend less time with them. I know this is what is suppose to happen, what is right and good. But at the same time it felt undeniably wrong. I wanted to plead with them for forgiveness, tell them how sorry I was to just walk away. Leave them. Behind the excited faces of our parents (and our friend’s parents this past weekend) I could see the sadness. The feeling of loneliness already setting in – there would be one less soul in their house that next day. A new hole to fill. Something was happening that was about to change everything. It was good. But a hard good. One of those “goods” that are emotion-heavy. I love weddings now because they remind me of all this – everything I felt that day, and continue to feel in small ways. They remind me to call my parents. Give them an extra hug next time I see them. And to hold tight to my husband with the most loving of hearts. Because we have now started the cycle over again, and our kids will be the ones we feel these heavy emotions with next. Scott will one day be in my dad’s place (hopefully) handing over his daughter. We will then know what it feels like from the other side. And my golly do I hope my heart matures enough to handle it, because it nearly broke into a million little bits this past weekend. I think I’m still picking them up.
Now its time for me to do a little spin-move on you so we can move onto this incredible burger I have for you today. This has been our go-to veggie burger for a few years now. After months of recipe testing, and several mushy/beany burgers later, this master was born. Bean-less, packed with veggies, and gluten free as well – using oat flour and ground sunflower seeds to hold it all together. It is such a pure and delicious burger I sometimes dream about it – and then have to make it and concoct a bunch of fancy dressings and toppings for it like I have for you here. I mean, this mustard sauce you guys. I can’t stop licking the spoon as I’m trying to get some of it onto my burger. It’s unreal. Especially paired with the fresh oregano and paprika in the cool, creamy sauce of the radicchio slaw. Which, by the way, it the perfect balancer of flavors and textures in this stacked creation. Avocado slices, because, AVOCADO (if I need to say more you won’t understand). And since were making everything else from scratch here, why not the buns, right? Say hello to my new favorite burger container – the seeded spelt bun. Almost too easy (almost).
Are you ready to go to veggie burger heaven? Well wait just one sec while I tell you about another place you can find this lip-smacking scrumptious burger today, its also over on my good friend Claire’s blog – Vidya! She has just the sweetest of hearts and such a gorgeous space over on her site. I love perusing it not only for the recipes, but all her great know-how on nutrition and health. Our little blogger-relationship has grown over chats about our similar interests of food, health, and adventuring. I’m so grateful to have met Claire, and thrilled to get to have a summer recipe feature on her site! Be sure to pop over to Vidya, and stay to explore a bit!
VEGGIE BURGERS W/ A SWEET & TANGY MUSTARD SAUCE + RADICCHIO SLAW
Serves 6 altogether.
Makes 6 burgers.
1 cup sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
3 cups chopped white (or brown) mushrooms
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (for cooking)
salt + pepper to taste
1/4 cup low sodium tamari (non-GMO)
1 cup oat flour
1 cup sunflower seeds (shelled and ground)
Heat a large skillet to medium/low heat and add the refined coconut oil. Toss in the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Now add the grated carrot and zucchini. Let cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir to combine. Let sit and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all of the mushrooms get cooked evenly. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly while you prepare the dry ingredients.
In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, combine the oat flour and ground sunflower seeds (I usually grind my seeds, and sometimes oats too, in the food processor until they resemble a flour). At this point I tend to add a good pinch of salt and few dashes of pepper to the dry mixture. Add the cooked veggies to the bowl using tongs, leaving any excess water/juices in the pan, and mix well with the flours. Add the tamari and mix well again. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Divide the mixture into 6 balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If the dough is too sticky to handle, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to set. Once shaped, you can either flatten the veggie burger balls and go straight to baking them (instructions below) or place in the freezer. Once frozen I transfer them to a freezer-safe bag, making sure to squeeze out all of the air before sealing tightly and keeping in the freezer until ready to cook (they will keep for one month when frozen). Thaw a veggie burger in the refrigerator overnight (or during the day) before proceeding to cook.
You can either cook the veggie burgers in a skillet with a little refined coconut oil until crisp on both sides (on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side), or bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes, flipping the patties half-way through the cooking time (this is the method I chose).
Makes 6 buns.
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons water
3 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
pepitas and/or sesame seeds for topping
Add the yeast to the warm water in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flax meal to the water (preferable warm water) and set aside for 5 minutes to set also.
Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the yeast (including the flax mixture), then add in the dry ingredients. Mix well and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about a minute until it forms into a smooth elastic ball. Shape into a log and cut into six equal parts. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slightly press down on each ball of dough, cover with a cloth towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.
During this time, preheat the oven to 425F. Before placing the buns in the oven, sprinkle with water and seeds (if desired). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to the counter to cool. Slice and use right away, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days (or freeze and defrost as needed).
Sweet & Tangy Mustard Sauce
3/4 cup organic yellow mustard
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw honey (or more maple)
2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste (from a BPA free container)
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
Mix the ingredients together in a jar, seal tightly, and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors can mingle before serving. Should keep for two weeks (or longer).
Cool Radicchio Slaw
1/2 cup cashews (soaked 4 hours or longer)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt + pepper to taste
1 medium radicchio, shredded (about 5 to 6 cups)
Blend all of the above ingredients (minus the shredded radicchio) in your blender. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Toss with shredded radicchio in a mixing bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour before serving.
Slice and toast a spelt bun (if desired). Spoon a few tablespoons of the mustard sauce on the bottom bun, top with the cooked veggie burger, a few slices of avocado, and a scoop of the radicchio slaw – now take a little trip to veggie burger heaven. Happy summer!