So Pesach is coming and I’m calm, I really am. I mean, this is not my first rodeo, and besides, I have an entire folder full of Pesach shopping lists, menus and recipes from previous years. Lists are good, right? I feel completely in control of my Pesach planning, so I can now focus my attention on repairing the appliances that always seem to go on the fritz right before all holidays.
One area that always seems to get overlooked in the intense preparation for the holiday is erev Pesach, the afternoon before the holiday begins. I am always so focused on preparing all the seder-plate items, braising the chicken, mixing the kugels, that it shocks me come two or three o’clock, when the kids start foraging for food. Yes, they are hungry and they want lunch. Given that they won’t be eating for quite some time, it behooves me to plan a somewhat substantial meal, some real food, without distracting myself too much from the seder preparations. The horseradish isn’t going to grate itself. And I want them to avoid eating anything I have painstakingly prepared for the seder (I’m not really worried about the horseradish) so I need to have something ready for them. Otherwise, I spend the afternoon shooing them away from the stove, and forcing them to eat macaroons and fruit. And chocolate.
In the past, once I realized the importance of this pre-pesach meal, I cooked a big pot of meatballs and crustless potato knishes. When the kids converged on the kitchen, I was so smug because I was ready for it. So if you are a menu-planner type of person, make sure to include this meal on the list, so you are prepared for the kitchen invasion.
But if you are looking for a dairy alternative, or a little bit lighter fare, these quinoa burgers fit the bill perfectly, can be made quickly early in the day and are very satisfying. Put these out on the table, along with some fruit and veggies and I guarantee the kids will leave your chocolate alone.
Baked Quinoa Burgers
- 6 C. cooked quinoa (12 oz. dry)
- 1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- (you can use frozen)
- 1/3 C. chopped fresh herbs (I use parsley and basil. You can substitute 1 Tbsp. dried)
- A few shakes of hot sauce
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 C. grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Form into patties with damp hands (Use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of the quinoa mixture, depending on how big you like the burgers.) Place on a greased cookie sheet and spray or brush the tops of the burgers with oil. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 20-30 minutes, then flip the burgers and bake for another 10 minutes. You want the burgers to be browned and crispy! Serve with a spicy mayo and salad on the side.
By Rachel Berger