Apparently I love cooking. I’m not that good at it–I still don’t fully understand the temperature of the pan, what flavors blend well together, or even how to consistently avoid eggshells when I crack an egg. I’ve made my fair share of straight to the trash (after attempting to swallow a few bites) dinners. But when I do succeed, there is something extremely satisfying in it. Sure, mac n’ cheese is easy and fast to make, but I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything when I’m done (except, perhaps, affirming the truth that one box is, in fact, one serving). Putting together a meal for yourself, or friends, from scratch, is often the best way to feel like an adult on a terrible day. You may have binge watched seven episodes of Teen Wolf, but at least you made yourself dinner, champ.
While not particularly impressive, burgers are a great summer self-serve. As a vegetarian, I tend to stick with portobello mushrooms as the meat, but there are a ton of great vegetarian burger recipes out there–most which freeze well. And many of the recipe requirements can be substituted to your taste/kitchen. Every time I make the quinoa burgers, I tend to forget about buying carrots/zucchini at the store, so I just made it without them.
After you’ve wowed yourself with your homemade burger patties (here are some suggestions for my carnivore friends), the real fun comes in the toppings. Expand your horizons–move past American cheese, ketchup and mustard. You’re a grown up–act like it!
The stranger the combinations, the the higher the stakes. After grilling a portobello mushroom, I decided a savory-sweet concept would suffice. I didn’t have any pineapple (which I thought would go well with barbecue sauce), so I sauteed some nectarines I had in the fridge. Weird, right? Except it worked. After cooking off some of the tartness, the nectarines worked great with some sharp cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce. Served with some grilled asparagus, I instagrammed that dinner like crazy. #ProudParent. And everybody needed to know.
A little extra work for dinner, usually no longer than a half hour in most cases, is a great way to feel in control of your life. It’s cheaper, and usually much healthier. Try it tonight. And show off to all of your friends. You’re a #proudparent of your new meal anyway. Why not add a Lo-Fi filter?