Happy inauguration (and MLK!) day!
If you didn’t realize it was inauguration day, I don’t blame you — it goes quasi unnoticed in lots of parts of the country. But when you live in DC, it’s pretty hard to miss, because there are — oh I don’t know — a billion extra people on the street. Everything’s closed. Everyone’s off work. And the only method of transportation you can count on is walking (and even that’s not a guarantee).
Inauguration 2013 — while somewhat less exciting than Inauguration 2009 — has one huge, major advantage over its immediate predecessor: it’s not a thousand degrees before zero. I’m really glad to be back in DC and experiencing another inauguration, for no other reason than the fact that all my memories of 2009 boil down to one word: COLD.
2013 has another leg up on 2009 in that this year, my husband and I snagged tickets to one of the (unofficial) inaugural balls! It was awesome and fancy and a lot of fun — plus, I got to have my first-ever Rent the Runway experience! It’s actually not that hard to get tickets to one of the unofficial balls; what’s much more difficult is scoring tickets to one of the official shindigs — you know, the ones the president actually shows up to. Though we weren’t lucky enough to hobnob with the president, two of my girlfriends are getting to do just that tonight, and I don’t mind admitting that I’m pretty jealous. TELL MICHELLE HI, GUYS!
Speaking of Michelle, I have a feeling she’d be pretty into this dinner. Vegetarian and high-protein, but still very flavorful and fun. I bet that’s the kindof thing she’d feed to loveable furry puppets.
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND FETA QUINOA BURGERS (adapted from Slimming Eats)
1/3 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (I used jarred peppers but you could roast your own)
1/2 an onion, minced
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
baby spinach leaves, for serving
whole wheat rolls, toasted, for serving
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil spray
1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook quinoa according to package instructions, then place in large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Place the tomatoes and garlic in oven-safe dish and spray olive oil spray. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, toss to coat, and roast in oven until softened, 10-15 minutes. Once softened, remove from oven and set aside.
3. Heat small saute pan over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add minced onions to pan and saute until softened. Remove from heat.
4. Add onions, red peppers, feta, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to bowl with quinoa; stir. Add egg, mix well, and bind together firmly into two equal sized patties. If you prefer smaller patties, go ahead and make three. Place patties on plate and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
5. Spray a frying pan olive oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add patties to the pan and cook 8-10 minutes per side, so that both sides are golden.
6. Serve patties on buns with spinach and tomato mixture.
Both my husband and my vegetarian friend liked these — they had plenty of flavor, and I thought the tomato mixture was especially good (balsamic vinegar makes everything better!). These are a great option for Meatless Monday!