More and more recently, I find that it is hard to go about my work without stopping to acknowledge the recent heartbreak that's been going on all around. As incredibly important as I find food and meals as a foundation of family and life, a source of nourishment, and a way to bond and bring people together ...... at the very same time, food and making recipes can seem a bit trivial in a world that is exploding with hate and violence.
Some people were born to be outspoken leaders. To take charge in rough times, speak out, organize rallies and get out there to try and generate bigger change. Some people (like myself and many) are more quiet observers. I like to pay attention, to listen, to know what is going on in the world and take it all in, no matter how far removed it might be from my own. My heart is so heavy right now. I cry when I hear that someone, anyone, loses their life for any reason, but even more so when it's completely unfair and wrong. I have never felt more sad or disturbed by the world that we live in than I have in the past month. I have never cried as much over news stories, videos, strangers, than I have in the past several weeks. I wish things would change, but sometimes, as an observer, I feel so helpless. I feel that the problems of today are so much bigger than any one person. But then I remember that we can all do something. Doesn't matter how big or small, we can all do something. Spread love, do good deeds, go out of your way to help someone, buy that person who looks hungry a sandwich, smile at stranger. It might seem small, but it's a start. We have so much work to do, but by reading and sharing the bigger stories of hope and compassion out there right now, I am hopeful that soon, this story will slowly start to change.
And there is still food. We have home cooked meals, where we can turn off the news and have real conversations about what's going on and how we can spread more love. I think that we can all agree that some of the most important conversations start at the dinner table, and those loving moments are what we need now more than ever. <3
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw
This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen peas. I prefer fresh (which happen to be in season right now near me). To cook the fresh peas, just blanch them for about 1 minute in hot water. If you are using frozen be sure to defrost them by using the same method.
about a dozen fritters
for the fritters:
2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 cups of cooked peas
1 cup of loosely packed basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + a couple of tablespoons for frying
2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
for the tarragon zucchini slaw:
1 zucchini shredded with a julienne peeler or mandolin
2 tablespoons of mayo (vegan or regular, etc)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of minced tarragon
a pinch or two salt
Make the fritters:
- In a medium bowl, roughly mash the peas using a masher. Add in the quinoa, and continue mashing for a bit, still keeping some texture (the mashing helps the fritters stick together better).
- Then, stir in the basil, olive oil, flour, salt, and pepper until evenly incorporated. Lastly, add in the egg and stir to incorporate.
- Form the patties by pressing about 1/4 cup of the mixture together between the palms of your hands. Place onto a plate or flat surface. When all of the patties are formed, place in the fridge for about 30 minute while you make the slaw (this will help them hold together better when frying).
Make the zucchini slaw:
- In a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice, tarragon, salt + pepper. Add the zucchini to the bowl, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside in the fridge until you're ready to assemble and serve.
Fry the fritters:
- Heat the oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a cast iron over medium heat, and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes on each side. You will want to do this in batches to keep from crowding the pan. I like to do about 3 at a time. Also, try not to disturb them too much while cooking, and be gentle when flipping them to keep them from falling apart.
- Place the cooked fritters onto a platter, and top with a pinch of the slaw and some microgreens (if you like). Serve warm. If you have any leftovers, the fritters can be reheated in the cast iron for a couple of minutes on each side.