Spiced Ground Beef Patties with Quinoa and Toasted Almonds

I have a ridged grill pan that sits across two burners on my stove; I cooked the patties at one end of the pan. At the other, I grilled some baby zucchini that I had halved and tossed with olive oil.

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion greens
3 teaspoons olive oil or garlic oil
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon EACH black pepper, cinnamon, ground coriander, and ground cumin

Combine the meat and the next 8 ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate for at least on hour before cooking.  When ready to cook, prepare the quinoa according to package directions.  Divide the meat into 4 portions and form into patties. Grill or fry the patties until done to your liking.  Serve alongside quinoa and garnish with toasted almonds.


Baked Risotto with Roasted Fall Vegetables

This is a modified version of a recipe I found on epicurious.com.  You can use any vegetables you like.  The third edition of the Low FODMAP Diet book is out from the folks at Monash University.  They advise that you keep a serving of sweet potato to less than half a cup and a serving of pumpkin or butternut squash to less than a quarter of a cup.  To make this a meatless meal, leave out the bacon!

4 cups vegetables cut into 1 inch cubes:   carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, pumpkin, sweet potato, turnip
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
olive oil

2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/4 cups hot chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons pepitas or toasted sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 400F and put one oven rack in the upper part and one in the lower part of the oven.  Place the cubed vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on upper rack in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.  Toss the sage leaves with another tablespoon oil and set aside for now.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat a dutch oven or flame-proof casserole over medium heat. Saute the bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon and reserve.  In the bacon fat left in the pan, saute the rice for a minute, stirring constantly.  Add the wine and continue to stir until the wine has evaporated.  Add the two cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer and put a lid on it.

Open the oven and slide out the vegetables.  Turn them over with a spatula, sprinkle the sage leaves on top and slide it back into the oven.  Put the rice casserole in the oven on the bottom shelf.  Bake everything for another 20-25 minutes.

When the vegetables are thoroughly roasted and the rice has absorbed all the liquid, pull everything out of the oven. Add the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth to the rice and give it a good stir.  Stir in 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Top the rice with the vegetables.  Sprinkle the reserved bacon, 1/4 cup parmesan and the pepitas over the top. Dig in.