A Winter GF-CF lunch

Owner wrote:

A Winter GF/CF Lunch      lentil-almond-burgers1

 Yesterday, I took lunch to the home of a friend.  A childhood buddy of hers is visiting Pittsburgh from Phoenix (during the most frigid week in a decade) to help her clear clutter and ready her house to go on the market in the spring.  I offered to take the two of them to a restaurant, and she declined, saying they did not want to take the time away from their clutter clearing.  I said I would cater the event.

A little background first.  My friend and her visitor are both breast cancer survivors, she also has fibromyalgia, and her husband has Parkinson’s.  She has been more open to my “goofy” suggestions about eating organic, wheat- and dairy-free than any of my other Pittsburgh friends and family.  We cook and dine together about once a week, sharing ideas and laughs.  She is the caregiver for not only her husband, who has been sick for over 20 years, but also for her almost two-year-old grandson who comes to her house for childcare about twice a week.  He and his newly pregnant mother were also coming to lunch.

My first thought was to make it simple:  go to a local deli and buy prepared quiches and accompany them with a mixed green salad. No, no no!  I had time to prepare something healthier and more delicious.  Why not practice what I preach, and let Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s help me out?  I had just bought vacuum packed cooked French lentils from Trader Joe’s.  I could make lentil burgers! Yes, yes, yes! 

I recalled receiving a recipe for lentil-almond burgers from Care2 Healthy and Green, an online daily newsletter full of great ideas. Could I find it? Adapting it by mashing my already cooked lentils with almond meal, which was in my freezer, cut prep time, allowing the burgers to be ready in a flash.  What about the relish?  Again, a little help.  Whole Foods had a variety of organic pepper and fruit relish options.  I chose Peach-Mango. 

To accompany my burgers, I chose gluten-free cornbread and organic greens.  Into the greens I piled Trader Joe’s cooked beets, a ripe avocado, and topped it with my favorite salad dressing, Annie’s Shiitake and Sesame Vinaigrette.  Yum!

Why not guild the lily?  In my pantry I found a box of Gluten-Free Pantry’s award-winning Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix, which I mixed up with organic walnuts and an Omega-enriched egg.  Even the burned edges were great!

By noon I was at my friend’s home.  We sat down to a healthy, delicious, mostly organic, gluten- and dairy-free lunch.  While my friend’s visitor asked me if I was “vegetarian” (translation: weird), I think she really enjoyed the meal.  I know that everyone else, including the toddler, did too. And most of all, I think they all appreciated my efforts and could taste the invisible ingredient, love. 



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