Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Indian-inspired veggies, and a burger


This photo, taken with my mobile phone, shows the beef patty and the
sauteed zucchinis, scallions, green beans and dried herbs – including Fenugreek leaves;
tossed with grated Manchego raw milk 12-month cheese,
homemade candied orange peel, fresh parsley and thyme;
topped with toasted Thai Young Coconut meat.


I swear, some of the best meals – ever – come from what is found in the fridge, freezer and pantry. Stacey and I were verrry pleased with our lunch today.

Here’s how we built the best lunch, ever:

Stacey came over at 12:30 today and brought green beans and grass-fed beef (she sells the beef at the Sunnyvale Farmers Market). I looked in the fridge and in the fruit/veggie bowl and pulled out the veggies that appealed to me…. zucchinis, parsley and scallions. We looked at what we had and thought best to cook the beef separate – so, beef patties it is. Then, we looked at the veggies. The green beans were a bit ‘over ready’ (they were dried out a bit and had just a smidge of brown spots), so, I knew we had to soak’m in salt water to revive them. From there we decided to saute them along with the zuccs and scallions.

The flavors:

Being we were going green with the veggies – a green dried herb mixture (that a friend brought home from Vancouver) came to mind: Fenugreek leaves, parsley, cilantro and tarragon. YES! this mixture has Fenugreek leaves. Many of you will know this flavor from a variety of Indian dishes. In this mixture the tarragon and fenugreek leaves stand out above the parsley and cilantro. Fenugreek leaves taste a bit sweet, a bit bitter and a bit like celery (so they say on various websites). If anyone knows the name of this mixture please write to me b/c I cannot recall the name, nor find it online.

… you can buy dried fenugreek leaves at Indian markets, they are called: Kasoori Methi

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasoori Methi)

The ingredients:

  • 3 zucchinis, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 handfuls of green beans, soaked, then sliced to 1-inch pieces
  • 3 scallions, slice the greens to 1-inch length and slice the stems into thin rounds
  • 1 tbls dried Indian herb mixture (of fenugreek leaves, cilantro, parsley and tarragon)
  • fresh parsley leaves, from 10 stems
  • 1 tbls fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 1 tbls candied orange peel (see separate blog entry for recipe)
  • Toasted Thai Young coconut meat
  • Sheep cheese, grated
  • 1 tbls Coconut oil

The process:

A housemate had opened a Thai Young Coconut and used just the water, so, the cut coconut was there, in the fridge, waiting to be used. I really really enjoy toasted coconut, and Stacey’s reaction to my suggestion was “mmmmm, yes!”

  1. I spooned out the meat and Stacey cleaned and cut it into strips. Then put the strips on a small sheet pan and put it in the toaster oven, on broil for 10 minutes, then I flipped the strips and broiled’m for another 10 minutes.
  2. While the coconut meat was toasting we picked through the green beans and placed’m in a medium-size bowl and filled it with filtered water to cover the beans, added a teaspoon of salt, stirred it and set it aside.
  3. Then I washed and chopped the zuccs, sliced the scallions and put these in a medium-size bowl.
  4. While I chopped the veggies, Stacey made the beef patties, placed them in a saute pan and set it aside.
  5. Stacey grated the cheese into a 3rd small bowl, while I cut the parsley – I used a scissor and snipped the leaves away from the stems – right into this same small bowl.
  6. Then we both de-stemmed the thyme and put’m in with the cheese and parsley. Then I added the orange peel. And set this mixture aside.
  7. I trimmed the ends of the green beans and sliced them at a diagonal about one inch in length and put them in the bowl with the zuccs and scallions.
  8. Then I moved from the cutting board to the stove, melted the coconut oil in a saute pan and when the oil was melted and the pan hot I added the zuccs, gr beans and scallions.
  9. I quickly stirred and tossed the veggies so that they were well coated with the oil. Then I stopped stirring to allow the underside of the veggies to get warmed from the heated pan/oil. About 4 minutes later, I flipped them and added the dried herbs and let them sit for 4 minutes. Then, I flipped and stirred the mixture every few minutes and cooked them for a total of 15 minutes, until they were tender, but not over cooked.
  10. After 5 minutes or so, Stacey turned on the heat for the burgers. Her educated guess – based on the thickness of the burgers – was that they would take just 10 minutes to cook, 5 minutes on each side. They were perfect for us, with a raw, well – very slightly cooked – pink center.
  11. Just before the burgers were done I chopped the toasted coconut strips into small pieces, they had cooled enough to handle.
  12. Then I transferred the cooked veggies from the pan back into the same bowl that I had used for the raw chopped veggies. Then I added the cheese mixture and tossed the veggies well.
  13. I spooned the mixture onto our plates and topped it off with the toasted coconut meat.
  14. Stacey slid the burgers onto each plate and we sat down to a very exotic tasting lunch. One of our best meals, ever.

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