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Lovely lentils

The National Lentil Festival in Pullman is right around the corner.

To celebrate, the Spokesman-Review's Food section plans to feature several recipes spotlighting the protein-packed and fiber-full lens-shaped legume. Here are a couple in advance: Ultimate Veggie Burgers from Cook's Country and Arugula, Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad from the new cookbook "A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share" by Diana Yen.

Ultimate Veggie Burgers

From Cook’s Illustrated

This recipe is a bit involved, but it comes highly recommended from a vegetarian friend who makes these patties by the double or triple batch-loads, then freezers them for future use. We're told they freeze well.

Lentils and bulgur give the texture a hardy quality. Cremini mushrooms and cashews add savory flavor. Canned lentils may be used but the result is slightly less flavorful.

¾ cup dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

2½ teaspoons table salt, divided

¾ cup bulgur

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)

1 rib celery (large), chopped fine (about ½ cup)

1 small leek, white and light green parts only, chopped fine (about ½ cup)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 pound cremini mushrooms (or white), cleaned and sliced about ¼-inch thick (about 6½ cups)

1 cup raw unsalted cashews

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Ground black pepper

Bring 3 cups water, lentils and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just beginning to fall apart, about 25 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer. Line baking sheet with triple layer paper towels and spread drained lentils over. Gently pat lentils dry with additional paper towels; cool lentils to room temperature.

While lentils simmer, bring 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Stir bulgur wheat into boiling water and cover immediately; let stand off heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer; use rubber spatula to press out excess moisture. Transfer bulgur to medium bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, leek, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Spread vegetable mixture on second baking sheet to cool; set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet; heat over high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet with vegetable mixture; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Process cashews in food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses (do not wash food processor blade or bowl); stir into bowl with bulgur along with cooled lentils, vegetable-mushroom mixture, and mayonnaise. Transfer half of mixture to now-empty food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, 15 to 20 1-second pulses; mixture should be cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer processed mixture to large bowl; repeat with remaining unprocessed mixture and combine with first batch. Stir in panko, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Divide mixture into 12 portions, about ½ cup each, shaping each into tightly packed patty, 4 inches in diameter and ½-inch thick; set patties on baking sheet; paper towels will absorb excess moisture.

Patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Cook on stovetop with remaining oil, about 4 minutes per side, or on grill, about 5 minutes per side, flipping only once.

Note: If freezing, for each patty to be frozen, add 1 teaspoon panko or ½ teaspoon plain bread crumbs before shaping. Thaw overnight in refrigerator on triple layer of paper towels, covered loosely.

Note: If freezing, for each patty to be frozen, add 1 teaspoon panko or ½ teaspoon plain bread crumbs before shaping. Thaw overnight in refrigerator on triple layer of paper towels, covered loosely.

Yield: 12 (4-inch) patties

Arugula, Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad

From “A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share” by Diana Yen

This salad highlights the flavors of autumn with its delicate, peppery leaves, sweet butternut squash and earthy lentils.

For the salad

1 butternut squash (2 to 2½ pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into ¾-inch cubes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Salt

1 cup French green lentils (also known as Puy lentils)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces arugula (about 8 cups loosely packed)

For the dressing

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons finely minced shallots

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and honey and season generously with salt. Spread the squash in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the squash and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches. Do not salt the cooking water to ensure the lentils will stay firm to the bite. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes, then return the lentils to the pan, add the cumin, and season with salt and pepper.

To make the dressing, smash the garlic to a paste on a cutting board using the side of a chef’s knife. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, shallots, garlic, mustard and vinegar. Add the olive oil in a slow drizzle as you continue to whisk until the dressing has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing and top with the lentils and roasted squash. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Steptoe Butte view captures changes in scenery

LANDSCAPES — Hugh Imhoff drove to the top of Steptoe Butte Wednesday morning to take advantage of the cool, clear weather for scenic photography.

The Palouse Hills that stretch out like waves in a stormy sea provide scenic camera fodder that changes with the seasons and even in the hour as clouds and sun sweep across the sky.

But Imhof's eye was attracted to the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the distance near Pomeroy, where wind turbines have dramatically changed the view in just the past few years.

Fat bikes the ticket for old Milwaukee railroad trail

BICYCLING — Todays S-R story about long-coming proposals to begin developing the Palouse section of the abandoned railroad stretch known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is good news for bicyclists. 

Although the state of Washington acquired the railroad right of way in 1981, the section from the Columbia River east to the Idaho state line remains largely rough with gaps that make it difficult to use even if you go through the hoops to get the required permit from Washington State Parks.

BUT, the growing popularity of fat bikes offers a chance for tough riders to get on the trail now.

These bikes with extra-wide, extremely low-pressure tires tame the rough ballast and bogs that greet trail users on long stretches of the trail.

But don't expect to be the first to fat bike the entire route. Others have already figured it out.

On his 26InchSlicks blog, Spokane fat-biking-fanatic Pat Sprute has posted an excellent story with photos and maps of his 2012 trip along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail from Tekoa to the Columbia.  

Check it out and be inspired.  

Fun shoot, boat safety featured at Palouse DU event

CONSERVATION — A two-hour fun shoot plus demonstrations on boating safety, retriever handling and using decoys use demonstrations will be featured at a March 24 fund-raising event at the Colton Boosters Gun Club sponsored by the Palouse Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

A duck calling lesson for kids also is planned.

The activities will start at 1:30 p.m. Porky’s Pit Barbeque of Pullman serve pulled pork and chicken at 4 p.m., followed by the Ducks Unlimited raffles and auctions.  The event will wrap up by 6 p.m. 

A 25-bird round of trap costs $2.50 for kids and $3.75 for adults; the youngsters will have their own shooting line and coaches.  Shooting will start by 2pm and end at 3:30pm.

“We are hoping to have some other outdoor demonstrations as well, perhaps bird-watching,  bow-hunting or fishing clubs will participate,” says DU District Chair Joe Ford.  “There’s a lot of ways to have fun outdoors, and DU projects benefit over 900 species of fish and wildlife.  It’s so much more than just ducks!”

After the guns go quiet at 3:30, the Greenwing kids will get a lesson in calling waterfowl, followed by a brief kids calling contest (calls are provided). There will also be a demonstration of hunting dog work.  

Adult beverages will be available from the Colton Boosters Club after the fun shoot.

Admission: $40 for a single adult, $70 per couple, and $30 for kids under 17.  

  • The price includes DU membership and a DU cap, as well as dinner.  Shooting fees are collected from participants by the gun club. 

Tickets will be available through the national DU website, or by calling (509) 288- 7013 or (541) 979-9025.

AT&T launches first Eastern Washington LTE (true 4G) service in Pullman

If you're a big fan of LTE (long term evolution) mobile data, AT&T has news.

The wireless provider announced it's deployed true LTE service in the Moscow-Pullman area.

So, to confuse things, the way mobile connectivity works, LTE is considered important because it qualifies as "true 4G" service. True 4G data speeds are generally 10 times faster than mobile 3G networks.

Verizon, Spring and AT&T all offer 4G service in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.  Verizon can properly claim to be the first wireless carrier with LTE service in Spokane.

AT&T hasn't said when it will bring LTE service into Spokane. At present, it offers a hybrid network here called 4G HSPA+. And that, according to an AT&T spokesman, is roughly four times faster than 3G.

Pullman and Moscow get AT&T’s first Eastern Washington LTE data network

If you're a big fan of LTE (long term evolution) mobile data, AT&T has news.

The wireless provider announced it's deployed true LTE service in the Moscow-Pullman area.

So, to confuse things, the way mobile connectivity works, LTE is considered important because it qualifies as "true 4G" service. True 4G data speeds are generally 10 times faster than mobile 3G networks.

Verizon, Spring and AT&T all offer 4G service in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.  Verizon can properly claim to be the first wireless carrier with LTE service in Spokane.

AT&T hasn't said when it will bring LTE service into Spokane. At present, it offers a hybrid network here called 4G HSPA+. And that, according to an AT&T spokesman, is roughly four times faster than 3G.

Bicycle ‘Ride Around Washington’ coming to Palouse

BICYCLING — RAW — the popular Ride Around Washington organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club — is focusing its 2012 on the region from Chewelah south through Spokane and around the Palouse. 

The seven-day, 400-mile supported bike tour isn't until Aug. 4-10, but it's already 92 percent SOLD OUT.

Download the 2012 RAW Ride Guide for a detailed description.

  • The guide is a masterpiece of organization, with checklists worth reading for any bicycle tours.

Online-only registration for RAW opened on January 10, 2012.  It was 92 percent sold out on March 27. 

Cyclists may join the Cascade Bicycle Club when registering for the event or in advance by visiting the membership page.

Crushed By Time

Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images was en route back from the Lochsa area when she spotted this scenic on the Palouse, which she labels, "Crushed by Time."

Another Green Monday

“More and more of us in the industrialized world are feeling a spiritual void, and coming to believe that moving away from consumerism and towards community may be an important step in recovering that nameless thing we’ve lost.” – Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gary Snyder.

The leftovers are gone. Black Friday passed relatively peacefully. And so did Buy Nothing Day. Last week’s Another Green Monday discussed the pitfalls of “greensumption,” so this edition offers a solution through The Greenwashing Index as readers think about gifts. It’s simple enough: Greenwashing is defined as the practice where a business tries to make it seem like it’s greener than it really is. The site is a place for consumers to post and rank environmental advertisements in the hope of differentiating the misleading ones from the honest.

Site Goal #1: Help consumers become more savvy about evaluating environmental marketing claims of advertisers. Site Goal #2: Hold businesses accountable to their environmental marketing claims. Site Goal #3:Stimulate the market and demand for sustainable business practices that truly reduce the impact on the environment.

“Our objective here is to push on the greenwashing issue and, by doing that, set an example for the world to see,” said Deborah Morrison, a University of Oregon professor and the site developer.

A while back we actually threw a daily tip about Larry David and water conservation to the fate of their Greenwashing index scale. Scoring a 2.91, the comments ranged from “this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen” to “makes a good case for being bald I guess?” See, they’re hard to fool—- consumers and the planet are better off for it.

But going back to the Snyder quote, check out the classic Story Of Stuff. Lasting 20-minutes, it’s a quick and informative look at production and consumption, exposing “the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.”

Here are some stories you might’ve missed…

“Neo-Suburban Palouse”

Central Washington University graduate and egg tempera painter Nathan DiPietro has a new collection of eerie paintings which contrast the openness of farmlands with the confines of suburbia called “Neo-Suburban Palouse.” Yes, it’s on display in Seattle, at the PUNCH Gallery until the 26th (119 Prefontaine Pl S, 621-1945. Noon–5 pm, free.) However, if you’re in the area or if you’re simply a west side reader, it’s definitely worth taking a look. Below is the press release from the PUNCH Gallery, and you can visit Di Pietro’s work HERE.

PUNCH presents a series of new landscapes by egg tempera painter Nathan DiPietro. DiPietro’s stylized visions of utopian life are based upon the desires of suburban culture. The worlds he depicts are the imagined intersections of farming symbols and the suburban thirst for security and uniformity. Land is sculpted and carved, then divided with fences and gates. Water is contained in concrete pools; rivers are tamed and flow as desired. Trees are spaced and manicured in perfect unison. Experiences by the inhabitants of these worlds are carefully planned and controlled. The barn, rolling green hills, and blue sky are iconography commonly used to evoke nostalgia, and conjure ideas of safety, uniformity, peace and prosperity. The resulting images express a world for that is not only beautiful and deeply nostalgic, but also unnerving and ironic. DiPietro is interested in how American Regionalists used these symbols in the early 20th century and how the symbolic meanings within these images have abstracted and transformed over time. For DiPietro, infusing utopic suburban landscapes with pastoral iconography is a deeply seductive act.”

 

 

Quotable Quote: Palouse Prostitution

“To be honest with you, we live in a university town and most people give it away for free. There isn’t a market” — Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant re: Lewiston Tribune story re: possible prostitution being advertised on CraigsList on the Palouse. Story here.

Question: Bent thought the comment by Commander Tennant was “stupid.” Sisyphus found it “refreshingly honest.” What do you think?

Powering the Palouse


Can you imagine a passenger rail between Spokane and Pullman through the gorgeous Palouse? Today at the Riverpoint Campus from 1:15-4:00pm, WSU Spokane Landscape Architecture students will present the benefits of such a project as a response to climate change and energy trends. The students will examine alternative ways to power the rail but also a bioregional approach to food and their design for an urban rail complex combining Downtown Spokane and the University District.

THE FIRST! - …something

Alright - so here’s the first official ‘Adventure of Chloe Rambo’…yet I still don’t have the right name for it…it’s gotta be something dynamic (!), something catchy (!), something memorable (!). I’m lovin’ all of your ideas! So I’m going for something like Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’…that’s the absolute perfect title for his show. It’s hardcore like Tony, memorable like Tony, and has a neat-o double meaning…(cause we all know that Mr. Bourdain is wayyy to cool to make standard resturant reservations AND the fact that he’s pretty fearless in what he does…) I’ll keep thinking on the whole ‘title’ thing…

Anyways - I thought it would be pretty cool for the first un-named post to give all you Spokane-teens a taste…(or at least a description of the taste), of where I’m from.  So I hit up The Green Frog, an amazing little coffee-shop/cafe with mega-personality.

Complete with it’s own grocery, library, and post office, the town of Palouse, WA is one of the ‘more civilized’ places in Whitman County. (And only about an hour and fifteen minutes from Spokane…)  Now throw The Green Frog into the town’s mix and we’ve got a town that’s quickly becoming a musical and cultural hot-spot, all thanks to this little addition in the business community.

Not only do owners Tiana and Paula feature Thomas Hammer coffee, espresso, (*ahhh!) and gourmet teas - they’re also servin’ up warm soups, sandwiches, wraps, even homemade (and crazy-delicious!) baked goods.

But what makes this place so unique, so slammin’, so popular in a small-town area? 3 words baby:  Open Mic Nite.  The Green Frog puts on a live-music fiesta every first Friday of the month, while also featuring a smaller “Live Music and Pita Pizzas” every Thursday.  (These nights are super-popular…come early or stand.)

My Official-and-Total Favorite!: Warming up with a 12 oz. double Americano and an amazing ‘Cherry White Chocolate’ scone. (That’s what I enjoyed the day I took these shots!…yummm.) But if you’re hitting up for lunch, I always reccomend the mini-pita pizza. Perfect with melted cheese and fresh olives. Check out their page on Palouse’s website: http://www.visitpalouse.com/greenfrog.html. Over and out!

You got any skills to show off at an ‘Open Mic Nite?’  Where do YOU guys find the most scrumptious scones??