Wednesday, March 20, 2013

brown rice and turkey burger over spinach {food matters project}

Sometimes what appears to be the solution to all your problems only creates one more of them. This is what happened when I decided to take a cat home from our local pet store.

I reasoned that my three year old son needs a pet to learn how to be with animals, to develop antibodies to a variety of diseases, to have a playmate, to have fun.

But this was not the real reason I took this cat home. It was a selfish decision. I fell in love with her. She seemed to be the perfect pet: she loved being petted, was great with my son, and was old enough to already be litter trained.

My husband was not as enthusiastic. He was not even sure he wanted any pet at all, never mind this cat. But I didn't listen. I just forged ahead with my plan.

As soon as I got her home I realized her tail was swollen at its base and there was an open wound near it that she was licking. I immediately too her to a vet who confirmed that she had an abscess from what looked like being bitten by another animal. The vet said I should have her operated on immediately, to the tune of $1000!! Okay, I said I loved this cat but not that much. Luckily, the alternate procedure of opening the wound and letting it drain for a week, while I gave her warm compresses three times a day and she was on antibiotics, worked. She healed completely.

Shortly after this, I discovered that she had some bald patches forming and she upon revisiting the vet she was diagnosed with ringworm, a highly contagious fungus that can spread to humans. Great. I spent the next two months fastidiously cleaning up all her hairs, keeping her in the kitchen, trying to keep my son away from her. It was miserable.

Once she recovered from her various ailments, and began to feel at home in our house, she started digging and peeing in our planters. This threw my husband into a fit (and if you know him, you know this is a rare occurrence). His office now smells like a zoo. Not fun.

In addition to this, now that my son can pet the cat he is all over her, trying to carry her, smothering her with hugs, trying to eat from her bowls, hitting her with things, and getting bitten and scratched.

So, I ask you. Would you have done the same? Would you have taken in a cat you felt an attachment to, just to bring your household into a tizzy, threatening your relationship with your spouse and threatening the health of your son? Would I do it all over again?


This was last week's Food Matters Project's challenge. I am a little late to the party... See what others did here.

Chosen by Evi & Sam, this dish was a winner in our household... can you tell?

Brown Rice and Turkey Burgers over Spinach (adapted from The Food Matter's Cookbook)
Makes 4 servings

1 cup brown rice (I used a Chinese take out container of already cooked brown rice)
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound spinach, roughly chopped (I used baby spinach)
Black pepper
8 ounces ground turkey (original recipe calls for ground lamb but I couldn't find any)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 crumbled feta cheese

1. Cook rice. While rice is cooking, put 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot add 2 teaspoons garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, just a minute or 2. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until all leaves are just wilted and cooked almost dry, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from pan. Wipe dry.

2. Add lamb, onion, remaining garlic, cumin, oregano, feta to a mixing bowl with the rice. Stir just enough to combine all ingredients but don't overwork it. Form into 4 patties (I made 10 small patties).

4. Put remaining oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add patties and cook, turning once and working in batches if necessary, until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve burgers on top of spinach mounds.


  1. I totally understand why you brought her's so hard to say no to those cute eyes! And then once you get super fed up with them, they do something adorable that makes you fall in love all over again. Sigh.

    1. Thanks Joanne - I was beginning to think I sounded kind of mean... to my family, I mean. But she is a sweet cat, and my son absolutely adores her... my husband not so much, but hopefully he'll change his mind.