Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Heart Attack on a Plate - Literally.

Hethyr:  As we were sitting here winding down last night, Jon was reading me an article about the latest person to keel over (although she didn't die) at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.  Apparently this woman - believed to be in her 40s - was eating a "double bypass" burger, smoking cigarettes and drinking margaritas before she dropped to the floor unconscious.  As I was shaking my head, he continued to read about how any diner who exceeds 350 pounds eats for free and about how the "quadruple bypass" burger has four half-pound patties and eight slices of American cheese.  Oh, and you can add TWENTY - yep, TWENTY - slices of bacon (five per patty), dripping in grease, for a few extra dollars.  It's been said that it has around 8,000 calories.  I have no idea if that's with the bacon or not.  You can also order "flatliner fries" (which are fried in pure lard) and a "butterfat shake" (made with pure cream) to go with your "quadruple bypass" burger.  And of course the menu includes cigarettes and alcohol!

Quadruple Bypass Burger and Flatliner Fries

I am beyond infuriated that a place like this is legally allowed to open and operate, but that our own government conducts federal raids on raw milk dairies!!!  What the hell is wrong with this picture???  We, as a society, are okay with places like the Heart Attack Grill and Carl's Jr., but we are leery of drinking milk that hasn't been pasteurized to ungodly temperatures, killing off anything good that might actually benefit our bodies?  On one hand, I believe there should be a massive crackdown on fast food establishments that are blatantly TRYING to kill people, but on the other hand, I guess it is survival of the fittest in a way.  It makes me truly sad that people are either so uneducated or just don't give a damn that they willingly eat this kind of "food" and actually find places like the Heart Attack Grill funny... especially when there are those of us trying to educate and spread the word about the dangers of fast "food" and the benefits of REAL FOOD.

In the spirit of HEALTH, I'd like to share a recipe for some vegan burgers that I'll be making for my yoga teacher graduation potluck this coming weekend.  I found the original recipe here, adapted it to make it vegan and added an awesome sauce (which I adapted a bit from here) since I'm not always a burger-bun fan (especially when it's gluten-free) and since I currently can't have cheese.  And since I'm so pissed about the Heart Attack Grill, I'm going to throw in an extra recipe for a fruit salad that I'm thinking of taking to the potluck, too.  Wow.  You guys actually benefit from me being angry for once.  ;)  Enjoy not keeling over and dying while you're eating this yummy meal!

Vegan Gluten-Free Quinoa Veggie Burger with Spicy Sauce
Serves 4

1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan yogurt (if you're not vegan, feel free to use regular yogurt)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
Salt and pepper, to taste 

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons hot water
1 carrot, shredded
4 scallions, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (you can also use 1-15 oz. can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup vegan, gluten-free breadcrumbs (if you're not vegan or gluten-free, feel free to use regular breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1.  For the sauce:  Make a paste out of the garlic and salt by smashing with the edge of a chef's knife.  Whisk together garlic paste, vegan yogurt, lime juice and Sriracha.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until burgers are finished.

2.  In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil (I have to use a bit more at high altitude).  Add quinoa, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

3.  In a small bowl, mix together ground flaxseed and hot water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

4.  Add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor and pulse until combined but still a little chunky. 

5.  Form mixture into 4 patties.

6.  Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Cook burgers until well-browned, about 5-8 minutes per side.  Serve with Spicy Sauce.

Fruit Salad with Agave-Citrus Dressing and Mint
Serves 4

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons mandarin orange juice
3 tablespoons agave nectar (you can substitute honey if you'd like)
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
4 cups assorted fruit, cut into bite-size pieces... pineapple, mandarin orange slices
(reserve juice), kiwi, apple, strawberry, grapes, banana, etc.  

1.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together lime juice, orange juice, agave nectar, lime zest and mint.

2.  Place fruit in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing; toss to combine.
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Jon:  Few things can outshine the buffet at a party full of yogis.  A mouthwatering smorgasbord of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain casseroles, bean dips, vegan soups, and all sorts of wonderful crap I couldn't identify.  It was delicious.  And it was nice to eat freely without worrying about how my food might kill me.  Hethyr's quinoa burgers were an awesome part of the feast.  And the timing was apropos, as we just read about mad cow disease rearing its ugly head in California.  Sounds like a good time to eat a veggie burger.

I imagine that very few people are left reading this due to the vomit that spewed out all over their keyboards upon seeing the picture of the 8,000-calorie quadruple bypass burger.  If you are one of the lucky few who made it this far in the post without destroying your laptop, congratulations.  Otherwise... sorry.

I can definitely remember a time in my life when I would have thought such a huge burger was hilarious.  But now it is clearly evident to me how everyone's life is negatively impacted by a burger like this:  the person who eats it takes one step closer to death's door; the restaurant proprietors rack up loads of bad karma due to manslaughter; more doped-up mistreated cows are slaughtered in inhumane ways at large-scale commercial feed operations; and every American deals with higher health care costs as one more self-deprecating glutton racks up huge medical expenses because of their own senseless choices.  The only good that comes out of it is that some people will change their eating habits based upon the fear of disease and death.

Turning away from the topics of vomit and death and steering toward a more positive note, you now have a couple more healthy recipes compliments of Chef Yogi Hethyr that will help you live well.  And in case you haven't heard, my newly licensed yoga instructor wife just officially taught her first class at Pranava Yoga Center.  Woohoo!

Chef Yogi Hethyr
Picture by Tom Martin


  1. You guys make me smile for many reasons, thanks for being leaders!

  2. How did I miss this post last week?!?! Can't wait to try the veggie burger recipe, but I'm still trying to figure out the attraction of the "Quadruple Bypass Burger" -- ugh! Oh man, I just destroyed my keyboard . . . :-(