Tag Archives: burgers

I Love Freeze-For-Whenever Olive Black-eyed Pea Burgers!

I’ve been battling mooshy burgers since I started making vegan burgers. I’ve found that if they’re firm enough, they’re often too dry. If they’re moist enough, they moosh out the side of your bun. What is a girl to do?

I decided to experiment with making frozen patties because it seems to work so well for all those store bought brands. I assembled the following:

1 cup of black-eyed peas, soaked OR 1 can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup of sliced olives

1/4 cup of mushrooms, chopped (optional)

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I chopped some gluten-free bread in my food processor)

1 tbsp onion salt

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

2 tbsp corn oil

red pepper flakes and salt to taste

If you’re using dried beans, take a moment to microwave them in water 3-4 times at 2 minute intervals to soften them slightly. We put all the ingredients into a bowl and I set my expert moosher (that’s Brent) to power moosh. It wasn’t long before it was looking and smelling like burger material so I started scooping the mixture into some plastic freezer safe containers.

I made sure that the patties were compacted and of a relatively uniform thickness, about 1/2-3/4 inch. I put a piece of plastic wrap over it and then used the next one to help compact the burger. I put them in the freezer until I was ready to use them.

These were actually some of the best burgers Brent and I have prepared. They were moist and held together and had a pleasing dense texture. They tasted enough like ground beef to be a little disturbing. I have no desire to eat cows!

I am going to take a moment to discuss why ground beef isn’t so great for your body. The obvious stuff aside (cholesterol, saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics) cooking beef or any meat is a tricky business. Preparing meat for food means balancing microbial contaminants with carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meat is cooked. Big agribusiness has made the case that they cannot ‘efficiently’ process large volumes of animals without some inherent contamination by the animals’ feces. This means that if you buy meat, it’s got poop on it and the law says that’s okay. They cover their butts (pardon my language) by saying, “Cook it thoroughly.” Which translates to, “If you get sick it’s your fault for not cooking it thoroughly.” Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of people that get some form of food poisoning or another every year from eating meat.

So fine, meat is ‘safe’ if you cook it thoroughly but back to the issue of how cooking fundamentally changes the composition of what you’re eating.  Smoked and cured meats have long been the accused culprits of causing colon cancer partly because of how they’re prepared: prolonged exposure to heat. Cancers of the digestive tract are among of the most common and more deadly kinds of cancer, one in 6 will get it and one third of those will die from it within 5 years of being diagnosed.

So you can follow some tips to reduce the risk of introducing carcinogens into your diet or you can skip straight to legumes and other plants (including black-eyed peas!) which have long been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. One of the likely reasons for this activity is phytic acid . This is one of those small molecules that makes biochemists like me swoon but it’s properties speak for themselves. In the context of a Western diet the ability of phytic acid to sequester certain minerals that, in excess, can cause the kind of oxidative stress on the lining of the digestive tract that can eventually lead to cancer. Phytic acid when bound to fluoride from your drinking water, for example, will be excreted in your waste. Still, you can easily reduce the amount of phytic acid by soaking legumes them overnight or sprouting if you’re worried.


I think I’ve rambled enough. Time for burgers! Just pop them out of their frozen container, no thawing necessary and cook on medium high heat until they start to brown. Mine are a little charred… probably why they reminded me so much of ground beef, but they were definitely firm on the outside and moist and delightful on the inside. Yay!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Tofu Burgers with portobello mushrooms!

I’ll make just about anything into burgers. I just like the format. In this particular case we tried using a beloved burger recipe as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms. Whether you want patties or stuffed ‘shrooms, all you need to do is gather the following:
12 oz silken tofu
2/3 cup quinoa flakes (rolled oats work too)
1 tbsp flax meal
2 small carrots, grated
2 small stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
tamari or soy sauce to taste

I shredded my carrots and celery in my food processor. I put everything into a bowl with the tofu and then Brent went to work mooshing. Watch him showing this future burger mix who’s the boss. You can also use a food processor but Brent is an expert moosher. Add more quinoa flakes if you find they’re not firm enough.

Shape into patties. Heat a skillet or grill and grill the burgers until each side is crispy and golden brown.

We decided to use it as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms and that’s just another option. We baked some portobellos drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar at 350C/180F for 10 minutes.

We then stuffed each mushroom cap with the burger mix and baked an additional 20 minutes.

We topped with cheese and baked another 10 minutes. This is Heidi Ho organics, chipotle cheddar. We liked that it was low calorie (about half that of dairy cheese) and it had a nice chipotle flavor but it wasn’t particularly cheesy and didn’t melt like some other vegan cheeses. This didn’t stop us from eating the entire block. It was tasty, just not cheesy.

These burgers were definitely a hit. We ate all three and then fried up the rest of the burger mix and dipped it in buffalo sauce. They came out crispy and tender. Double win! If you try it, let us know what you think. Until then, stay tasty!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Black beans + sweet potato = LOVE!

Inspired by the success of my previous experiment, I decided to make another one. I forgot to head to the supermarket since getting back from my weekend getaway so I’m using random things in my kitchen to make a meal.
1 can of black beans (drained) or 1 cup dry beans (soaked overnight)
1/2 small sweet onion
1 inch ginger, chopped (the piece is about the size of my thumb)
flesh from 1 large sweet potato, baked or steamed
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
2 heaping tbsp flax meal
2-3 tbsp lime juice
a splash of soy sauce or suitable alternative
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 small handful (1/4 cup) cilantro, chopped
salt

I  put the dry ingredients along with the cilantro, onion and ginger into a bowl and mixed them well. My cilantro was frozen but it shouldn’t affect the recipe fresh or frozen.

I then stirred in the beans, jalapeño and sweet potato with my potato masher. Usually I like to keep the skin but for this recipe it didn’t quite make sense, so I made it into chips in my dehydrator.

Originally I intended to make burgers out of this mixture by forming them into patties and baking them, but when I was tasting it to check the salt I realized I had an irresistable urge to eat tacos.

I come from the land of abundant fresh avocado so it was a cinch to make some exotic vegan tacos with guacamole and a light dusting of paprika. If I had this recipe to do over, I might saute the onions and ginger before mixing them into the rest of the ingredients but otherwise it was a good combo.

I also baked some that I made into patties and that was also pretty rad. In other words, this would make good burgers or ‘meat’balls in addition to being an awesome taco filling. Guacamole was a good topping but tomato, lime and a sprinkling of pepperjack Daiya cheese would be truly legendary. The sweet spicy sweet potato mix would be enhanced by the citrus and salty cheese and the tomato is just there to be awesome.

This is Christie, signing off.

 

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Who can live without burgers? Not this girl.

Okay, I love sausage and burgers. I just hate that they’re full of stuff that’s not very good for you like cholesterol and lots of fat and that animals have to die to make them. This is a recipe I’m still working on but it’s more than good enough to share. To make my black-eyed pea burgers (taste better than they sound, promise) you’ll need to combine the following in a large bowl.

2 cups/15.5 oz tin of black-eyed peas (field peas also work), drained and set the liquid aside
2 tbsp tapioca, potato, or arrowroot starch
2 tbsp flour (I use oat but whatever kind you like)
2 tbsp rolled oats or quinoa
2 tbsp flax meal (optional)
1/4 very finely chopped mushrooms
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning (if you don’t like your sausages spicy, I recommend herbes de Provence instead)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp coriander seeds
garlic salt to taste
hot sauce to taste
oil for frying

Once everything is in the bowl except for the garlic salt and hot sauce, start mooshing. This might be a great job for any children in the house, it’s fun and can be done with your hands. Add the liquid from the canned peas until the mixture is doughy and somewhat dry but not crumbly. You shouldn’t have to add very much.

When it starts to look uniform (as above ) take a taste. Don’t worry, there’s no risk of E. coli or Salmonella, it’s not meat! Start adding hot sauce and garlic salt and continue mooshing until it tastes right to you. When you like the flavor and texture, pick up a good handful of the mixture and form it into a patty shape. This recipe should make 3 generous patties for a regular sized bun. They won’t shrink much during cooking because there’s no lard to dribble off into the pan leaving you with an emaciated burger.

I prefer to bake mine at 350F/175C for 25 minutes or until crispy outside and still mooshy inside but you can pan fry them in olive oil to the same effect if you’re feeling decadent. I like that these are fat and cholesterol free but mostly because my Dad and sister have high cholesterol and I’m sure they’re not alone.

I toasted my buns and melted my cheese for the last 2-3 minutes of the bake. This cheese is Daiya. They sell 5 lb. blocks and shreds. Yeah, I admit it. I have a 5 lb. block of non-dairy cheese in my fridge. I’m not ashamed of my 5 lb. block of non-dairy cheese. Daiya is the best cheese substitute I’ve found for cooking. It’s great in quesadillas, on ‘burgers’, for mac and cheese, pretty much anything you can think of… okay, that’s my Daiya plug. There are other non-dairy cheese that I like but that’s another blog post.

Did I mention that you can refrigerate these burgers for 2-3 days until your ready to cook them up or freeze them for up to 3 weeks? Yeah. You can. Also, the buns came from the Zen Cat Bakery (http://zencatbakery.com/) a gluten-free and vegan bakery. They are also awesome and make gluten-free vegan brownies that can defeat my PMS with a single bite!

This didn’t last long. If you try it, would you let me know how it goes? Here’s to your healthy burger!!!

this is Christie, signing off.. to eat another guilt free burger.

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