My Attempt at a Veggie Burger Without Following a Recipe

21 01 2015

Many of you may know that I am a recipe kind of girl. I really like trying new recipes, and generally speaking, I follow them pretty closely. However, I decided to get out of my box, and try to concoct a veggie burger on my own. Now, I haven’t made many veggie burgers in the past- recipe or not. I do enjoy them, and I’ve got a bunch of canned beans in my pantry just screaming to be used, so I figured I’d give it a go.

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I glanced at a few recipes and then decided to wing it.

What I came up with was a really fantastic tasting veggie burger. Unfortunately, it was a little crumbly, was a pain to flip, and didn’t quite have the firm texture I was looking for in a veggie burger. But, when I came back to them after they had cooled some, they had firmed up a bit. So, I’m thinking that perhaps I need to chill the mixture before rolling into patties, or they may need a bit more of a binder, like breadcrumbs. Regardless, I figured I’d at least pass along the recipe in case you wanted to try- because I thought the flavors of the patties was SPOT ON.

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I served mine on a bed of greens with a side of rutabaga fries, and then some chipotle mayo and ketchup. Try it out with your variations and let me know in the comments what you did and if you were successful!

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Ingredients:

1 can cannelini beans
1/2 onion, roughly chopped and sautéed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup broccoli, grated (I used mostly stalk and a little bit of the florets)
3/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup grated cheese- I used Publix’s Morel Mushroom and Leek Monterrey Jack
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbs whole wheat flour
1 egg
How to:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together  3/4 the beans and everything but the flour and egg. Then, transfer to a food processor or blender, and blend, until you have a well-blended mixture (almost like a thick bean dip). (You could probably eliminate the bowl part if your processor is good enough!) Fold in the last of the beans, the flour and the egg.

Form patties (perhaps refrigerate them, I did not), and then in a well greased fry pan, brown both sides. Then, transfer to a well-greased cookie sheet and finish in the oven (about 15 minutes).

Enjoy!

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-Lime Tofu

8 08 2014

Do you guys follow theKitchn.com? If not, then you should. Lately, I feel like they’ve been churning out some awesome content, and I find myself bookmarking or sharing a lot of their recent posts.

Like this post with 17 recipes using a can of chick peas. Or this recipe for a Green Goddess Quinoa Salad bowl (which was on my menu for this week and it was oh-so-good!) Or this post about the best ways to organize your freezer <– so smart! And finally, this recipe, which served as the inspiration for the meal I’m about to share with you!

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The original recipe called for some more “traditional” taco/fajita fillings- red pepper, onion, beans, brown rice.  I could have gone that route, but opted to use up the remainders of the different veggies I had in the fridge (mushrooms, broccoli, and some homemade pico de gallo from Steph) and use the can of corn I had in the pantry. I also had some tofu that needed to be eaten and some feta cheese.

By the way, I must give my friend Steph a shout out. She gave me a bunch of yummy treats from her trip to Key West- limes, a fresh mango, a coconut (!), Florida avocado, and some of her homemade mango pico de gallo. I immediatley used some of the pico in a salad and it was amazing. Oh, and the mango? Probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I was a little skeptical about the Florida avocado because I’ve never had much success with them and always find myself wishing it was a Hass, but this one was perfect!

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I followed the general idea of the original recipe- sauté the veggies/protein, wrap in chard leaves, and top with the dressing, but the biggest divergence from the recipe was my choice of protein: tofu. It just so happened that on the same day I saw the wrap recipe, I had earlier seen a picture of chipotle-lime marinated chicken. I knew immediately that I was going to use those flavors on the tofu in my fridge, so when I stumbled upon the wrap recipe with its similar flavor profile, I knew I had a great recipe mash-up.

When I threw everything together, I was super impressed with this dish. It was so fresh, and so healthy! I think I may be using chard leaves as wraps more often now! Oh, and the Cumin-Lime dressing was the perfect sauce to bring it all together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-lime Baked Tofu, Fresh Veggies, and Cumin-Lime dressing

Ingredients:

For the Baked Tofu:

1 tsp Chipotle powder (more or less to your taste. This was spicy for me!)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS honey
1 TBS olive oil
salt

For the Wraps:

Swiss Chard Leaves (as many as you need)
1/2 can corn kernels, drained
1 head broccoli
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
EVOO
garlic powder

Toppers:
Pico de gallo
feta cheese
avocado

For the Cumin Lime Sauce:

Juice from 2 limes
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 scallions, minced-white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

 

How to:

First, make the baked tofu (this can be done in advance, you’ll just want to heat it up before adding to your wraps). Dry the tofu and cut into cubes.  Marinade the tofu for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes

Second, fry up the veggies.In a fry pan over high heat, add a few TBS of EVOO, add the veggies and a dash of garlic powder. Add the veggies from the slowest cooking to the fastest cooking: broccoli first, cook for a few minutes, then the mushrooms, cook for a few, and then the canned corn.

Third, make the Cumin-lime dressing. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a jar or container with a lid. Shake vigorously!

Fourth, assemble your wraps. Use a chard leaf and add the tofu, veggies, and other toppers you have (I used pico de gallo, avocado, and feta cheese). Top with the cumin lime dressing.

Enjoy!

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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps {Crock Pot Recipe}

25 03 2014

Last week when I was in Madison, I spent a night at my friend Sandra’s house. Sandra and I work together and have bonded over some of our common interests: she has two adorable kitties, loves to cook, and has a food blog! After work on Tuesday night, she took me for some good ol’ Wisconsin cheese, and then we went back to her place to make some wontons and potstickers!

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Sandra had already prepared the filling- turkey, bell pepper, mushroom, and some spices and we just had to wrap em up!

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I watched her experienced hands form perfect little wontons, and then took a stab at it myself. Mine most certainly did not turn out as lovely as hers, but as we neared the final few I think I finally got the technique down.

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We boiled some, pan friend some others, and did the same for a few dumplings she had in the freezer.

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We made dipping sauces to our taste- using soy sauce, sesame  oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, and a touch of sugar. Normally there would be black vinegar in there, but Sandra was all out!

When we finally dug in (it took quite awhile to hand-wrap all those wontons!) it all became worth the effort. They were so incredibly delicious, I could have eaten an entire plate! Something about homemade dumplings is just so comforting! I don’t think wontons are something I’d typically make for myself, but if I’ve got an extra set of hands or two, I think they’d make a great party dish!

When I arrived home later in the week, I was craving those flavors again so I decided to make something a bit less time-intensive but with similar ingredients: Lettuce Wraps!

Lettuce Wraps

The filling was tempeh, water chestnuts, red bell pepper, mushrooms with a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. I let all that cook down in the crock pot while I went for a long bike ride. Dipping sauce was similar, but I added some garlic chili paste to that. Served with some iceberg leaves and some left over rice and voila! Easy peasy!

I’m sure you could make these with ground meat- pork, turkey or chicken would probably work best. You can suit the sauce to your tastes too- you don’t need to stick to my measurements. Play around and find what suits your taste buds best!

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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 block tempeh
4 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms (1/2 a container)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can chopped water chesnuts
2-3 green onions, chopped (add at the end)
1/4 cup soy sauce (more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBS brown sugar
Dipping sauce

How to:

1. Cut the tempeh into cubes and steam for about 5 minutes.

2. While the tempeh is steaming, chop your peppers and mushrooms.

3. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

4. In a larger bowl, combine the tempeh, sauce, water chestnuts, peppers and mushrooms.

5. Refrigerate the filling for several hours (you can do this the night before, or I did it in the morning for a few hours before leaving for my ride)

6. Cook on low for about 6 hours in the crock pot.

7. Serve with lettuce leaves, rice, and the dipping sauce.

For dipping sauge, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic chili paste, and sugar to taste! Add less chili paste for less spicy! I typically do mostly soy, about half that amount of rice vinegar, a touch of sesame oil, chili paste, and sugar.








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