Friday, October 5, 2012

Eureka! Veggie Burgers!

I am a genius.   I say that all the time--when I'm cooking in the kitchen.

I'm NOT a genius--but I'm a serious cook--and foodie.  I don't use recipes for the most part--just great ideas in my head. And because I'm a foodie, the ideas are pretty good. (I think I owe a lot of this to my late grandmother, mother, and stepfather, who was/are amazing cooks and inventors, too!)

Today was a day full of genius.  This is what I am eating right now, and it is AMAZING and HEAVENLY and everything I imagined it would be when I was "inventing" it.  My very own veggie burger recipe. Yes, this is my burger, right now, as it is sitting here on my desk.  Okay, now I must say "was." I ate it.

I really was going for "traditional."  I didn't want black bean taste, or southwest or any other fancy flavors. I wanted a burger.  With burger taste and burger texture that you could eat with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, and ketchup. And even cheese on top.  My seasonings were what I use in regular burgers.  And the result was perfect! My kids will tell you, though, at first I was afraid to try it!  I had such high hopes and expectations! I was afraid they were going to be mushy, flavorless, blech.

BUT... they were not! (typed in "Gru's" voice from "Despicable Me.")

Here is the "recipe" give or take a smidge or pinch (I really didn't measure, but I have a pretty good idea!).

2 cups dry adzuki beans:  cook until tender, then rinse and cool
1 cup rice, cook and then cool
1 cup barley, cook and then cool
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cauliflower, cooked until just tender and then cooled
1 medium/large onion
2 large carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons worcestershire
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups  quick oats
1-2 cups fresh bean sprouts (spinach will work if you don't have sprouts, I'm sure.)
1 Tablespoon onion powder
Salt to taste
Hickory Smoked Salt (to taste)

Put the cooked, drained, and cooled beans, rice, and barley into a large mixing bowl. Chop the cooked cauliflower to 1/4-inch pieces and add to bowl (I used the food processor and just gave it a couple whirls). Cut the onion and carrots into large pieces, then mince in the food processor.  In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and red lentils, and the minced onions and carrots. Sautee until onions are soft. Add the worcestershire, ketchup, and water, cook until the water is gone. Let it cool, then add to the mixture in in the bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. The "dough" should have the same consistency as ground burger. Add more quick oats until it feels right! Refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, spray baking sheets with  non-stick canola oil spray (or whatever oil you like), and form the burger "dough" into patties (slightly less than 1/2 cup each made a nice bun-sized burger about 1/2-3/4" thick), and then bake them at 350 until they seem firm (15-20 minutes?) and just barely golden brown. At this point, they can be cooled and frozen. Or, to serve, fry them in a skillet or on a griddle/grill on high heat until browned a bit and heated through!

This was a HUGE batch. It made 30 burgers!  But--we do cook big around here.  The plan was to freeze the baked/cooled burgers. To serve them, all I have to do is thaw them and then just fry in a skillet or on a griddle with some cooking spray or a smidge of oil until golden brown and heated through (or microwave, in a pinch), or broil in the oven--or whatever... then serve them up with all the traditional fixin's.   

God bless!


1 comment:

  1. Cam,
    As good as it looks, I just don't know if I could actually bite into it! Not that I'm against veggies, but my mind is crazy like that:)

    I've tried cooking with turkey, instead of beef, and got it cooked and had to throw it out (horrible, I know) because I had a mental block about it.

    But it looks amazing!