Thursday, October 02, 2008

Seedy Garden Burger

Thanks for all the comments on my first post and everyone's support.  What a great community!

As promised, a new recipe.  Below is Garden Burger on flatbread with sauteed Cremini mushrooms, tomatoes from my in-laws garden and alfalfa sprouts.  Served with the burger is a mixed salad with raspberry vinaigrette.  Yum!  I guess as far as food blogs go, I may have cheated with this post since I made these days before and froze the extras.  Don't worry, I paid for my cheating when my stomach moaned in protest (skipped lunch) as my inner perfectionist fussed over the photo.  Eventually the stomach won, and that is why the photo is too busy.  :)

This was loosely based on the Garden Path Burger in Healthy Pleasures Cookbook (published by the Dietitians of Canada).  Now, I'm not an expert chef by any means, but the original recipe must have been held together by faith and hope.   ;)    I say this because there were no binding agents.  So, I changed a good bit of instructions & ingredients to get a better texture and taste.  Also, before you head off to round up the ingredients for this recipe, let me warn you that this is not a 'meaty' burger but a 'nutty' one. 

I should note that the Spouse, Teen Daughter and FIL would not eat these as there were too many unidentifiable colours in the burger.   The MIL took one for lunch today but I've yet to hear her opinion.

Seedy Garden Burger

Makes about 12 patties.

1/2 cup Lentils
1/2 cup Quick Rolled Oats
1 can coarsely chopped Chick Peas
2/3 cup finely chopped Onion (I used a Spanish sweet onion)
1/2 finely chopped Red Pepper
1/4 cup chopped Green Onions
1/2 block extra firm, grated, Tofu (I used the low-fat kind)
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive Oil or Non-stick Spray to grease pans

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium pan add Lentils and 1 1/2 cup water.  Simmer for 10 minutes, drain slightly but allow for some water to remain (about 1/4 cup) and put Lentils back in pan.  Add to pan the Pumpkin Seeds, Oats, Green Onion, Chick Peas and grated Tofu.  Stir & set aside to allow flavors to mingle and the Pumpkin Seeds to soften slightly. 

While the Lentils are simmering, you can start sauteing the Onions and Peppers until softened.  Add Salt & Pepper to taste.  When onions and peppers are softened, add to the Lentil Mixture and allow to cool enough so you can handle the mixture without burning yourself.  Now you have to get the mixture to bind together so we can form the patties.  I found the best way to do this without loosing texture is to put your hands right into the mixture and squish with your fingers.  You may also want to slightly 'knead' the mixture as well. 

When the mixture starts to come together, form into patties and place on greased cooking sheet for 20-30 minutes.  Flip the patties over halfway during the baking process so that both sides get nice and brown.  When done, allow to cool before removing from the pan as the patties are fragile and may crumble easily.


Cooking has been such a challenge at the moment due to living at our in-laws house.  Both the MIL and FIL are omnivores.  They really try very hard to think of my diet, but fail to see past the common misconception that Vegans only eat salad (and potatoes).  So my first few dinners here were salad.  A recent one was boiled potatoes placed on a bed of lettuce.   :(   

The MIL is very welcoming of new foods and has been more than willing to try new things.  She ate a vegan meatloaf that was horrible!  (I couldn't even finish it)  She, the Spouse and the Teen Daughter all raved about the Soft Tacos with pre-seasoned TVP.  The MIL and Teen Daughter also loved the Spaghetti with reconstituted TVP, the Spouse said it was OK but didn't taste like meat.  The MIL also gave me the recipe in this post.  She is such a great support!

Now I try to cook for myself in advance so that dinner emergencies (see salad and boiled potatoes above) don't pop up, but don't have all my spices, cooking equipment, etc.  This means I've been in danger of having some pretty unsatisfying dinners.  I've scraped by with cooking on the fly, last night having a pretty good tofu stir-fry and currently as I type, having some seitan in the oven.  I'm super nervous about that turning out good because in all honesty it doesn't smell all that great.

I guess it all boils down to (no pun intended), that at the end of the day I feel good knowing what I put into my body.  :)


Tara said...

These look great! I have a spouse that is very wary of unidentified vegetables as well. They don't know what they are missing! I'm looking forward to reading your future posts.

Georgia said...

Those burgers look yummy - I am sure I will revert back to this post when the weather warms up and it becomes BBQ season. It must be tough living with omnis - I remember growing up as a child when we had a school BBQ one of my friends mothers served me up a piece of white bread (first yuck)with tomato sauce... and that was what they thought a vegan would eat at a BBQ!!!

Hope the seitan turns out well!!

tofufreak said...

congrats on the jump to veganism! hope everything goes well for you!

at least your MIL is open-minded! i'm sure your teen daughter will soon get used to the idea [and foods] too! (hey, i did!)

good luck! look forward to future posts :D

Kristina said...

I found your blog through VeganDad's and your story has helped me a lot... I've been trying to be vegan for the past two years, instead just transitioning between omnivory and vegetarianism. I was about to call it quits and stick with being vegetarian until I read one particular line in this post - how at least you know what you put in your body. Thank you!

And I'm from the Buffalo area, so I have to add that you Canadians across the border are lucky to have more options for vegan cooking available!

Reni said...

Kristina, I'm glad to have helped. :) Sometimes I waffle and want to revert to vegetarian. I love cheese!

And I've been in Buffalo a good bit and know there isn't much for Vegans. I find the Happy Cow website to be a great resource for locating Vegan-friendly markets.

Anyways, glad to know you are trying to stick it out!