Yesterday I offered to cook dinner, which the MIL took me up on. I had two thoughts.
1) Yay! I get to cook an all-vegan dinner that we can all eat together!
2) OMG what am I going to cook that will knock the socks off my Omni dinner companions?!
I was very nervous because my last two entrees for a vegan family dinner were disasters. First there was a dubious meatloaf recipe that was horrible and after that, a lasagna that had mushy rice noodles. Now, previously I did have one whopping success -- soft tacos with store bought pre-seasoned TVP. However, this was not really homemade.
Luckily I had the whole day in the kitchen, some awesome cookbooks, my fellow bloggers and the Internet to figure out what to make. We had pasta the night before, so a pasta dish was out. I didn't want to risk having a batch of seitan turn out bad, but I did need some type of meat replacement. Tofu was risky as well, because the Teen Daughter liked it but I wasn't sure if the MIL & Wookiepants would.
So I decided on bean patties done chicken-style because of my recent experiments with Bean Balls. I wanted to try these without the Vital Wheat Gluten and use Instant Mashed Potato Flakes instead, but I chickened out. (no pun intended) Also, I didn't try baking these since fat was not an issue -- a tip from VCON when cooking for Omnis is to not worry about fat.
I served the patties with homemade mashed potatoes & vegetable gravy, peas & corn. Everyone scarfed these down and said they would be quite happy to have them again! The only negative feedback I received was that the edges were a bit too crispy. I actually liked the crispness, but I think baking these would prevent the edges from becoming very crispy. Note: I had a leftover patty that was fried last night, for lunch today (reheated in oven) and it was still good.
Makes about 8 hamburger bun size patties
2 cans (540 ml) White Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)
1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1 cup uncooked rice (I used long grain)
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
4 Tbsp Vegan Chicken-style bouillon, divided
Note: I used vegan chicken broth powder instead
Oil for frying (unless you want to try and bake them)
Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp diced Jalapenos (optional)
Cook rice according to your preferred cooking method, but add 1 Tbsp of the Bouillon to the water while cooking. While the rice is cooking, in a large bowl mash the beans until no whole beans are left (do not puree). Add to the bowl the cooked (and cooled) Rice, Nutritional Yeast, Onion Powder, Vital Wheat Gluten and remaining 3 Tbsp Bouillon. (pepper to taste) Knead for about 5 minutes. Set aside and let rest for 20 minutes.
At this point I formed two patties and set them aside for the Teen Daughter who doesn't like spicy food. To the rest of the mixture I worked in the chopped jalapeno. (use gloves if mixing by hand!) I think if you don't want to use jalapenos, some diced onions, mushrooms, tomato or whatever you wish could be added. Just add something, or I think these would be too plain tasting. Form the remaining mixture into patties. In batches, fry the patties in about 1/4" of oil until brown on both sides.
Here is a picture of one of the patties with jalapeno:
While I was mashing the potatoes and making the gravy, I put the patties in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes to keep them hot and bake them a bit longer. I don't think baking them in addition to frying them is necessary.
These are best served, in my opinion, on a bun with a dollop of cream cheese and jalapeno jelly. I'd also throw on some more jalapenos, but I'm just spicy like that. ;)