My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

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Curses! Greek Veggie Burgers 4

Posted on May 05, 2010 by crankycheryl

I don’t know what is happening to me, but I seem to be turning into Cursing Mommy.

We were coming home from Costco the other day, merging onto the highway.  There were three cars driving in our direction, and two of them merged into the passing lane so we could merge in.   I started to get up to speed and steer into the right-hand lane, but saw that car #3 had not yielded.  This is clearly annoying, but really not an unexpectedly big deal, right?

So what happened next is a little confusing.  A word came out of my mouth that I didn’t really know was in my vocabulary, a word so far beyond polite conversation that I can’t write it here.  It was a word that had Z. in an explosion of delight there in  the backseat:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  What’s a dushbag Mommy?!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  DUSHBAG, DUSHBAG, DUSHBAG!  Mommy said duuuuuushbag.

Proud I was not.

Clearly I have no excuse for what came out of my mouth as I was reading about the recall of all those children’s products and realized I had given the boys the tainted medicine.  Upset, of course, but was it really necessary to provoke E. to ask:

Son of a what, Mommy?

It’s a good thing I’ve got some nice mellow dinners like this one to get myself on an even keel.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Greek Veggie Burgers
yield: about 12

Puree together in a food processor, leaving it just a bit chunky for texture

  • 1 1/2 cups steamed and drained kale or spinach
  • 1/2 c. chopped sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chick peas, drained

Place spinach mixture in bowl and stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat (3/4 c. dry, soaked in 1 1/4 c. boiling water for 30 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg’s
  • 1 t. chopped garlic
  • 1 t. dried lemon peel
  • 1 t. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 t. dried

Form into patties, then place on baking sheet (give a little space around each, but they won’t expand like baked goods so don’t worry too much).  Bake for 25 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and bake for 20 more, until nicely browned.  Serve in whatever burger-y way you like.

World's Greatest Veggie Burgers 1

Posted on October 30, 2009 by crankycheryl

veggie burgers halloween 002I love to save money on food, and get especially cheap when I’m cooking the common meal at cohousing, where we’re supposed to limit the budget to $3.50 per person.  And with all we have going on this month, there was no way that CrankyGreg and I were up for a big complicated affair for 35 people.

But still, of course we wanted something good and reasonably homemade.  So I pulled out this Joanna Vaught recipe for homemade vegan veggie burgers.  This is the one where what matters is the ratio of one thing to another, and so you can substitute any vegetables, any grain, and whatever flavorings you like as long as you stick with these amounts. One note:  don’t skip the gluten, which is what gives these great texture and keeps them sticking together.

Awesome Veggie Burgers

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a baking sheet and set aside.

stew beets sauerkraut veggie burgers 022Stir together very well until thoroughly combined:

  • ~ 1 1/2 cups baked butternut squash, pureed, and 1/2 c. rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups protein: Le Puy lentils (cooked), 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups grain:  cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup oil and a splash of water (liquid)
  • 1 T. Bragg’s, 1 t. chopped garlic (liquid seasoning)
  • 1 t. dried lemon peel,  1/2 t. smoked paprika, 1/2 t. allspice, 1 t. gomasio or sesame seeds

Form into patties, then place on baking sheet (give a little space around each, but they won’t expand like baked goods so don’t worry too much).  Bake for 25 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and bake for 20 more, until nicely browned.  Serve in whatever burger-y way you like.  They were great with baked sweet potato fries and a ginger-beet coleslaw for dinner.  But today the last ones were pretty good eaten cold by themselves in the car in between meetings.

World's Best Homemade Veggie Burgers 5

Posted on July 09, 2009 by crankycheryl

garden veg burgers 007A few months back I stopped buying veggie burgers because of their cost, and because I had realized that some of these allegedly healthier alternatives were in fact among the most processed foods in the grocery store.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I showed up from a Costco trip one day with vegan patties that had visible peas and carrots in them! I’m surprised that the ensuing retching, screaming and dinnertime indignation didn’t cause the authorities to come take my children away,   I mean, really now.

The missing burgers left a significant hole in our miniscule meal rotation of universally accepted foods.  Z. is off meat, E. didn’t like any of my first attempts at re-creating something good, and since I’m still trying the 2/3-vegan thing, I wanted an animal-free option.

To the rescue came a post by Bex over at howtofeedavegan, a link to Joanna Vaught‘s formula for making great veggie burgers that you can customize to your own taste.

Her recipe combines the correct proportions of protein (beans, nuts, seeds, nut butters), vegetables, wheat gluten, cooked brown rice, and seasonings to get burgers that taste like you want them to, and have a great texture.

I wanted something as burger-y as possible, and knew it also had to look as much like an actual meat burger as possible.  This meant no detectable vegetables or seeds, and so I used her formula to combine:

  • 2 c. chopped button mushrooms (I wasn’t splurging on something fancier when I wanted them to be as unobtrusive as possible, but you know your own palate and audience.)
  • 1 can black beans, drained (low-sodium is best)
  • 3/4 c. vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I might have used a little more, except that my beans were full-sodium)
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice

I started by putting the mushrooms in the food processor and chopping until pretty small, then added everything except the rice, and whirling until very well combined.  I added the rice last as I wanted at least some of it to stay fairly whole for the texture.

The resulting paste was pretty wet, and I was dubious.  But I went ahead and made patties (I ended up with 16, but I see Bex ended up with 6 so you  can decide how big to make ’em) and cooked them for 20 minutes per side at 375.  They firmed up nicely in cooking (and in fact crisped up a bit, which I might not always want, so I might try a slightly lower temperature next time).

The results?  So yummy!   I served them our favorite ways – on a roll with cheese and mustard and for God’s sake NO VEGETABLES for E., with cheese and a tomato slice for Z., and with mayo, lettuce, tomato and cheese for me.  It was full of flavor, nicely textured, and evoked no retching.

Give ’em a try and let me (and Joanna and Bex) know what you think.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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