Monthly Archives: September 2010

Quick and Easy Veggie Burgers

I absolutely love homemade veggie burgers!

Store bought ones are nice too – especially if you are in a hurry.  But how would you feel about quick and easy homemade veggies burgers?

I have been looking around for good veggie burger recipes, some good and some not so good.  The good news is these veggie burgers are extremely quick to make, easy  to put together and they hold their shape.  They taste great too!  The chipotle chile powder adds more flavour than it does heat without making the burgers taste overly smoky.  It might be worth trying some cheddar cheese in place of the parmesan.  We paired the burgers with guacamole and fresh tomato, forgoing the mustard and ketchup, and it worked wonderfully with the burger’s seasonings. These burgers are easy enough to have come under my “do not have a lot of time to cook on a weeknight, because we have somewhere to go afterwards” meal category, and tasty enough for me to make them again.

Tonight we took the in-law’s dog Murphy for a walk.  They are out of town and he is being boarded at a kennel.  We figured it would be nice for him to a see a familiar face or two during his sojourn.

So, I got home from work, got the burgers started, ate and headed off to meet Murphy all before 6:30.  That is fast!

I should mention that I adapted this recipe from the fantastic new cookbook that EPC and I picked up a couple of weeks ago,  Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.    The book has received rave reviews and I am excited to try other recipes such as  Beet and Brown Rice Burgers and Smoked Tofu Burgers. There are over 30 different burger recipes, many of which are gluten-free (12), vegan (15) or both (9).

Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Veggie Burgers

1 1/2 cups of black beans
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Freshly ground pepper, 4 or so turns of the pepper mill
3/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs

  • Mash the beans with a potato masher, add the eggs, cilantro, cheese, spices and salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°C
  • Add the bread crumbs and stir to mix.  Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so the breadcrumbs can soak up the moisture.
  • Moisten your hands and shape the burgers into four patties.
  • Lightly spray your oven proof fry pan (I used cast iron) with oil and saute the burgers for 5 minutes or so on each side.  You want them to brown and form a nice crust
  • Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for 10 -15  minutes until heated through.

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Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

As I type this the taste of tonight’s dinner is still lingering on my tongue.

A blend of indian spices, fried bread, and zesty coconut chutney are making me feel quite content as I contemplate the end of another weekend. We went to see The Flaming Lips in concert on Friday night (amazing!), picked up some carrots and Macintosh apples at the Farmer’s Market, hung out Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria with friends for dinner on Saturday evening, and ran errands today. The weather was fantastic this weekend and it made it up to 27°C yesterday.   I am glad I made time for a walk Saturday afternoon, because you can be certain this will be our last nice weekend. Although we were not too busy and managed to get lots of sleep, I was feeling low on energy when the time to cook dinner rolled around.

I like to make something a little special for Sunday’s supper, but today I did not want to make the effort. Luckily, I know myself enough to be in tune when laziness strikes and I had an easy dinner planned. Of course, once you taste it, you would have no idea it came together so quickly.

I also cheated a bit. I could make the wonderful Indian pan-fried flat bread from scratch, but why bother when I can pick up an instant dosa packet (they are gluten-free) at the Indian Grocer or Superstore and have the batter ready to go in about 5 minutes. I suppose if you were feeling extra lazy you could serve the filling rolled up in a tortilla, but it wouldn’t be the same. The delicious blend of lentil and rice flour is something that you don’t want to miss!

Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

1 potato, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)
1 yam, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)

1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 19 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

  • Peel, chop and boil the potato and yam for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and reserve.
  • Saute onion and garlic on medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Add cumin, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne and stir to coat
  • Add tomatoes and cook,  stirring occasionally for 5 minutes
  • Add chickpeas, potatoes and yam. Mash the potatoes and yams while cooking for about 10 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in the yogurt, salt and cilantro. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the dosas.
  • Dosas are easy, just follow the instructions on the box. Please use a non-stick pan and cook each dosa in a cooled pan. I run my pan under cool tap water between each dosa.
  • When each dosa is ready spoon a couple spoonfuls of filling down the centre, roll up the sides and secure with a toothpick.
  • I like to serve it with Aki’s Brand Coconut Chutney

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Tag-team Sunday night supper: Sage Focaccia and Fire-Roasted Black Bean Soup

I usually end up making dinner on Sunday evening because EPC likes to relax in the late afternoon before he heads off to his Sunday evening yoga class.  But this week he decided to make his favourite black bean soup recipe from Toni Fiore’s Totally Vegetarian.

In response I chose to make whole wheat sage focaccia from Jack Bishop’s Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. I had a lot of luck with his whole wheat pizza crust and figured it couldn’t hurt to give his foacaccia bread a try. Afterall, the flecks of fresh sage in the bread would make a great accompaniment to  my husband’s soup.

As always, the soup was delicious.  This was the first time he had tried it with canned fire roasted tomatoes and it did make a difference.

I remember the first time he made this soup – before we had an immersion hand blender – what a mess.  Scooping soup by the cupful into our blender was not the easiest way to blend up the soup, and we lost a considerable amount on the floor.  It certainly made my husband an advocate of our latest kitchen appliance.  If you  like to make soups I really recommend picking up an immersion blender (we got ours at Superstore for about $30.00).  I find even if the soup does not call for pureeing, blending a small amount of the soup gives it a nice thick consistency.

In addition to that first  messy batch of soup,  we followed the recipe by adding the 2-3 jalapenos and the 3 tablespoons of chipotle chili powder it called for.  This made the soup almost inedible!  We now use only one jalapeno and 1 -2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder.

Since winter has practically arrived in Edmonton (one night last week it went down to -5°C!) I did not mind spending the majority of the afternoon indoors as I waiting for the bread to go through two long rises (1 1/2 to 2 hours each).  It was worth it.  I had never made focaccia before and I am really glad that I did.  Next time I will bake it on a sheet of parchment paper.  Well-oiled or not,  I had a difficult time prying the bread off the pan.  The edges cracked a little and I lost some of the bottom to the pan, but what it lacked in presentation it made up for in taste.

I also found the bread cooked quicker than the 20-25 minutes recommended, so make sure you take a peak in the oven after 15 minutes.

I think I will use the leftover focaccia to serve as a bun for the veggie burgers I am going to make tomorrow night.  So stay tuned!

Sage Focaccia Bread

1 1/3 cups of warm water
2 teaspoon of active dry yeast (I used bread machine yeast and it worked fine)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 scant cups of whole wheat bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves and about 20-25 whole sage leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.

  • Combine water, yeast, and oil in a large bowl.
  • Add the flour, salt and sage and stir to mix with a wooden spoon.  Stir until the dough comes together (it will  come away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball)
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes)
  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  In a warm place let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (I found 1 1/2 hours was sufficient).
  • Oil the bottom a cookie sheet with at least 1 inch deep sides ( I recommend parchment paper instead of oil).  The pan should be about 15 by 10 inches.  Flatten the dough into the pan, spray the top of the dough lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough rise a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the dough has almost doubled in size (I waited almost 2 hours).
  • Preheat the oven to 425°C.  Before placing the dough in the oven use your finger to dimple the dough at 2 inch intervals.  Place a fresh sage leaf in each dimple, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden  brown and remove from the pan to cool.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

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Toni Fiore’s Black Bean Soup recipe can be found here.  EPC only adds 1 -2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder and 1 jalapeno.  The soup is too spicy otherwise.

All in a day’s work: The Best Granola (so far) and Flourless Oatmeal Cookies

Well, I got tired of store-bought cereal again, so I decided to make some granola.

This time, I did not follow a recipe. I took the method from my Mom’s granola recipe and added whatever nuts and seeds I had lying around. I added dried blueberries instead of the usual raisins and took advantage of the rich buckwheat honey I picked up from Lola Canola’s booth at the Downtown Farmer’s Market.

Delicious: what a treat the blueberries were and adding buckwheat honey gave the granola a subtle touch of  caramel-like sweetness.

This is definitely the best granola I have ever made!

Having The Best Granola for breakfast on Tuesday morning will make the end of the long weekend a bit easier to bear.

Since I had so much luck with oats Sunday morning, I decided to make some oatmeal cookies in the evening (I was in a baking mood, so I whipped up a batch of Carob Cashew Brownies too!)

The oatmeal cookies were delicious and very filling.  I tried to eat two, but I had to struggle through the second one.  I figure this cookie will make a great (and fairly healthy) afternoon snack.  It will satisfy a sweet craving, without being too sweet and fill me up until dinner.

Although the recipe calls for wheat bran, you may be able to make these celiac friendly by substituting in Only Oats oat bran in place of the wheat bran.  I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure, but if you do try it let me know.

Being flourless, these are not a doughy cookie.  You need to form and flatten the cookies with moistened hands, so it requires a bit more work that the traditional dollop on a cookie sheet, but they are still nice and chewy – even more so, because there isn’t any flour to get in the way of the oats.

The Best Granola (so far)

6 cups of large flake oats (not instant or quick oats)
2 cups of barley flakes
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup of coarsely chopped whole almonds with the skins still on
1/3 cup of raw cashews coarsely chopped
1/3 cup of oat bran
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Grated zest of one orange
1/4 cup of oil
1/2 cup of honey (approximate)
1 cup of dried blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350°C
  • In a large baking dish combine barley flakes, oatmeal, oat bran, cinnamon, seeds and nuts.
  • Add orange zest and stir
  • Pour oil into measuring cup up to 1/4 cup measure.  Top up with honey to 2/3 cup measure.
  • Stir well to mix.
  • Optional: Take some of the mixture and place on a cookie sheet about 1 layer thick (this will give you some granola that is extra brown and crispy).
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 350°C.  Remove from the oven and stir.
  • Bake for 10 minutes more and stir again.
  • Add blueberries and bake for 5 minutes more.
  • Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

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Flourless Oatmeal Cookies – adapted from Uprisings: the whole grain bakers’ book

3 eggs
3/4 cup of warmed honey (I heated it on the stove top for a few minutes)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
4 1/2 cups large flake oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups wheat germ
3/4 cup milk powder
3/4 cup medium unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped raw cashews
2/3 cup currants
Grated zest of one orange

  • In a medium bowl beat together 3 eggs.
  • Add oil and applesauce and stir together.
  • In a large bowl add oats, wheat germ, milk powder, coconut, nuts, currants, and orange rind.
  • Stir mixture and let sit for 25 minutes.  This will help the cookies stick together.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°C
  • Using your hands, roll the dough into a ball and shape into a flat cookie about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick and press onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet,  firming up the cookie edges if needed.
  • Bake at 325°C for 15 minutes until lightly brown

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