Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Black Bean Burgers of New Jersey

I developed a NO sauté NO food processor veggie burger and I am so proud!  It is also (mostly) gluten free, as I don't particularly like vital wheat gluten in vegan burgers sometimes.  You could sub for the breadcrumbs with oats ground up in your food processor or more chickpea flour or other gluten free flour. And, it's soy free, for those of you who are allergic to soy! These are super easy and taste fantastic.  Perfect for the 4th of July weekend that is quickly approaching!  Bring your vegan treasures to an omnivorous party and watch them get gobbled up (make a double batch if you are taking them to a barbeque!).  Try to use as many organic ingredients as you can, but if you don’t have any on hand, conventional ones are OK.  Enjoy!

AWESOME Black Bean Burgers of New Jersey J
Soy free, (mostly) gluten free, pretty much work free :-)

2 cans black beans (organic if possible!!)
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ sweet onion, chopped
½ cup chopped organic, fire roasted, red peppers (jarred in water) or roast fresh ones if u want.
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt (I use coarse Kosher salt, you can also use sea salt)
1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce (more if you want it spicier)
½ cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
½ cup bread crumbs (freshly made if possible)
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro (if you have it)
2 Ener-G egg replacer eggs (3 tsp egg replacer powder and 4 tablespoons of water)

In a small bowl, whisk the egg replacer powder and water until it is creamy and frothy. Set aside.

Drain and rinse beans in a colander.  Place in a large bowl (where all your ingredients will fit) and mash with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and the egg replacer mixture. Mix it up with a big spoon or just with your hands. That’s it.

You can let it rest at this point in the refrigerator if you want to (or need to) for an hour or so or even up to overnight.  Some folks say resting in the fridge makes it easier to shape veggie burgers.  Or, you can just go ahead and make it into burgers without resting it (which is what I did).  I use a large oxo scoop to grab the burger mixture (way overflowing over the scoop, I just use it to help eyeball the size) so they are all about the same size. Then I roll them into balls in my hands and flatten them on the baking sheet or tray. Done.

You can bake, grill or sauté these burgers when you are ready. 

To Grill:
I use a disposable aluminum baking pan that fits in my grill. I line it with extra foil, and generously oil the foil with olive oil.  Put the raw burgers on your prepared baking tray and place on your grill.  I used a hot fire (I have a charcoal grill, so the fire is hot, but you can use lower heat if you have a gas grill) and grilled about 6 minutes or a little longer on the first side with the lid down.  Be sure to brush them with olive oil before you flip them over inside the pan, and then grill another few minutes until golden on the second side.  That's it!

To Bake: Line a baking sheet with foil (you don’t have to but it makes clean up a lot easier) and brush generously with olive oil.  Put the burgers on and brush the tops with olive oil.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Flip, bake another 10 minutes.  You want them nice and brown on both sides (or at least that’s how I like them!).

Or, sauté: on medium heat in olive oil until golden on each side, again, about 6 minutes or so per side.

Serve with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, vegan mayo or vegan sour cream (like Tofutti’s brand, which is excellent) and extra hot sauce, or any burger topping you like!

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Garden Fazool: Growing Up!

In a mere nine days, my garden has done so much growing up!

Nine days ago:

 Tomatoes up to the second rung on the cages...

 Rainbow garden still SO painfully slow.  And no rainbow chard seems to have made it :-( 
Must have been the lousy asphalt ridden soil I was hitting when I dug it up, they couldn't put strong roots down...

 Rogue sunflower :-) reseeded itself from last year!

 Fig tree coming along nicely.

We started another herb bed along the side of the house.

And now, only NINE days later, look what we've got:

 Rogue sunflower is about six feet tall, or more!

 We got a visitor, maybe brown-eyed coreopsis? Not sure, but I love it!

 Fig tree looking good and teeny tiny fig buds can be seen at all the joints!!!

 Hydrangea blooming!

 Tomatoes growing up over the tops of the cages!!! 

 Remember the fourth tomato plant that was getting whaled on by the flea beetles? Well, the cayenne pepper worked and now it is healthy and thriving (though still a tiny bit smaller than my other plants).

My future tomatoes.

 Slowly but surely (at least the basil likes it OK in the "Rainbow Garden" ;-)

 Cheater plants from Lowes.  I threw in some basil and parsley seed, too, but no action yet...

 Another pic of my tomatoes! Tiger lillies blooming in the back!

 Thistle, I think.

 Double Yellow Coreopsis ("Jethro Tull" Coreopsis!)

 Nice shot of the front yard.

 Butterfly weed (Orange Milkweed). The bees LOVE it.  It is always covered with honeybees and bumblebees!

 The Bee Balm is flowering (Thanks, Jane!)

Skipper in the lavender.

Momma groundhog's entrance to our yard! I tried to block it up with bricks, but she just shoved them to the side! She only eats our clover, so it doesn't really matter, anyway.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend, enjoy the first week of summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toaster Oven Tofu

You can bake tofu in the toaster oven.  It works very well and it doesn't heat the whole house up!  Awesome.  Wish I thought of it last summer, but anyway...

I marinated mine in a delish orange/sesame-ish marinade: fresh organic orange zest/orange juice from two whole oranges, organic tamari, fresh chopped garlic, brown rice syrup, and some toasted sesame oil and water to bring up the volume.  Then I toasted it on an olive oiled, tin foil lined tray, perfection! Served with coconut rice (leftover coconut milk from making ice cream with the cream :-) and steamed peas.

What did you guys make on this steamy night? We've got at least two or three more of these boilers to go, so let's get some ideas going...

Maybe this for tomorrow night?  Another vegan toaster oven special :-)