Camping Meatlessly: Smoky Grilled Eggplant Pesto Hot Sandwich (With suggestions to make vegan)

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I took the kiddos up to my brother-in-law’s camp for an overnight getaway in the wilderness. We had a beautiful time! Nice, quiet time out in the maples and out of the … Continue reading

Home-made Veggie Burger: Hurray!

Second home-made veggie burger attempt: Success!

My "Perfect Veggie Burger" with some home-made chutney. © Miyo Wratten 2013

My “Perfect Veggie Burger” with some home-made chutney. © Miyo Wratten 2013

This was another Pinterest find, and in its description it promised crunch without mushiness. I tried this recipe out yesterday, and the recipe delivers on its promise. So thrilled!

In my first home-made veggie burger attempt (whose recipe came from the Whole Foods web site), my complaint was exactly that it was too mushy, almost slimy, and that the flavor was just off.

In this new recipe, which I found on Oh She Glows, it has everything one could ask for in a veggie burger: Crunch, flavor, firmness, definitely filling, healthy, AND it’s versatile. You can cook it any way you wish: bake, fry in a skillet, or grill.

Even better, you can partially cook these burgers in the oven, then toss them into your favorite receptacle for freezing, and keep them in the freezer for a quick, convenient, delicious and filling meal on a busy day.

Ready to mix! © Miyo Wratten 2013

Ready to mix! © Miyo Wratten 2013

What I loved best about this veggie burger was that it’s full of healthful ingredients: nuts (this recipe calls for almonds and sunflower seeds), vegetables (grated carrots, onions, and  black beans), lots of spices for tons of flavor (chili powder, cumin, garlic and fresh herbs of your choice), and a good dose of healthful grains (oat flour, ground flax seeds). The author (Angela) mentions her preferred method of preparing the burgers is in the skillet, and I have to agree. In the skillet, the texture becomes nice and crisp on the outside and the rest of the burger gets a bit of a better chew. That being said, I did try it on the grill as well (I ate these things literally for breakfast, lunch and dinner … and yes, they’re THAT good) and it was really delicious!

I’ve got the rest of the burgers – partially cooked (baked off in the oven for 15 minutes) – and ready to be fried or warmed up and cooked through in the oven some busy day that I’m sure to have coming up. I’ve got some leftover ingredients too, so I’ll make another batch of this and freeze it, too. Bye-bye grocery store, highly-processed soy-based veggie burgers!

Almonds and sunflower seeds added flavor and crunch to this unique burger. © Miyo Wratten 2013

Almonds and sunflower seeds added flavor and crunch to this unique burger. © Miyo Wratten 2013

Here’s the recipe: Angela’s Perfect Veggie Burger

When you’re done checking out and printing out the recipe, be sure to read her story. She’s truly an inspiration, and her honesty is amazing. I know you’ll love her web site as much as I have gotten to.

Pinterest Find: Home-made Veggie Burger

Ahead of the Fourth of July cookout, I tried out a recipe I found online for a home-made veggie burger. The recipe came from Whole Foods, which we don’t have the privilege of having in my area, but I’ve heard good things about.

My first home-made veggie burger. It was a big 'meh.' Copyright Miyo Wratten 2013

My first home-made veggie burger. It was a big ‘meh.’ Copyright Miyo Wratten 2013

Summer and burgers kind of go hand-in-hand, and as much as I’m not a fan of the ‘meatless meat’ dishes, I have to say that there is something so classic about burgers and this time of year in North America. It’s such an ingrained part of our culture, I’m having a hard time getting away from the idea of needing some kind of burger at some point. Also, I like to avoid the mass-produced, frozen patties that are stuffed full of highly processed soy protein, calories, and are mass-produced. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a couple of them hanging out in the freezer for one of those days when I just don’t have time to stand around and cook. They do, however, tend to sit there for quite some time because quite frankly, they scare me.

The flax seed used in the recipe. I ground mine in a coffee bean grinder as I couldn't find any that was already ground.

The flax seed used in the recipe. I ground mine in a coffee bean grinder as I couldn’t find any that was already ground.

When I saw the recipe for Red Pepper and Basil White Bean Burgers, which you can get right from the Whole Foods site, it sounded pretty decent. A jar of drained, roasted red peppers is mixed with ground flax seeds, rolled oats, garlic, fresh basil and a can of drained cannellini beans.

Just a note: If you’re like me and find it a little challenging sometimes to find what passes for ‘exotic ingredients,’ you may have a little trouble finding ground flax seed (which is what is called for in the recipe). I simply cleaned out our coffee bean grinder and used that to grind up some whole flax seeds. Easy enough to do.

Perhaps I didn’t cook it quite right, but I’ll be honest and say I was a little disappointed. The flavor was OK, but the texture definitely left something to be desired. To me, it had a bit of a ‘slimy’ or wet feel to it in the mouth, which was off-putting.

If you try it out and find that it turns out great for you, do let me know. It’s entirely possible I’ve done something wrong or handled a step incorrectly.

Otherwise, I’ll probably move on at some point to a different veggie burger recipe and hope for the best.

Impromptu Cookout: Meaty Marinated Portabella Mushroom Sandwich

It’s summer! Officially! I went in for half a day of school to hand in my last paperwork for the school year, and I’m off. In true summer style, we had a completely unplanned trip to our family’s ‘camp’ for … Continue reading