On the Vegan Menu: Episode One


Golden Fish-less Fillets (by Gardein)
Fresh-cut sweet potato fries with mixed herb seasoning
Roasted organic broccoli

Glass of Era Montepulciano d’Abruzzo vegan, organic red wine

Home-made mini banana chocolate-chip muffins
with So Delicious Chocolate Velvet frozen dessert


Things Fall Apart, but that’s okay.



Yesterday, I was checking out my WP reader and I came across a very tasty-looking recipe for a “burger” at the Girl Eats Greens blog.  I was so tempted by it that I immediately printed it off, and since I knew that I had everything in to make it, I decided to do just that.

If you check the recipe at Jamie’s site, you can see what she used to make the burgers, but I will tell you that I don’t believe I have ever followed a recipe to the letter in my life, so no surprise, I didn’t with this one.

I cooked up a package of organic quinoa and set it aside.  I also sliced up some sweet potatoes (since the ones in her photo were calling my name), tossed them with a little olive oil, basil, black pepper and smoked paprika and put them in the fridge.

Then I set about to make the burgers.  My original intention was to make them small and put them in a wrap, but they seemed to be quite substantial what with the quinoa and black bean combo; I felt a bun or wrap might prove unnecessary.  Besides, I had leftover super-salad (kale, romaine, apple, carrot, beet, hemp hearts, walnuts with a tahini dressing)  in the fridge to have on the side as well.

I got out my big trusty stainless bowl and dumped in a can of black beans (rinsed and drained) which I mashed with a positively ancient metal potato-masher that has been in my family since the 1960s. (I’m usually very good at parting with things when they’ve done their time; not so, my mom).

Next, I added in some chopped scallions, a bunch of chopped cilantro. Jamie’s recipe called for 2 cups of spinach.  I didn’t have fresh on hand, but I had a zip-bag of spinach that I had frozen a while back, so I had taken it out to thaw and then pressed it between two paper towels to get most of the moisture out.  I also dropped in, 1 tsp. garlic (from a jar), 1 tsp. cumin, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 loaded tsp. of sriracha and some freshly ground black pepper.  I kept on mashing it all together and then added the quinoa and stirred it well.

I had a notion to add some frozen organic corn kernels too, as I love corn – I can eat anyone under the table when there is fresh corn on the go.  I will hunt you down for your own cobs if they look unfinished to me. *kidding  No, I’m not, but don’t judge me.

So anyway, I mixed up the whole mess and tried to make patties with it, but it was just not holding together.  Granted, Jamie used a food processor which I don’t own, so maybe that’s what went wrong – there was just not enough liquid squeezed out of the beans to bind it together. Also, I may have got a little over-enthusiastic with the quinoa.

In an effort to remedy this, I threw in a huge Tablespoon of tahini and it worked!

I formed the patties, lay them out a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (God’s gift to cooks and bakers, imho), covered them with foil and put them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them.

As per Jamie’s instructions, I did up my sweet-tater fries in a 425 degree oven and then left them on the stove in an old baking pan on low, to stay warm.

I baked the patties on one side for 10 minutes, but when I tried to flip them—disaster! They started to crumble and there was no piecing them back together.  Thankfully, I had only made the attempt on two burgers and the rest were intact.  I put them back in the oven and baked for another 10 minutes.

Apart from a little bit of crumbling from pan to plate, they stayed together.  I drizzled some of my tahini dressing left over from the lunchtime salad, put some fries on the plate and salad on the side.

Things fall apart sometimes, but honestly, I don’t care if it’s not magazine-cover material as long as it tastes good on my tongue and nourishes my belly and no animals were harmed to put it on my plate.

Have a look at these babies!