Good Eats Good Times

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Tag: vegetarian

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

If you’re a vegetarian craving the taste of meat (without changing your diet), look no further than this recipe.

It was a Friday evening. For me, it was one of those winter nights I just didn’t feel like going out. My friend Emma, laying low after a wild night at Igloofest, asked me if I wanted to get together and cook. We’ve long talked about trying to make sweet potato black bean burgers, and these did not disappoint.

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I used inspiration from various recipes… this one is definitely a mash up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large can black beans (28 oz)
  • 1.5 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1.5 onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • spices: salt, pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne, cajun, paprika, cumin, south african smoke

We didn’t mean to, but we ended up making a huge batch. This recipe yielded 20-25 burgers, so if you’re not looking to feed more than a few people, I think you could safely cut this recipe in half. You may still have leftovers. Prep time: approx 30-45 minutes.

For the fastest way to cook your sweet potatoes, cut some holes in them, put them on paper towel, and microwave them for 12-14 minutes. They should come out very hot, but also nice and soft. Cut them into cubes, and throw them into a large mixing bowl (we used a pot).

With the sweet potatoes, toss in the cooked rice and black beans (drain the can first). Begin to mash the mixture using a hand masher.

Chop the onions and garlic, and throw those in as well. Add the flour, worcestershire sauce, and tahini. Continue to mash as well as you can. Throw in your spices. If you don’t feel like using all of the spices we did, you obviously don’t have to. Since our recipe turned out to be massive, we threw in quite a bit of each spice (probably a few teaspoons).

Before you’re ready to make them into patties, taste it! Does it have all the flavors you want? Even after throwing a fair amount of spices in, they could’ve been even spicier.

"This semi resembles prison food, but I know it's gonna be good" -Emma

“This semi resembles prison food, but I know it’s gonna be good” -Emma

According to Emma, who was doing most of the mashing, “this semi resembles prison food but i know its gonna be good.” So if the mixture looks like prison food, you’re probably ready to form the patties.

We formed pretty large patties, probably about 2 inches in diameter (but it’s tough to say). They could’ve been smaller if you wanted to make them more like appetizer size (they’d probably stay together better, too). But we were feeling ambitious.

Since we had 23 uncooked patties on our hands, we weren’t sure what the best way to cook these the fastest. Therefore, we threw some in the oven at 350 while we were frying the first batch. I’m not sure if this made any sense or any difference, so you could probably skip this step.

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Now, to the frying. In a large frying pan, heat a layer of oil for a few minutes. Then, drop your patties in. They should take about 4-6 minutes to get nice and brown on each side. Once they’re done, I advise putting them in the oven at 200 to keep them warm and also to bake a bit of the grease off (this step I do advise).

Your burgers are now ready to be dressed. We settled on wrapping them in lettuce, with sliced tomatos, Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Salsa, and cilantro. Feel free to add ketchup, mustard, or cheese as necessary. It was a great choice and the burgers were delicious. They were definitely a bit delicate (probably in part to the size of the patties), but nonetheless some of the most awesome veggie burgers I’ve ever tasted.

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Quinoa Zucchini Burgers

It was a Sunday night and my long time pal (all the way from high school in the Jerz to McGill in MTL) Liz invited me over to her place to make some dinner. When we cook together I often end up taking a backseat (not necessarily a bad thing) so she deserves most of the credit on this one.

For the inspiration, we thank the nice person/people of Smitten Kitchen, who gave us this recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/) for zucchini fritters. However, ours are deliciously gluten-free and have quinoa in them, which I think makes them a bit heartier. These are a great finger food but could also be eaten like a veggie burger.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa (cooks just like rice!)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large onion (scallions would work nicely)
  • Pinch of fresh squeezed lemon
  • Salt, pepper
  • Olive oil (for frying)

Prep time: 30-40 minutes. Serves 2-3.

First, shred the zucchini using a grater and sprinkle some salt over them. Similar to what you do with potatoes when you make latkes, an extremely important step is drain the excess liquid from the zucchini. Although Liz took some convincing on this one, I promised her it would be worth it and actually be lots of fun. Scoop your zucchini into a clean wash cloth or cheese cloth, and squeeze the zucchini juice into the sink (or a bowl, as a mesmerized Liz did….don’t ask what she did with the juice later).

Liz oozing zucchini juice

Liz oozing out the zucchini juice

After getting as much juice out as possible, throw the zucchini into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, egg, squeeze of lemon, another healthy pinch of salt and some pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder, and then throw that in too. Begin to mix the ingredients with your hands or a spoon. Add a few scoops of quinoa, and notice how the mixture really starts to gain shape. You can tell that the mixture will lead itself well to patty-making.

And it does! With your hands, form patties to whatever size you like; anywhere from 1-2 inches in diameter should work well. Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and throw in the patties. Probably 3-5 minutes on each side, and the patties should be golden. Smitten Kitchen suggests throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 after they’re done frying, which is probably a good idea, but we were to hungry to wait.

the mixture, ready to be pattified

the mixture, ready to be pattified

They’re best served with any sort of dips, really. Smitten Kitchen’s garlic-lemony sour cream dip sounds delicious (of course difficult for me since I’m off dairy) and Liz and her roommate Brooke enjoyed them with some ricotta cheese. I tried some different stuff lying around in the fridge: pesto, tomato sauce, hot sauce…pretty random, but these bad boys are open for some creativity! Next time I’d definitely like to try eating them like veggie burgers. Anyways, enjoy!

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Carrot, Potato, and Ginger Soup

After the long first day of the winter semester, and with our super-cool friend Emma over, it was the perfect time for my roommate Josh, Emma, and I to cook up this thick, carroty, savory soup. Quick and easy, this soup is a perfect, hearty, vegetarian meal for a winter night.

Not sure exactly where this idea came from, but some of the inspiration came from a Spicy Carrot Soup recipe in Gluten, Wheat, and Dairy Free, a cookbook Josh got me for Christmas. I feel like people often use butternut squash soup for a soup like this, but since we had potatoes lying around the apartment, we decided to make it work. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 8-10 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • Approx. 1 tbsp ginger
  • Approx. 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance (or other buttery spread)
  • Approx. .5 cup mimic creme (see Mushroom, Leek, and Potato Soup for more info)
  • 2-3 cubes Veggie Bouillon
  • Spices: cumin, cayenne, chili, salt, pepper

Serves 4-6, makes a BIG pot of soup!!

Prep Time: about 45 minutes (plus time to let the soup cool before you blend it)

First, in preparation, chop the onions and garlic, peel and quarter the potatoes (so they cook quicker), peel and slice (or even chop) the carrots, and peel and chop the ginger.

Sauté them in the bottom of your pot with some olive oil and good helpings of cumin, cayenne, chili, and pepper. After about 5-7 minutes, throw in the potatoes, ginger, carrots and, lentils and cover the mixture with water (at least 6-7 cups, maybe more). Bring this mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

During this time span, add the bouillon, Earth Balance, and Mimic Creme. You probably don’t  even need the latter two, but they are great if you want to add some richness!

Once the carrots and potatoes are nice and soft, the first phase of the soup is done. You can now let it cool for a bit (or throw it out in the snow, as we did).

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After cooling for a bit, the soup is ready to blend. Sadly, we only have a magic bullet in our apartment, and you can imagine the process of scooping the chunky mixture into magic bullet containers is a bit tedious and can get messy, but I think it’s worthy it. 

Anyways, once the soup is nice and blended (but don’t blend too long, since sometimes a few chunks can be nice), it should have a pretty thick consistency and a nice, orangey-beige color. Top with homemade croutons (refer back to my first soup posting for a quick how-to) and fresh cilantro, and the soup is ready to enjoy!

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Photos by Joshua Paul. Follow @jawshuwa