Monday, November 14, 2011

the grilling continues

vegetarians eat bean burgers.  that's what we do.  we've made mexican black bean burgers in the past.  they were delicious.  this is an italian variation to a bean burger recipe that has served us well for quite some time.
italian kidney bean burgers:
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
some garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cornflake crumbs/bread crumbs (if you can find any vegan options...or be super chef and make your own from old bread)
handful of chopped basil
oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, any other italian-ish spices
this is pretty simple stuff.
you mash the beans (generally a potato masher works well but a fork can also be a useful tool)
you saute the peppers, onion, and garlic in some olive oil until they are soft.
you throw everything into a bowl and mix it
the consistency of the burgers is something that takes some time to master.
as someone who used to eat meat, i urge you to keep this fact in mind: bean burgers will not shrink or solidify the way ground beef burgers do.  with that being said, adjust the wet and dry ingredients so that the mixture is slightly dry.
form patties.
heat the grill.
apply olive oil to the grates of the grill.
grill burgers about 4-5 minutes on each side.  you're looking for a brown crunchy crust.
to get all the "italian" flavor, we whipped up some basil cream spread.
this, too, is simple stuff.
we bought some vegan cream cheese.  don't let the mention of some "special" vegan product scare you.  we bought ours at jewel in the case next to the fake meat and fake cheese.  we used classic plain cream cheese from galaxy nutrional foods.  it's our favorite of the brands we've tried.
alright, so you buy vegan cream cheese, you chiffonade some basil.
*insert fancy (but totally simple) cooking technique here*
chiffonade = herbs cut into fine strips; method = place basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a little cigar.  start chopping where you would light the cigar.  it makes lovely little ribbons.  now you're fancy.
mix the basil into the cream cheese.  add lemon juice to taste.
burger, basil cream spread, toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion.  delicious.
we served our burgers with some grilled leeks:
cut the ends off the leeks.
wash them really well - when the leeks grow, dirt collects between the layers.
toss the leeks in a little bit of olive oil.

fashion yourself a little leek boat out of tin foil ("leek"y boat - haha)
place your tin foil leek boat on the grill and allow the leeks to cook until tender.
serve with a little salt and pepper.

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