Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oregon Burgers

1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and mashed
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup yellow onions, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup kale, chopped
¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
¼ tsp ground thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
1 tbs soy powder

1) Saute the onion and mushroom in cooking spray or olive oil until onions are clear; add the kale and sauté until the onions are brown.
2) Combine quinoa, mashed beans, mushrooms, onion, kale, hazelnuts, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl; mix with your hands or a spoon until ingredients are well-combined and the mixture sticks together. If mixture is too wet, add soy flour by the teaspoon until it is the right consistency.
3) Form into 4-6 patties.

134 calories/patty

My recent trip to Oregon inspired this recipe. It seemed that every menu I looked at had a quinoa offering. I had some nice steamed kale with quinoa at Blossoming Lotus and quinoa topped with black bean salad at the Rogue Brewery, so I in. Hazelnuts are also fairly Oregon, and I threw mushrooms in because I like them.

This burger is pretty good. It could maybe use a little more salt and the thyme is a little too prominent, but it is fairly flavorful. The hazelnuts make it crunchy, much like Oregon. I can see this going really well with beer bread.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stanford's; Portland, OR

In such a veg-friendly city as Portland, Stanford's offering disappoints. I suppose that any restaurant attached to a mall can't be held by too high of standards, but Stanford's veggie burger can best be described as grease on top of oil on marinated in fat. The patty is a jumbo, oblong, commercial gardenburger (automatic minus points) that is soggy yet crispy at the same time because it is saturated with oil. It is topped by sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onion, which are delicious yet provide a hefty dose of their own greasiness. I asked for no aoili, but the garlicky buttered bun on its own further contributes to the mess: imagine if it had come with mayo too! If that isn't enough to harden your arteries, the meal comes with a surprise deep-fried pickle on the side and the choice of chips, fries, or salad. Go with the salad, because adding one more unhealthy element to the meal will guarantee tingling in your left arm. This isn't to say that the food didn't taste good. I love the combination of sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers, and I will grudgingly admit that the deep-fried pickle was freakin' awesome. The bread of the bun was soft and chewy (I took it off and ate around the butter), and the whole thing may have been good if I had been in the mood for greasy food.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mushroom Burgers

Here's a little recipe I devised with a little help from Isa Chandra Moskowitz:

1 cup textured vegetable protein
8.5 g dried mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs soy protein powder
3 tbs tomato paste

Chop the dried mushrooms finely and reconstitute with 1 cup of hot water; set mixture aside. Brown the onion in a small saucepan with olive oil or cooking spray. Add the spices, 1/4 cup of water or broth, mushroom mixture and soy sauce; stir in the TVP. Let simmer until TVP has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix in tomato paste and soy protein powder and form into 6 patties.

96 calories, 12.75 g Protein, 3.3 g fiber


This was my second attempt at homemade veggie burgers, and it's alright but has much room for improvement. I love mushrooms, so I wanted them to stand alone in the patty, but I did not use nearly enough to really make this recipe work: I should have included fresh in addition to the dry. The bites with mushrooms are good, but there are too many that are just TVP. The TVP is overwhelming- reducing it and adding a grain (brown rice, oat) and nut (pine nuts or walnuts) will lessen the fake meat quality. Basil, garlic, and more onion would improve the spicing.