Burger Mania

Goodness, it certainly has been a long time since my last post. I have two good reasons for my absence from the blog world: (1) I got a new job – more on that in a moment, and (2) I spent the last two weeks dog-sitting for my dear friend Kittee. Since Tim and I don’t have companion animals of our own, it was fun to spend time with Vee:

Vee loves pumpkin, smoked tofu, sweet potato, and treats. He also loves long walks and company. He grew so fond of Tim that near the end of our time together he completely ignored me! It should be noted that most dogs want to attack Tim (once when we were backpacking a dog met us on the trail and shredded Tim’s shorts). Vee is the only exception – so far…

You’re probably wondering why this post is entitled “Burger Mania” when I am rambling on about dogs, right? Well, when Tim and I were at Kittee’s we ate some pretty delicious food. Kittee left us some homemade vegan burger patties in her freezer and we enjoyed them for lunch on our first day:

Kittee’s Amazing Vegan Burger

I already knew Kittee was a spectacular cook/baker so it was no surprise when I declared this “the best burger ever”. Seriously. We topped our patties with mayo, pickles, ketchup, mustard, spinach, and Follow Your Heart cheddar. Amazing. This photo was selected for and appeared on the Flickr blog on March 3, 2011! Vegan burgers for the win!!

Needless to say, Tim and I were sad when Kittee’s burgers met their final day of consumption. We flipped through cookbooks at home and decided to make our own burgers to keep our tummies happy:

Beet Burger

The recipe for these hearty, healthy, delicious burgers is in Color Me Vegan by Coleen Patrick-Goudreau. They are incredibly quick and simple to prepare. I added a few tablespoons of almond butter to the mix and they turned out perfectly. The recipes makes enough burgers for leftovers and they freeze well. Once again, vegan burgers for the win!

And finally, I got a new job! I was actually hired back in February but haven’t had much time to mention the news sooner. I am working for an amazing vegan woman (!!!) as a personal assistant and organizer. The job is part-time and I can ride my bike to her place. The hours are flexible and I enjoy what I am doing. I am really happy that my patience in the pursuit of career satisfaction paid off. It’s about time. Plus, I can cross my goal of “Find a Job” off my list for 2011. Check!

Life is coming together nicely. Hooray!

Buns of Soul

What?! Buns of Soul? Yep. Today my boyfriend made these buns (thank you Celine…you rock!) for a major component of our dinner…Black-Eyed Pea Soul Burgers. Several years ago, we picked up a rejected copy of The Healthy Soul Food Cookbook from our local Goodwill. At the time, we were vegetarian, and there were plenty of suitable recipes in it, this one included. It quickly became a summertime favorite because it packs a ton of flavor and some spicy kick (and veggie-type burgers are fun in the summer). Bootsy Collins would be happy with one of these for sure! Anyway, the recipe is easily veganized, and pairs well with roasted potatoes, fruit, greens, whatever you want.

Black-Eyed Pea Soul Burgers (recipe adapted from The Healthy Soul Food Cookbook)

1 can black-eyed peas, cooked in their liquid until mashable, and drained
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower, cooked (I steam it until pretty tender)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli, cooked (same as cauliflower)
1/2 -1/3 cup chopped cremini mushrooms (any mushrooms really)
1-2 tablespoons flour
2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less depending on how you feel about garlic)
1 squirt of Braggs or low-sodium tamari sauce
3 teaspoons Soul Food Seasoning (recipe follows)

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a big bowl (I like to use my stand mixer), mix all the ingredients together, mashing the peas against the sides of your bowl.
3. Form into 4″ patties. (These can be messy. If you find that your mixture is too wet, add some breadcrumbs or flour. If it is too dry, add some veggie broth or a bit of water.)
4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Put the patties on the pan. Bake for a total of about 25 minutes or so, flipping the patties halfway through baking. The recipe says it makes 4, but I always end up with 6. These work well with any vegetable you choose. So versatile!

Soul Food Seasoning (adapted from The Healthy Soul Food Cookbook)

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon dark chili powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Combine and store in a tightly sealed container. And if you shake this before taking off the lid, oh my, turn your head! This is potent! Alas…I am weak…

Tomorrow, I will post the promised Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, even though only a few people made guesses regarding the birds. It’s alright…