The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Butternut Squash OrecchiettiYield: 4 servings

I know it’s the first day of spring, but if you’ll allow me one more fleeting cold weather recipe, I think you’ll be glad you did!

This is my final taste test and recipe inspired by a bountiful box of vegan cheeses sent to me by the good folks at GO Veggie!  If, like me, you thought all of their products were vegetarian, but not vegan, we were wrong.  Just look for the purple label and consult their store locator on their website.

I had used the GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Parmesan Grated Topping in my luscious Vegan Cheesy Artichoke Dip with Greens, Mushrooms, and Water Chestnuts, but there it was mixed with other cheeses.  Here, it is the only cheese, so its flavor had to be exactly right and it was!

A very few other recipe notes:

1)  Use any kind of pasta you choose for this recipe.  I love orecchiette  because each little ear-shaped piece of pasta is like a miniature cup to hold the scrumptious sauce.  But if you have other pasta on hand, you needn’t purchase more.

2)  Butternut squash is creamy, delicious, and helathful, but a whole fresh one can be a bit unweildy to prepare.  I find that a serrated knife can sometimes be more effective than a chef’s knife for removing both ends because the “teeth” really bite in.  And the skin is most efficiently removed with a vegetable peeler rather than a knife.  I cut off the neck of the squash and deal with the neck and bulbous base separately.  For this recipe I used only the neck flesh.  I seeded the bulbous base with a spoon, cut it into wedges, stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and roasted it a few days later for a delectable Coconut-Red Curry with Roasted Butternut Squash and Tofu.

3)  Finally, just remember to save some of the pasta water when you drain the pasta, as that starchy water is the magic sauce thickener/silkener.

Enjoy!

8 ounces orecchiette  (I usually cook the whole 12 ounce box and remove one-third of the cooked pasta for pasta salad)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

Sea salt

1/2 large bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

2 large cloves garlic

1-14 to 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice

1 to 2 ladlesful pasta water

1/4 cup plain nondairy creamer (soy or coconut milk)

2 tablespoons dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)

2 cups firmly packed baby kale leaves

1/4 cup GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Parmesan Grated Topping plus extra for topping if desired

Freshly ground black pepper

4 sprigs fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium high.  Add pasta, stir, partially cover, return water to a gentle boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook pasta according to package directions, usually 8 to 12 minutes.  Remove 2 ladlesful (about 1 cup) of pasta water into a heatproof bowl and set aside.  Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high in a large cast iron skillet.  Add butternut squash and a pinch of salt, toss to coat, and then spread into a single layer.  Cook approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until squash is tender but still holds its shape and starts to develop a little caramelization, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add bell pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and saute, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomatoes and heat through.  Stir in 1 ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of pasta water and heat mixture until simmering.  Stir in creamer and white wine, heating through.  Thin sauce, if desired, at any point with remaining ladleful of water.  Sprinkle kale on top of mixture and allow it to start to wilt.  Then gently fold it into the sauce along with 1/4 cup GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Parmesan Grated Topping and the drained pasta.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped, if desired, with additional parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.

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It finally feels like spring though, don’t get me wrong, I adore winter with its bare bones and harsh beauty, but it is nice to step outsdie without my body tensing up.  Actually, it does in a kind of conditioned response, but then relaxes again immediately.

So, with spring veg like asparagus on my mind and St. Patty’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d re-post a Vegan Puff Pastry Sandwich Filled with Roasted Asparagus, Green Pea Hummus and Vegan Orange-Chipotle Mayonnaise that I created one year especially for the occasion, and a delish mint-chocolate Vegan Grasshopper Pie, kindly posted by Tofutti, that I created another year, also for this greenest of holidays.

Yes, with its layers, the sammie is a little more effort than the typical BUT it is worth it.  And you can whip up the humms and mayo in a flash while the asparagus roasts and the puff pastry bakes.

Get your leprechaun on!

 

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Thai Pumpkin and Tofu in Coconut Red Curry Sauce--Restaurant Leftovers Redux

Yield: 2 servings

I LOVE Thai food but, let’s face it, those creamy coconut milk dishes–even vegan–are pretty indulgent in the calorie department.  So, recently, when we went out for Thai, I allowed myself part of my dinner of pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce–which was mostly velvety rich sauce–and brought the rest home.

Rather than just eat the leftovers “as is,” I decided I could make them more healthful and colorful while stretching them into two more meals with the addition of just a very few fresh ingredients.

So, that’s what I did, and it was outstanding!  Following is my easy recipe.  Because restaurant dishes will vary, just trust your instincts and taste buds when you set about doctoring up your leftovers.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Half of a medium yellow onion, slivered (or 1 small yellow onion)

Sea salt to taste

1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced

Approximately 1 cup leftover vegan pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce with optional white rice (or something similar)

2 handfuls baby kale

2 to 4 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (sold at Asian markets as “vegetarian”)

Optional: approximately 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, whole leaves or coarsely chopped + more for garnish if desired (sold in Asian markets)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup lightly roasted and salted cashews

In a large cast iron skillet–or wok–over medium-high, heat oil.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to turn translucent.  Add bell pepper and continue sautéing and stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes or until bell pepper is softened.  Add leftover pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce or similar dish, including any rice, up to about 1/2 of the amount of curry, and heat through, stirring.  (Any more rice, and the finished product will be too thick and dry.)  Sprinkle kale over the top and gently fold in just until it wilts slightly.   Add remaining ingredients, except cashews, including more salt to taste.  Heat through, and serve immediately topped with cashews and optional garnish of additional Thai basil.  If mixture becomes too thick, think with a little coconut milk, vegetable stock, or even water.

 

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Refried Bean Burger--A Mexican Restaurant Redo

Yield: 2 burgers

My husband and I typically dine out three times a week: Date Night on Wednesday, and then Friday and Saturday.  Except for special occasions and opportunities, we stick to what we refer to as “The Rotation,” which is a handful of ethnic restaurants very near our home that we cycle through about every couple of weeks: Chinese (unbelievably good Chinese), Mexican, Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese.  There are actually three Mexican/Fresh-Mex restaurants on The Rotation, so I end up with more Mexican leftovers than any other.

Our area has absolutely no vegetarian or vegan restaurants.  The two I can think of that tried to make it over the years were vegan, one raw–really excellent ones–didn’t succeed.  So, especially in the Mexican restaurants which offer no dishes with tofu like the other restaurants–oh, how we wish we had a restaurant like San Francisco’s Gracias Madre here!–I try to get the tiniest bit creative with my order so that my only option isn’t a plate of rice and beans.  Because, as you know, even those dishes under the “vegetarian” section of the menu typically contain queso and crema.  Yes, they can be omitted, but then you’re back to rice and beans.

One of the Mexican restaurants on The Rotation at least offers spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms–it is practically unheard of in these parts for a Mexican restaurant to serve a green vegetable that isn’t a chili–so I order various combinations griddle grilled and served on top of my beans (the truth is that I’m not much of a rice eater: too many calories with too little nutrition).  Wednesday night, my order included onions, green bell pepper, spinach and tomatoes.  And I had about half of it leftover.

Restaurant portions are so huge that who doesn’t come home with leftover, right?  And they tend to be good eats simply heated, but, yet again, I wanted something different, something more interesting, for my lunch on Friday (we were home again for three Snow Days last week!).  Since the base of all of my burgers is mashed beans, I decided to make a burger.  To them, I add chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, some kind of chopped nut, vital wheat gluten, old fashioned oats, nutritional yeast, and spice–the magic formula for a burger that tastes sensational and that holds together beautifully with a crave-worthy mouth-feel.

In this case, since my beans included some grilled veggies, I omitted my typical trio and then proceeded as usual.  For 4 burgers, I start with a 15.5 ounce can of rinsed and drained beans, or about 1 1/2 cups before being processed with the vegetables, which reduces all of their volume.   So, since my leftovers measured about 3/4 cup including the grilled veggies, that sounded like about half the amount of bean-vegetable mixture I typically start with, so I used half the amount of everything else which was perfect.  I used some roasted pecans I had on hand as the nut–delish–and minimal spice, just some ground cumin, salt and pepper.   Half a toasted pretzel roll (not very Mexican, but what I had and fantastic), a little mayo, baby kale leaves, and the pico de gallo that I had also brought home from the restaurant was all this burger needed to become a fiesta on my plate!

It may be my best burger yet…but I think that about all of my burgers.  Go out to eat, bring home some leftovers, and enjoy even more the second time!

3/4 cup refried beans (very smooth), with grilled onions, peppers and spinach (mostly refried beans)

1/4 cup finely chopped roasted pecans

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

vegetable oil

1 toasted pretzel roll, top and bottom (or bread/roll/bun of your choice)

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

approximately 10 baby kale leaves (or the fresh green/lettuce of your choice)

approximately 1/4 cup pico de gallo

In a medium bowl, combine first 8 ingredients with a fork and then your fingers to make a fairly stiff, moist mixture with almost a cookie dough-like consistency.  If sticky, add a bit more vital wheat gluten.  Shape into two 3/4- to 1-inch thick patties.  In a cast iron skillet over medium high, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil and cook burgers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown, slightly crusty on the exterior, and heated through. Spread half a tablespoon of mayo on each roll or bun, and then top with half the kale leaves, the burger patty, another half tablespoon of mayo, and half the pico de gallo. Serve immediately.   Note: all Restaurant refried bean mixtures will, of course, vary somewhat in moisture, consistency, and spice, so vary remaining ingredients accordingly.

 

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Yield:  3-6 x 3.5 loafs

Sharon's Vegan Fruitcake 2Forget everything you thought you knew about fruitcakes, the cake everyone loves to hate…

To say this is the best fruitcake I have ever eaten would not be saying much…you’ve heard the joke about there being only one fruitcake in the world and it is just passed around year after year?

However, this indescribably moist cake may be one of the Top 5 cakes I have ever eaten, period.  Okay, maybe 10 ’cause there are a lot of delectable cakes out there.  But this one is like no other.

My dear friend, Sharon Tanner, an excellent cook, and her brother, with professional cooking experience, decided one year that, surely, there had to be a way to make a fruitcake that people would actually wanted to eat.  I mean, come on, why should fruit, nuts, flour, sugar, etc. not taste delicious in combination?  So they began experimenting and arrived at a recipe so intensely delicious–it packs a wallop as she says–that they even considered selling them at one time.  I, for one, would line up to purchase.

Instead, though, she generously shared her recipe with me and gave me permission to share with you.  Originally, the cake was not vegan, but she asked me how I would veganize it so that she could make me and a couple of other friends mini-loaves.  I recommended that, for every egg, she substitute 1/4 cup moisture of some kind, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.  She did, using her homemade apple butter (apple butter contains no “butter”) as the moisture, though it is readily available in grocery stores.  Butter was never an issue because, according to Sharon, “eliminating butter makes the cakes better, denser and they hold their shape and slice much better.”  When all is said and done, there is no way the non-vegan version could be any better than this vegan one.

What’s the secret?  There are a few.  One is that this cake contains NO candied or crystalized fruit nor maraschino cherries.  Nada.  But it is chock full of dried fruits, which points to another secret: a combination of various dried fruits for subtle flavor notes.  And the second is the amount of nuts and, again, the variety of types.  Sharon recommends “Cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates, prunes, pineapple, blueberries, apricots in any combination. I think it’s best heavy on the cherries and should include pineapple.  Mixed nuts can be heavy on walnuts, but can include pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts.”

So, with no further ado…ta-da, a fruitcake that will have ‘em beggin’ for more!

3 cups dried (not candied!) fruit, finely chopped
2 1/2 to 3 cups mixed nuts, finely chopped
3/4 cup flour
3/4 sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup apple butter with spices (prepared or homemade)
1 tablespoon of vanilla
4 to 6 tablespoons rum, divided
Note: fruit and nut pieces should be slightly smaller than a pencil eraser, according to SHaron.
Line 3-6 x 3.5″ loaf pans with greased parmchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine dried fruits and nuts.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Sprinkle over fruits and nuts, toss to combine, and then fold in apple butter and vanilla.  It will eventually all stick together, but you may sprinkle in a touch of water if needed to help all of the ingredients combine, as the batter is very forgiving.  Moisten hands with water and press 1/3 of the batter into each pan.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes; the cakes will puff a bit and then settle as they cool.  Once they have cooled enough to handle, remove them from the pans, and douse them with 2 tablespoons rum on all sides.   Wrap well in waxed paper, leave unrefrigerated, and in about 2 days, unwrap and douse them again with 2 more tablespoons of rum, making sure to soak the bottoms, as well.  If possible, 2 days later, unwrap and do a third and final dousing of rum, rewrap, and then serve the next day or shortly thereafter.  Delicious served at room temperature or slightly heated.  Note:  one of Sharon’s friend’s mother recommends using apple brandy instead of rum and keeping a slice of raw apple wrapped for a bit with each cake.
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Red and Green Snow Day SaladBaby, it’s cold outside!…and we are deliciously snowed in yet again.  So I made this simple, filling, and quite beautiful salad for lunch yesterday out of ingredients I had on hand.

I rarely allow myself Fritos, but they are vegan, make perfect little scoops, and I love that they contain no palm oil, just corn oil for that rich “corny” taste.  (They were “on hand” due to a Frito Chili Pie craving on Sunday night.)

The sald is best after the flavors are allowed to marry for a few hours or even overnight.  The onion becomes fairly pronounced, so if you are only but so passionate about onion, use 2 instead of 3 green ones.

1-15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 large red bell pepper, diced (a yellow or orange bell pepper would be lovely too–I used an orange one in the salad I photographed)

2 celery hearts, diced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh minced dill (or 1 teaspon dried)

1/8-1/4 teaspoon black salt (or sea salt, but you will not get the sulphery “boiled egg” flavor)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Gently toss together all ingredients in a medium bowl, check for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and enjoy with the chips or crackers of your choice.  It time allows, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache TartsYield: 4- 41/2 inch tarts

(Note: just scroll down a bit to skip the back story.)

Recently, I was longing after salted caramel and chocolate ganache tarts taunting me from the bakery case at Starbucks.  So when I read that coconut sugar–the last of the Navitas Naturals products I had the privilege of taste testing–is known for its caramel-like flavor, I knew exactly what I would make.  I just wasn’t sure how.

The ganache is, of course, simple with vegan chocolate chunks or chips melted with the non-dairy creamer of your choice.  However, the caramel and the chocolate crust were another matter.

I have a go-to no-fail recipe for caramel sauce, but this caramel needed to be firm enough to cut through without oozing all over the plate.  But not so hard or sticky that follow-up dental care would be required.

So, I veganized a caramel tart filling recipe I found online that called for sugar, cream and butter.  But the amount of sugar proved woefully skimpy and I could tell the filling wasn’t going to stiffen, so I added another 1/4 cup.  That still didn’t do the trick even after some refrigeration, so I decided to return the mixture to a saucepan and cook it to either the soft ball or firm ball stage.  Ultimately, I decided on the latter.  A good decision, as it turns out.

The coconut sugar is rich brown in color and definitely boasts a different flavor than either granulatedor brown sugar.  Instead of the molasses notes of the latter, coconut sugar really does have a distinct, if subtle, hint of caramel-like flavor, as billed.  And I liked it a lot.

For the chocolate crust, I didn’t want a cookie crumb variety but a bona fide rolled tart crust.  It’s a little more work, but worth it, according to one of my experienced tasters, who mentioned how tasty the crust was.  I found the perfect recipe online thanks to Martha Stewart, a longtime trusted source,  ex-con though she may be–ha!   I easily veganized it by substituting vegan butter for its dairy cousin, and the resulting dough was ideal: tasty, not too sweet (though I did add an extra tablespoon of sugar), and beautifully manageable.

I had planned to place a pecan half on top along with a sprinkling of Maldon flaky sea salt, but all I had in the freezer were pecan pieces, so a cashew half was the perfect buttery topknot.  I ordered my Maldon online, but any super flaky salt–like snow flakes–will do.  Coarse sea salt will work in a pinch.

Two of the tarts went to our vet and his wife, an LVT who also manages their practice because, together, they are responsible for saving the life of our beloved and food-obsessed 85-lb Great Dane X via text and phone call on Sunday, as she had swallowed a (vegan) burger whole when I had gone upstairs to get my camera to photograph it.  All would have been fine had said burger not been topped with a 3-inch red plastic toothpick speared through a dill pickle slice.  The purge “cocktail” they coached me through worked like a charm and all came up the way it went down.  The remaining decadence went to a dear friend, along with an arm-knitted scarf, whose birthday was on Wednesday.  All were delivered in the snow late Monday afternoon which, if a little dicey, was a lot of fun.

Both sets of recipients–one, a self-proclaimed salted caramel and chocolate afficianado and the other a foodie and outstanding cook in her own right–pronunced every morsel of these tarts utter perfection.  And, of course, I hope you will agree!

 

Chocolate Rolled Crust

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or any granulated sugar; I typically use demerara)

3/4 cup cold butter, cut in small cubes

1 teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 1/3 cup cold water (or 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee)

Place four, cocoa powder, sugar and butter cubes in food processor and pulse until butter resembles small peas.  Drizzle with coffee and pulse until dough comes together, scraping sides as necessary, adding a few more drops of coffee or water if necessary to make a pliable dough.  Turn onto a work surface lightly sprinkled with cocoa powder and knead a few times.  Press into a 1-inch thick rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator and let rest for 5 minutes.  Roll out to 1/8 inch thick between pieces of parchment paper.  Place however many 4 1/2-inch tart pans will fit on dough and, with a small paring knife, cut out circles around them, allowing enough width to fit in sides of pans.  Gather up scraps, kneading a couple of times, and rerolling in order to have enough dough for all 4 shells.  Fit each circle of dough into the tart pans, press onto bottom and sides and trim edges.  Lightly prick bottom and sides and, for extra assurance against puffing and shrinking, place a square of parchment paper in each, weigh down with raw rice or dried beans, and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove paper and rice or beans and bake an additional 25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

Vegan Caramel Filling, Chocolate Ganache, and Garnish

1 cup coconut sugar (or any granulated sugar; I typically use demerara)

2/3 cup plain non-dairy creamer

1/3 cup vegan butter

Vegan Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

4 whole or halved cashews

1/2 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt (or the super-flaky sea salt of your choice)

Place coconut sugar, non-dairy creamer and vegan butter in a small saucepan (I used a non-stick pan) and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan with tip immersed in the caramel, but not touching the bottom of the pan, and cook to the firm ball stage (250 degrees) or just below (245 degrees).  Remove from heat and pour caramel into tart shells, dividing evenly.  Cool, spread a circle of Vegan Chocolate Ganache on top allowing caramel to show around hte perimeter, garnish with a nut and a pinch of sea salt, cover, and refrigerate.

 

Vegan Chocoalte Ganache

1/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer (I typically use soy or coconut milk)

1/2 vegan chocolate chips or chunks (I like a dark chocolate variety)

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine creamer and chococlate.  Heat for 30 seconds, whisk, heat for another 30 to 60 seconds, whisk again, and cool.  Note: you may have some ganache left over.

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Chocolate, Cream Cheese, and Hazelnut PateThis recipe was born of some leftover ganache (unheard of, I know), some frozen cake trimmings from my Vegan Chocolate Heart Cakes for Valentine’s Day, and slick snow conditions on the road.  Read: what can I create that won’t require a trip to the grocery store so that I won’t simply tuck into this ganache with a spoon?

The answer proved to be chocolate pate, but one a little different from other recipes, as mine calls for some vegan cream cheese to prevent the chocolate from taking over–tang is a good ‘thang–and some chocolate cake crumbs for a nice textural contrast. Like most other chocolate pates, mine is not too sweet, which is also a good thing…sometimes.

4 ounces (1/2 cup) vegan cream cheese

1/2 cup chocolate ganache, room temperature (if you don’t have some on-hand, just melt together about 3 tablespoons vegan chocolate chunks or chips–I like dark chocolate–with about 5 tablespoons non-dairy creamer and allow to cool)

Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer (soy or coconut milk)

1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts

1 cup crumbled vegan chocolate cake or brownie crumbs

Acccompaniments: Ever-so-slightly sweet vegan crackers of cookies, like a shortbread and fruit

Line a pair of 1/2 cup ramkins with plastic wrap and set aside.  With a hand or stand mixer, whip together cream cheese and ganache until fluffy.  Whip in an additional tablespoon or two of non-dairy creamer if mixture is too stiff to be fluffy.  Fold in hazelnuts and crumbs; mixture will be firm.  Divide equally between ramkins, pressing firmly, and sealing the top with the “tails” of the plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for several hours or until firm.  Unmold, bring to room temperature, and serve with the cracker or cookie of your choice and, if desired, fruit.

Chocolate, Cream Cheese, and Hazelnut Pate--cut open

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GO Veggie! recently posted to their website two of my newest recipes made with their delicious vegan cheese products. Check out the cheesy goodness:

Vegan Smoky Cheddar Spread

Vegan Southwest Mac-n-Cheese

Go Veggie Smoky Cheddar Spread

 

Southwestern Mac-n-Cheese--horizontal

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Turmeric-Tamari Black Bean BurgerYield: 4 burgers

This delicious vegan burger was inspired by a “care package” from the good folks at Navitas Naturals filled with three items to test: Cacao Powder, Turmeric-Tamari Almonds, and Coconut Sugar.

(Note: these burgers would be equally delicious, albeit with a different flavor profile, made with other flavored almonds of your choice.)

All three products earned big thumb’s up from me when tasted separately and prepared as part of a specially-created recipe, including my Vegan Hot Chai Cocoa prepared with the Cacao Powder and my utterly decadent Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganach Tarts prepared with the coconut sugar which I will post soon.

I decided to incorporate the almonds into one of my no-fail burgers.  For The Blooming Platter Cookbook, I developed a formula for a chewy, moist burger that holds together beautifiully and can be adapted a multitude of ways.  And it took several tries to get it right!  The key ingredients are cooked beans or legumes, nuts, vital wheat gluten, and raw oats plus onion, celery, and bell pepper (or,in this case, winter greens) for flavor and mositure, and the spices of your choice.  All of the ingredients go into the food processor and in minutes a beautiful burger is born.

For this recipe, I served the patty open-face on a toasted pretzel roll (so perfect with a slight tang from vinegar baked into the dough), a “schmear” of vegan mayo, some baby kale leaves, a slice of GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Pepperjack Cheese, a fat round of Roma tomato, a dollop of Vegan Turmeric-Tamari Mayo inspired by the almonds, and a dill pickle slice speared on top.

Our beloved 85-lb. Great Dane mutt, Minnie, and I loved them: she ate the first one that I had staged for a photo while I had run upstairs to get my camera, red plastic spear and all.  I’ll spare you all of the disgusting details, but a frantic text to our vet resulted in my making a special “cocktail” involving 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide that would bring it all back up and prevent that 3-inch red plastic spear from doing any intestinal damage.  It worked like a charm and, if interested, you can read about it here.

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion

1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery

1/2 cup coarsely chopped winger greens (I used mustard greens)

1/2 cup Navitas Naturals Turmeric-Tamari Almonds (or another similarly flavored almond of your choice)

1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil (I typically use canola)

2 Pretzel Rolls, halved and toasted

4 tablespoons Vegan Mayonnaise

1 cup baby kale leaves (or another lettuce or green)

Optional: 4 slices vegan cheese (I use GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Pepperjack Slices

4 thick slices Roma tomato

Vegan Turmeric-Tamari Mayo (recipe follows)

4 dill pickle slices

In a food processor, combine the garlic, onion, celery, winter greens, and almonds.  Pulse until minced. Add the beans, oats, vital wheat gluten, tamari, olive oil, water, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Process until well combined, but avoid over-mixing as the vital wheat gluten can toughen. The consistency should be similar to a very stiff cookie dough, so add another tablespoon or 2 of water if necessary.  Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 3/4-inch thick, and transfer to a plate. Heat a thin layer of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high and cook the patties for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown, adding more oil if necessary.  If including cheese, place a slice on top of each patty during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking on the second side. To serve, spread each toasted pretzel roll half with 1 tablespoon of mayo, top with 1/4 of greens, a burger patty, a slice of tomato, 1/4 of the Turmeric-Tamari Mayo, and a folded dill pickle slice speared through the top.

 

Vegan Turmeric-Tamari Mayo

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 teaspoon tamari

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Whisk together all ingredients in a small cup or bowl.  Taste and adjust with more tamari or turmeric of desired.

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