Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tofu Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

I was in a burger & fries mood again today, but I was feeling a little bit lazy last night after mowing the yard and stuff, so instead of making veggie burgers from scratch, I tried something that I had not tried before and just picked up a box of Fantastic Tofu Burger Mix at the grocery store. I mixed the stuff in the box with a package of extra firm tofu, made it into patties and slapped those bad boys into a skillet. I put it on one of my homemade whole-wheat buns (I've left the top of the bun off so I could photograph the burger) and squeezed it into the lunchbox. As you can see in the picture, I got quite a few crumbs in the lunchbox trying to make that big bun fit. I really do need to work on the size of those things on my next batch.

These burgers taste okay. They are definitely quicker to make than going to all the trouble to make a homemade burger, but I still have to say that the veggie burger recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is my favorite. Using the burger mix in a box though did give me an idea. I think that I would like to try just putting a package of tofu in the food processor and then adding all of the spices and flavoring ingredients from the VwaV recipe and then just blending it all together and making patties from that. That way I could have the flavor of the VwaV burgers (which I love) and the simplicity of just throwing stuff together without all the fuss of rehydrating the TVP, letting it cool, mixing, cooling in the fridge, etc. I guess the texture wouldn't be as firm if I use tofu instead of the TVP, but the texture of these tofu burgers is alright. Oh well, it's just something I'm throwing around in my head to save a little bit of time. It's really not that hard to make the TVP-based ones, I'm just being lazy.

Instead of regular french fries, I brought some sweet potato fries. I thought that these might be a little healthier, since sweet potatoes are supposed to be so much better for you than regular spuds, but looking at the nutrition labels, I really don't see that much of a difference. The package does tout that they're a good source of vitamin this and vitamin that. Maybe that's where they are healthier. I don't know, I just thought they might have more fiber or fewer carbs in them. I will probably be doing "raw" fries pretty soon anyway, so I don't guess it matters. They're not raw potatoes, they're made out of Jicama with some spices & seasonings on them. I plan on making some as soon as I can locate that vegetable. I haven't had any luck so far here where I live. I will probably have to wait until I make another trip to the big health food store over in Asheville, NC.

The two small containers actually hold some raw vegan food. The carrots are obvious. The other thing is my dessert. It's a Date Nut Torte and it is actually amazing how simple and easy this thing is to make. There are only 4 ingredients: dates, raisins, walnuts and lemon juice. It's just like some kind of little cake with icing on it. It is honestly though, one of the richest things I have ever eaten. Even this tiny little piece that I packed here in my lunchbox will be a challenge to finish. It is VERY delicious, but by the time I finish that little slice, any craving I might have had for something sweet for dessert will be COMPLETELY satisfied. It really is hard to believe that it is just raw food. It tastes so fudgy. Yum! I highly recommend trying it sometime if you think you might be interested in something like that.

Well, that does it for Thursday. I am anxiously expecting the arrival of my Excalibur food dehydrator tomorrow. I don't know if I will have anything whipped up with it by the time Monday rolls around but I would like to. Even though the two small containers were raw today, I wish I had actually done a little bit more raw food in this meal. Oh well, if I can find the Jicamas and get those in there the next time that I have burgers that would really help a lot.

Thanks for checking in today. Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow, on Friday (YEAH!).

15 comments:

Suzanne said...

If there are any mexican grocerys in your area that would be a good place to check for jicama. Even the very small ones tend to carry jicama (at least in Saint Louis). I love sweet potato fries! I have a raw "ranch dressing" recipe that taste great with them. I'll post it later if you'd like. Using raw condiments makes me feel not guilty about eating yummy foods like sweet potato fries!

Suzanne said...

Forgot to mention... the raw "ranch dressing" is vegan. Some raw foodist do raw dairy products so you don't always know...

kennyboy said...

AAAHHHH!!! Excellent!

I did read in the description of Jicama that it is used a lot in Mexican dishes but I hadn't thought of that. There are lots of little Mexican grocery stores around here now where I live.

Thanks for the info!

kennyboy said...

Oh yeah, a raw ranch dressing recipe would be awesome! I can already imagine Jicama fries and raw ranch dressing in the lunchbox.

;o)

Denise said...

I have a suggestion for your first dehydrator items..... A lot of recipes call for nut....that you soak then dehydrate....you will be using a lot of nuts in recipes....have u bought any raw books? check out Raw food Real world(make the macaroons!) and Living Cuisine...I have made many things out of both

Jane M said...

Have you seen this site? It has a lot of raw recipes.

http://www.fromsadtoraw.com/RawRecipes.htm

kennyboy said...

That's an excellent site!

Sheena said...

Hey! I just wanted to say that I've been visiting your site for the past two weeks (I got the link from someone at vegan lunchbox) and I love it! You show that being a vegan doesn't always mean eating a perfectly healthy diet, but you do strive to eat healthy and I have gotten inspired! I've been vegan for two years but now I make more of an effort to look and think about what I'm eating. Thanx for an awesome site! =)

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Sweet potatoes are actually really great for you. They have a low glycemic index, which white potatoes do not. Yams are even better. I love to cut them into chunks, steam them, and then roast'em up to get a delicious, caramelized flavor. Yum!

Freedom said...

To make healthier sweet potato fries, just make them yourself. Slice up a sweet potato, put the slices on a baking tray and sprinkle with any combination of spices/herbs/garlic that you like, lightly spray with oil and then bake until soft! Yum!

Allison said...

As a "rawtarian" or "raw foodist" I've also come across non-meat burgers. At my home we recently made burgers out of a combination of nuts and seeds. WOW- it was remarkably good! You can read about it at my blog Raw Odyssey (the exact page is http://rawodyssey.blogspot.com/2006/04/what-great-meal-for-day-105-eating-raw.html)
I'm not really into imitating foods from my old, unhealthy diet, but there was something fun in creating a faux burger and actually enjoying it. We'll be making those burgers again.

jeni4 said...

hey. i've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and i love it. i wanted to ask you if you make your own bread with a bread maker. i bought a bread maker from a garage sale and have absolutely no clue how to use it. i'm trying it out as i type, but i don't know how it will turn out. anywho, let me know. i'd appreciate any tips you have. that is, if you even have a bread maker. :)

kennyboy said...

Nope. No bread maker. I do have a KitchenAid mixer, which is handy because it does all the hard work of kneading the bread.

Other than that though, I just let it rise in a covered bowl, roll it out with a rolling pin and use a glass, or whatever I can round up, to cut it out like biscuits. I spray them with canola oil, cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again and then bake them.

Bread makers are cool though, and I have thought about getting one. Seems like I need more buns than I do sliced bread, so making them by hand just seems to work better for me.

Hope your bread turns out good!

jeni4 said...

Thanks for the response. I think I've figured it out, but haven't made anything with it yet. I did make some banana bread in the oven, thought. It turned out pretty good. The only baking I've ever done has been out of a box, so it's all new to me. Feel free to check out my food blog to read all about it.

http://yummyvegetarian.livejournal.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken. I recently just came across your blog and I am really enjoying it. I love reading the Vegan Lunch Box, so having it all grown up is nice. What I am really posting this comment to ask you though is, what is your recipe for hamburger buns? I cannot seem to find a decent hamburger bun on the market shelves, nor a recipe for a vegan version, and I would love to make my own!