Tuesday, April 25, 2006

VwaV Veggie Burger

I was in a veggie burger mood today. I've had a few different types of veggie burgers on here before. If you look back through the archives you can see storebought frozen veggie burgers, veggie burgers made from pre-packaged mixes and homemade veggie burgers made from scratch. Obviously, the best tasting and most satisfying veggie burgers are those that are homemade, but they are a little more work. I made a couple of substitutions this time in my favorite recipe, however, that worked out really well and let me make my all-time favorite veggie burger with a little less hassle.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the veggie burger from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the best veggie burger that I know of. I am always amazed when I photograph this thing and then look at the picture. It looks just like a hamburger. It doesn't taste like meat though, it has its own flavor and is DELICIOUS. There were just a couple of things with the recipe though that kept me from making it as often as I might like to. One was that it calls for a small amount of tomato paste, something like 3 Tbsp. Well, I don't have one of those metallic tubes of tomato paste where you could just squeeze some out and then put the lid back on and store it. I always had to open a little can of it, get 3 Tbsp. out and then put the rest in some plasticware in the fridge where it would sit for a week or so until I finally threw it out. I HATE doing that. The recipe also calls for Dijon mustard, which is one of those things that I sometimes have and sometimes don't. So I was thinking about making this recipe and realized that I didn't have any Dijon mustard right now, and the fact that I would have to waste 1/2 a can of tomato paste to make these burgers when all of a sudden it just hit me. Why not just use ketchup and regular mustard? The more I thought about it the more I thought it would work fine because those two condiments are actually the base of most Sloppy Joe sauces and that's kinda' the taste that these burgers have, kinda' like a Sloppy Joe.

So anyway, I made the things, with the substitutions and they came out just fine. It's much easier to just squirt ketchup and mustard into the mix than fool with opening a can of tomato paste, and then throwing half of it away and having to dig around in a jar of Dijon mustard. The burgers are delicious, as usual, and I packed one for the lunchbox just the way I like it, on a whole wheat bun (top of the bun is removed for photography purposes) with pickles and Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (in the little blue container). YUMMY!

Again, trying to eat healthier and cut down on the processed foods, instead of packing a large container full of storebought french fries, I opted for a smaller serving of homemade herb roasted potatoes and filled the larger container with some steamed green beans. For dessert, I didn't have any ready-made trail mix, so I just mixed some raw cashews, walnuts and raisins that I had lying around in separate bags. I have gotten into a real habit here lately of snacking on nuts, and that's a good thing. Looking back at some of my earlier lunches, it's hard to believe that I was eating so many cookies, and brownies and muffins. I still like those things, but I certainly don't need to be eating them every day in every meal. Sheesh!

I'm trying the dehydrator again, as we speak. I had several bananas which were getting close to being too ripe, so I sliced them all up using a mandolin slicer and put them into the food dehydrator. It ran last night while I slept and I checked on them this morning. They had dried a lot, but were not quite completely dry yet, so I turned the dehydrator off so they wouldn't dry out too much while I am at work today. I will examine them when I get home and see if I need to dry them anymore before storing them in some plasticware. Those would be good added to the nuts & raisins that I brought for lunch today.

Well, that's lunch for Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to eating my veggie burger. They are SO good. If you haven't got that cookbook yet, I highly recommend it. The veggie burgers are really good, and so is everything else. Honestly, I have yet to make a recipe from it that I didn't like.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good one and I'll see everybody tomorrow!


R2K said...

: )

Anonymous said...

It would be messy, but how about portioning the whole can of tomato paste into individual sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap, and then storing them in the freezer? Pull them out whenever you need your three tablespoons.

Tofu cutie said...

I made those exact same burgers, and the consistancy of them was off. They ended up being sloppy joes, but they were darn tasty. Have you made the Brooklyn Pad Thai yet out of VwaV? OMG...I make this once a week, and I'm going to have to start doubling it so we have leftovers to munch on. Try it...super yummy!!

And I agree about VwaV...I am going to have to buy another copy of it, becuase mine has been used sooooo much and is looking kind of rough.

What do you think of the Grapeseed Vegenaise? How does it differ from the other one? I almost picked up a bottle of it the other day, but I'm so in love with the green jar.

Theresa said...

First of all, I absolutely love pickles, and I think they make your whole lunch today.

Second of all, I tried that bread recipe, substituting ground flax seed for your suggestion of wheat gluten, and holy wow it is good. And so healthy! I think I've found my new favorite bread recipe....

Tanya Kristine said...

you should call your site roastedpotato.blogspot.

you are a roasted potato man!

course, they always look fabulous.

we had vegan pasties last night with vegan brown gravy. awesome.

Jane M said...

Yummm...kind of in a burger mood now. I really have to get VWaV. Everyone is raving about it. I second freezing the tomatoe paste. Never could understand what they expected a person to do with a whole cans worth. It does freeze really good though. Some people freeze the paste in ice cube trays...little tablespoons worth then bag them.

kennyboy said...

Great ideas about freezing the tomato paste!

Hahahahaha tanya. I wonder if mrpotatohead.blogspot.com would work? Hahahaha. I think I could just bring a lunchbox full of potatoes every day and be happy. Or maybe alternate that with lunchboxes full of biscuits & gravy. :oP

Oh no! Now you've gone and done it. The only like I like better than potatoes is gravy and the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from VwaV is AWESOME! Now I'm gonna have to make some.

Cee said...

I made those last night! I had trouble getting them to stick together. The ones that did stick were good though. The only thing I didn't like was that they were fried. I don't like fried food, to me the oil taste just takes over.

For lunch today I took some left over *mix* and shaped it into a patty and stuck it in the toaster over for 20 minutes, I flipped it over and cooked it for another 10 minutes or so. It seemed to stick together better and the taste was SOOOO much better than fried, to me at least.

I will definately make these again.

kennyboy said...

Oh Yes, Yes, Yes. I thought I had mentioned that but I guess I didn't. I think I was remembering a post I made over at theppk.com where I had talked about the same problem.

Mine always come out a little bit too wet to shape by hand and fry, so I do like you said. I just measure out a good amount of the mix with a spoon and plop it onto a pan sprayed with some caonla oil. Then I used the spoon to shape it into a patty shape. I bake it in the toaster oven for 10 minutes at 450 deg. and then spray the side facing up with a little bit more canola oil and then flip it and bake it for 10 more minutes.

I agree they hold together a LOT better when you cook them this way. I'm with you too, I think they taste better baked. YUM!

SDGvegan said...

I have been thinking about making these for my kids. They love veggieburgers, but I hate buying prepackaged foods. I do make Dreena Burton's mushroom/pecan burgers as I can't have soy. But, the kids usually just want a straight up veggie burger. I will definitely have to try this recipe.

Theresa said...

um, punk rock chickpea gravy from VwaV totally rocks my world. I could literally eat bowls full of it. Now I'm hungry for that, and I just ate dinner!