Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Samburgers 2.0 (Veggie burgers)

I don't have a picture but they're veggie burgers... they look about like the last batch. These were way better and are about 99% to my Perfect Burger goal. And they look a lot like meat, which might be important if you care about that sort of thing.

So here's the recipe:


1/8 cup oats
1/8 cup brown rice, prepared
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1/2 onion
1+ jalapeno
about 10 mushrooms
1 garlic clove
1 egg


Preheat oven to 450.

Start the brown rice boiling. Put the onion in a food processor and pulse until finely diced. Sautee over medium heat until golden brown.  Repeat with mushrooms, garlic, and jalapenos and cook until the mushrooms are soft and it all forms a bit of a chunky paste.

Put the mixture in a bowl and add oats, rice, spices, soy sauce, and egg (once mixture has cooled a bit so as not to cook the egg right away). Mix thoroughly with your hands.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and put small handfuls of the mixture on it, evenly spaced. Flatten them to patty shapes and bake until browned on the edges and the egg has set (about 15 minutes).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Samburgers, take 1

                                              Cost for this recipe: About $2.50* Serves 5-6

I used to work at a restaurant in Baltimore which was owned by the same person as a particularly iconic & odd diner, The Paper Moon. Every inch of the walls & ceiling are covered with everything from plastic army men, to toy gorillas, to old wagons. Toy helicopters swing from the blades of the ceiling fan, and everything on the menu is named after an employee, some local Baltimore-ism, a cartoon character, something... Anyway, one night I talked the owner into naming something after me over there. What did I want, she asked. "The veggie burger," I said, "We could call it the Samburger." "Done," she replied. So for a couple of years or so, the veggie burger at the Paper Moon was named after me (though she got the name wrong & called it Sam's Burger, but the sentiment was there).

I have no reason for telling you that other than wanting to put the name Samburger back into use. This isn't an attempt at the Paper Moon veggie burger (which may very well have been a Gardenburger. I don't remember). Also, I'm calling this Take 1 because I'm not completely satisfied. It tastes pretty good. The texture could use some bulking up. I'll keep working.

But for now, here's the Samburger:


1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup water
1 can black beans
1/2 can green peas
small sweet onion
1+ jalapeno
1 slice of bread (I used Udi's gluten-free whole grain bread)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 egg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer until all water is absorbed. Dice up the onion finely and saute it in a bit of olive oil. Go slowly so the sugar in the onion caramelizes, and when they're a golden brown color, add the diced jalapeno & cook until just softened.

Put the slice of bread in a food processor to create breadcrumbs and transfer to a large bowl.

Drain the beans and peas in a colander. Rinse with water to get the clingy bean water out, and let them drain fully. In a food processor, pulse the beans and peas lightly so that some chunks remain. Transfer bean/pea mixture to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.

Add the onion and jalapeno to the food processor and grind to a fairly fine texture. Transfer this to the bowl. Add the cumin, curry, paprika, and an egg and mix thoroughly with your hands.

Make 5-6 patties and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

* I didn't include the bun in the price calculation because of the big price discrepancy among types of burger buns. My gluten-free ones were pricy, as they tend to be (but I give a big thumbs up to these Livwell Gluten-Free Multi-Seeded Rolls! And holy cow, they have pitas & naan, too! I'm a new fan, Livwell) and had I not been trying to take a pretty picture for the blog I'd probably have just eaten them without a bun.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Soup (crock pot)

 Total cost for this recipe: approx. $10 (serves 5-6)


     1 tablespoon olive oil
     1 yellow onion
     1 green bell pepper
     7 cloves garlic
     1 pound dry black beans *
     5 cups water
     3 cup vegetable broth
     2-3 diced jalapenos (or other hot pepper, depending on how brave you are)
     1 tablespoon cumin
     1 teaspoon thyme
     1 teaspoon salt
     1/2 teaspoon pepper
     2 bay leaves
     sour cream
     red bell pepper, diced
     white onion, diced
     fresh cilantro, finely chopped


Add the olive oil to the crock pot and turn it on the highest setting. Chop the yellow onion, and green pepper and add them to the pot. Using a garlic press, crush the garlic and add it as well.  Add the black beans to the crock pot along with water, broth, chilies, cumin, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for at least 8 hours. Before serving,  puree soup with a hand mixer or submersible hand held blender. Ladle into soup bowls. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream,  diced red bell pepper,  diced white onion, and a sprinkling of finely chopped, fresh cilantro.

*A note about the beans. I find that soaking them overnight...er, let's just say it makes you more tolerable to be around after consuming this soup. If you soak the beans, reduce the amount of water used by about 1 1/2 cups.