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Veggie Burger Attempt # 1

Posted Dec 29 2010 12:00am
Good Evening and Happy Hump Day!

So I have lots to report today.  I have tried 3 different meals today and have pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  A brave new year is rounding the corner and I decided to start some of my resolutions early.  One of my New Years resolutions is to start cooking more vegetarian meals.  I am not going to be a vegetarian because I am pretty much a "everything in moderation" kind of gal but I love the idea of eating more plant based meals so I ended up making my first homemade veggie burgers today.  I will talk more about that later but think maybe I should start from the beginning of the day to the end.

First of all I love this time of year because everyone is tired of partying and over indulging and ready to "get back on track" and eat healthy and lose weight.  All of the new mags have healthy recipes and the cooking show focus on lighter fare.  So I am pretty much in heaven right now and have seen so many recipes that I want to try that I have plenty to blog about.

So my new favorite channel is the Cooking Channel, the sister channel to Food Network and I happened to catch  Rip Esselstyn professional athelete- turned-firefigher-turned Engine 2 Diet Book creator on tv and became intrigued with his philosophy.   His plant-powered eating plan is based on a diet of whole foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts.

Rip has a recipe called Rip's Big Bowl that I just had to try this morning.  I tweaked mine just a smidge due to the ingredients that I had in the house but I started off the morning with
1 glass of warm lemon water

 Abby's Big Bowl

• oats (raw, old-fashioned) - 2 tbsps
• Kashi 7 Whole-Grain Nuggits - 2 tbsp
• Wheetabix Bisquits - 1/2 of a bisquit, shredded• Uncle Sam's - 2 tbsps• flaxseed meal (ground) - 1 tbsp
• dried cherries - 1 tbsp
• sliced raw almonds - 1 tbsp
• grapefruit - 1/2 with juice
• Almond Breeze- Unsweetened Vanilla - 6 ounces
• banana - sliced
• kiwi - 1 sliced

Toss all ingredients except the grapefruit and milk substitute into a bowl.
After cutting the grapefruit in half, use a small, sharp knife to remove the segment
Add the segments to the top of the bowl and squeeze in the juice.
Top the bowl with milk substitute.

I admit that I was  a little suspect before I ate this but I actually REALLY enjoyed it.  I am a texture girl and this definitely had a lot of different textures and tastes and was super energy food.

After eating this I took my dog Gumbo for a run in the park (ran 5 miles) and then came home and made everyone come take a walk because the sun was out.  I am learning to get out in the sun whenever it peaks out here in the Pacific Northwest. The funny thing was that we got to take a walk in the park while the sun was still out but on the way home we encountered a tiny hail storm.  Literally.  There was little pebbles of hail pouring from the sky and then it cleared up and the sun peaked out again.   Speaking of weather, so far I have been enjoying the unpredicatable weather here and have found that if I wear the proper gear I am okay.  I am also taking a Vitamin D supplement but all in all sort of enjoy the ogre cast days.  I know.... I think I must be weird.  It is sort of zen like and makes you slow down and take it easy.  The air here is incredible and I LOVE running here.  I always feel so ALIVE after a run.  Yah!

Lunch was an incredible Avocado, Tomato, Feta and Hummus Pita Pizza.  I saw this in Fitness Magazine (I think) and have been dying to make it and was not disappointed.  Yum.

Avocado, Tomato, Feta and Hummus Pita Pizza
1 whole wheat pita (heated up)2 tbsp hummus10 grape tomatoes- halved3 slices of avocado, diced2 tbsp feta cheese
Warm up the pita and then top it with hummus, tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese.  Enjoy.

This is my new favorite lunch.  Super satisfying and loaded with nutritous goodies.  Love, love, love this meal.

I usually eat a snack in the afternoon but got busy running errands so had a cup of Yogi Green Tea  Blueberry Slim Life flavor.  The tea is suppose to energize and help suppress appetite and it did help.  I love the Yogi Teas and Santa filled up my stocking with them.

Now onto my first ever attempt to make homemade Veggie Burgers!  As I mentioned before I watch the Cooking Channel a lot and saw a show called Unique Eats that was focusing on burgers.  They had a whole segment on a place called Umami Burgers in LA.  Umami Burger supposedly makes the best veggie burger called the Earth Burger and it made both my husband and I want to fly to LA and give it a try.  That did not happen so I immediately got on the internet searching for recipes for this incredible Earth Burger and came up the following recipe from Dana Slatkin for the Mushroom Edamame Burger (she says it is darn close to the real Umami Earth Burger). 

For locations, menus and more, visit Umami Burger . This recipe is not official, but comes pretty close to Umami’s Earth Burger.

Mushroom Edamame Burgerrecipe by Dana Slatkin, the Beverly Hills Farmgirl
Makes 4 + patties

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, sliced

1 pound assorted mushrooms (I like a combination of cremini, white and shiitake), sliced

1/2 cup white wine or champagne

1/4 cup white miso paste

1/2 teaspoon mushroom base (I use Custom Culinary brand)

1 tablespoon beet juice (from a can of beets), optional

1 cup shelled edamame beans

1 cup homemade bread crumbs

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce or Homemade Hoisin Sauce

4 whole-grain or sprouted-wheat buns

Garlic Aioli or good-quality mayonnaise

4 large butter lettuce leaves

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan until very hot but not smoking. Cook the onions and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine, miso paste, mushroom base and beet juice. Pour over the mushrooms to deglaze, stirring up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the liquid has almost evaporated.

3. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the edamame and bread crumbs and pulse until chopped well but not pulverized. Transfer the burger mixture to a bowl to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Form the mixture into six 1/2-cup patties. Brush the burgers on both sides with the hoisin sauce.

5. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a thin film of oil. Cook the patties until they are well charred on each side, 3-4 minutes per side, being careful when flipping them so they won’t fall apart. Transfer the burgers to serving plates.

6. Brown the buns briefly in the skillet. Place them on the serving plates with the burgers, spread with Garlic Aioli, and arrange the lettuce and patties on top.

I had a good ol' time making these.  It starts out with an assortment of mushrooms and onion that basically get carmelized. 
 You add a miso paste mixture to the carmelized mushroom mixture and then move the whole operation to the food processor.  I added a few steamed beets as well as the edamame and bread crumbs and you then pulsate everything until it forms a little meat like mixture.

These are the formed patties before topping them with Hoisin Sauce and charring them in a skillet.

The finished product!
Doesn't look like a real burger?  These are super tasty but a bit mushy in texture.  My husband and I think we might add a bit of brown rice instead of the bread crumbs to the mixture to make it a bit firmer.  The taste was amazing though and we both really, really like them.

I am not a mayo girl so served the burgers with a lovely garlic tahini sauce, butter lettuce and some sprouts on a whole wheat bun.  Yum.
I may be on to something here and am excited to make my next batch of veggie burgers.  Who knows maybe I will discover the next best veggie burger recipe.  Ha!

I concluded my night with a bowl of assorted dark chocolate covered treats

1 Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cup2 Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds6 Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame3 Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries
I have a couple other new recipes that I am going to make this week so check back and I am always on the lookout for new healthy ideas so please feel free to share.

Have a great evening!

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