Category Archives: Vegetarian

Veggie Burgers – Who Knew?


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Who knew is right! Anyone who knows us is well aware that vegetarian dishes aren’t really our forte. I must admit I do love grilled/smoked meat but I wanted to try something challenging this past weekend so I found a great recipe for purely vegetarian burgers.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so simple its not funny. Its also a great dish to serve at your next backyard get-together for your friends and family that are more inclined to vegetarianism.

To serve 8 people, here’s what you’ll need insofar as ingredients go:

For your patties:

  • 1 cup of cooked and chilled brown rice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite bbq sauce – I used my KC sauce
  • 1/2 cup of diced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of quick cook oats
  • 4 tbsp of minced roasted beetroot – cool before you mince 
  • 4 tbsp of finely chopped soltanas
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of grated yellow onion
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika (an awesome addition!)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For your glaze:

  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses

The trick to making this super easy recipe is getting ready ahead of time. The term is called “mise en place” – click here for more info.

Once you’ve got all your ingredients ready, here’s what you’ll do. Using a medium sized bowl, simply mix everything for the patties in the order written above. Make sure you really squish the “mince” well to incorporate everything. It should look and feel like beef mince when you’re done. Once finished, pop the mixture into the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow it to set.

In the meantime, go make your glaze. Simply mix all three ingredients together and set it aside and leave it at room temperature.

When you’re ready to make your patties, measure out a ball of “v-meat” that’s about 100-125 g. I made my patties 200 g each and they were HUGE! Best to dial it back a smidge and make more patties. They don’t shrink at all (like meat does) so no need to make them too big. Line your patties up on a cooking sheet lined with grease proof paper.

At this point, put the patties back in the fridge or if you’re ready, get them on the grill!

You should set up your grill for direct heat and aim for an internal grill temperature of 350F (177C). If you have grill grates, use them! They are amazing to use for this recipe and frankly for any recipe that calls for char marks. I through in a few plum wood chips for an added smokiness. Go easy on the smoke though!

Place your patties on the grill and close the dome. After 1.5 minutes gently turn the patties 45 degrees to get a nice diamond shaped char going. At the three minute mark, flip the burgers and repeat. Once you’ve flipped them, brush on the glaze that you made earlier.

After 6-8 minutes your burgers are pretty much done. They’ll be nicely heated through and the glaze will be nice and hot. Make sure you baste both sides of the patties.

If you’re serving with buns, cut them leaving a bit of a hinge. Spread some room temperature butter or olive oil on them and put them on the hot grill for no more than 30 seconds to get a great set of char marks.

We served these burgers up with some lettuce, tomato and all the condiments we’d normally use on beef burgers.

So the result? AMAZING! I never thought in a million years that I’d actually say that! Our 6 year old daughter couldn’t believe these weren’t beef burgers! The soltanas, beetroot and rice really give it a similar texture to beef mince.

As an additional test I took a patty to work the next morning and shared it with some of my vegetarian colleagues. They helped validate the success of these burgers with rave reviews! Thanks Aparna, Vishal and Max!

Check out the process from start to finish with these photos:

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10 (“for a vegetable!“)

 

 

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Aubergine Parmesan with Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce


Hiya Egg fans – today’s post is all about what to do with the huge aubergine (Eggplant) that’s been sitting in the fridge for a week and not moved?  I know….Aubergine Parmesan thanks to a recipe from none other than Bobby Flay!  Now I have to admit, I’m waiting on a few extra parts for the Big Green Egg so I was unable to cook on it last night…however, I don’t see why you can’t do the final cook on the egg… next time!

Having said that though, this recipe ROCKS and both Heather and Kalyna were speechless, which is a big deal for both of them!  Enjoy…we did!

Ingredients & Prep…

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, crushed with your hands
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Honey, to taste

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Return the mixture back to the pot, add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with honey, if needed.

Aubergine:

  • 2.5 cups fresh dried breadcrumbs (made from dried day-old bread)
  • Butter, for greasing the dish
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 large aubergine cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 6 ounces grated mozzarella (not fresh)
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces grated fontina or any other semi soft cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 300 degree F. Evenly spread the bread crumbs on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the oven off and let the bread crumbs sit in the oven for 30 minutes or until just dry.

Raise the temperature of the oven up to 400 degrees F or simply fire up the BGE – I will try this on the Egg as soon as my replacement parts arrive from the US&A! Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dish and set aside.Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Season each aubergine slice on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each aubergine slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining aubergine.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in 2 large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 385 degrees F. Working in small batches, fry a few of the aubergine slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining aubergine.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the aubergine over the sauce. Cover the aubergine with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and some of the basil. Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Bring and appetite and enjoy it with your loved ones!

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