This tofu burger isn’t like the others. It’s not one of those yes-it-has-tofu-in-it-but-it-also-contains-about-twenty-six-other-ingredients-and-will-take-about-sixteen-hours-to-make-and-use-a-load-of-pans-you’ll-need-to-wash-up-after. This easy vegan tofu burger contains one ingredient and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by making you guess what it is because it’s obvious to even the most stupid person.
My resolve weakened at the weekend. Don’t panic, not my Veganuary pledge – not eating cheese is a breeze. No, it was my ‘I’m not going to drink alcohol in January until the 30th when I go on a pub crawl’ resolve. But I fancied a drink on Saturday, so I had one. One bottle of wine, that is. Well, make that a bottle and a half. I should also probably confess that, according to Barnivore, it wasn’t even vegan wine (Hardys, if you’re interested) but as I don’t take too much notice of whether wine is vegetarian or not at the best of times (and certainly not if I’m drinking it in a pub), I’m not going to feel too guilty about that and, in my defence, it was a bottle I’d bought before Veganuary, anyway (although that doesn’t defend it’s non-vegetarianness).
Veganuary Day 16
Saturday’s breakfast had been a superfood smoothie containing spinach, apple, clementine, raspberry, wheat grass powder, acai powder and chia seeds. I said in Friday’s post that wheat grass is great for an energy boost and it certainly powered me through Saturday morning’s spin class.
After burning all those calories at the gym, I ate them back at lunchtime in the form of a Warburtons Giant Crumpet with Vitalite, and a mug of hot chocolate.
and although I’ve enjoyed them all, making burgers can be a bit of a time-consuming faff, as well as creating a lot of washing up. These vegan smoky mushroom burgers from Vegan – 100 Everyday Recipes, while not whipped up in an instant, aren’t too much of a chore and the results are worth it. I made the whole amount, cooked enough for two burgers, then froze the rest of the mixture to use another time.
The way I made these burgers is pretty much as it is in the book but I added garlic as cooking onion without garlic seemed wrong. I also left out the 30g coriander the original recipe has as I’m not keen on coriander.
Adapted from a recipe in Vegan - 100 Everyday Recipes
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Recipe type: Burgers
425g can red kidney beans, drained
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
115g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
2 tsp smoked paprika
70g porridge oats
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper
Place the kidney beans in a bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add the mushroom, carrot and paprika and fry for a further 4 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the beans with the oats, soy sauce and tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Divide into 6 portions and shape into burgers, then lightly coat in the flour.
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and cook the burgers for a few minutes each side, until lightly browned.
Veganuary Day 17
I didn’t have any breakfast on Sunday and for lunch I had some of the cake my friend had sent me (which you can see on last Thursday’s post) and a mug of hot chocolate. Not the most healthiest of lunches but hey ho.
Dinner was a jacket potato with chilli, Violife and sour cream. Again. That’s the third time this month I’ve had it so I’ll spare you looking at the photo of it for the third time.
As I write this (on the 18th), there’s two weeks left of Veganuary. I still don’t feel any different. Maybe I should get a tattoo or a t-shirt or something (just kidding).
175g green lentils
1 big bunch of spinach
225g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1½ tsp garam masala
1½ tsp curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ tsp salt
40g toasted breadcrumbs
25g plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.
Boil the lentils in 750ml water. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer lentils to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.
Meanwhile, place the spinach in a saucepan and sprinkle over a little water and heat until wilted.
Steam the sweet potato for 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Add the potato to the lentils and mash thoroughly.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Add the onion, garam masala, curry powder and cayenne and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the spinach and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, tossing to combine.
Mix the spinach-onion mixture into the lentil mixture. Stir in the eggs, coriander and salt. Fold in the breadcrumbs and flour. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 8 burgers.
In an ovenproof frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add the burgers and cook until browned on each side, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
Buy Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger at Amazon.
I seem to have become a bit of a Linda McCartney fan-girl recently and now I’ve tried the Linda McCartney Vegetarian Burgers with a Peppered Mushroom Melt, I reckon they’ll be popped into the shopping basket each week along with the Fish Free Scampi.
The Meat Eater wanted his burger in a bun with all the trimmings, while I was fine having it on its own, but I’m glad he persuaded me otherwise, as this burger was absolutely delicious.
I crammed the bun full of lettuce, red pepper, tomato, gherkin, cheese, Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce and mayonnaise, but this didn’t stop the flavour of the burger coming through, nor the mushroom sauce the burger’s topped with.
My burgers were found next to the Fish Free Scampi in the chilled cabinet at Tesco and cost £2.69.
I should have learnt my lesson last week when making burgers that they’re a bit of a faff. These took almost two hours to make (although the recipe says one hour – I’m a slow cook) and I really did think I’d spent two hours making something that was going to turn out to be a disaster.
The lentils and bulgur wheat didn’t absorb their water and although I could just about drain the bulgur wheat, the lentils were soggy and I thought there’s no way these burgers are going to firm up.
Still, I persevered, and they didn’t fall apart too much in the frying pan but even after they’d come out of the oven they weren’t that firm but they tasted okay and I could imagine them being great cold, stuffed into pitta bread with salad. Not a recipe I’m going to be making again though (not that I would need to for a while – there’s four leftover in the freezer)
75g brown or red lentils 50g bulgur wheat 4 tablespoons olive oil 8 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 medium leeks, cleaned and finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon tomato purée 50g toasted cashews 2 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 50g toasted breadcrumbs
Bring the lentils and at least 475ml water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and beginning to fall apart. Transfer to a baking sheet or mixing bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, bring 150ml water to a boil. Stir in the bulgur wheat with a pinch of salt, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for about 7 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and it evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and wipe out the sauté pan.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are completely softened and beginning to caramelise, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir to mix.
Combine half of the lentils, half of the bulgur wheat and half of the leek mixture with the cashews, eggs, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly pureed but still slightly chunky. Add the puréed mixture and the remaining lentils and bulgur wheat to the remaining leek mixture in the bowl. Work in the breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.
In a large ovenproof frying pan or non-stick sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6-10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
I rescue my vegetable box from under the recycling bin (yay, they were emptied this week, unlike last week when those few flakes of snow scared off the council workers, probably due to some cr*ppy health & safety thing) and it’s full of pretty colours and I look at the list to see what’s there and apparently the stuff I don’t recognise is swiss chard and I think it looks more like pak choy to me but what do I know? but what I do know is that I’ll be having broccoli soup next week for lunch and tonight I mash up the left over robinta potatoes from last week with some of the swiss chard and I also have some of the broccoli and have that with a couple of Sainsburys meat free burgers and Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings and Bisto onion gravy (yeah yeah, not exactly a cooked from scratch dinner but I can’t be a domestic goddess all the time) and while I’m making it I look in the cupboard and see the box of Paxo sage & onion stuffing and I think b*llocks, I should have made some stuffing but it takes 25 minutes and it’s too late now. Damn.
This week’s box contents
(mini fruit & veg box) Calabrese