As a vegetarian, I am always on the lookout for something to have a veggie burger with. The usual Yves Veggie Patties are OK, but they’re….full of crap. I am not a big fan of too much soy. I don’t want a meat alternative. I want something inexpensive but healthy. I’ve tried a whole lot of things – home made veggie patties made of beans or quinoa – but they end up being too oily, tasting yucky, or just taking too much time.
And then I bumped in Looneyspoons Collection to by Janet and Greta. There aren’t a whole lot of vegetarian recipes in there, but I am able to transform plenty of their recipes into vegetarian food. It is probably the only recipe book that I’ve ever actually used. It’s practical. It’s witty. It offers an incredible amount of advice and they know how to make food work. (I keep adding Flax seeds to all my batters now – muffins, cakes, you name it.) They have a fantastic recipe Bye Bye Burgie (Broiled Portobello “burgers” with sweet peppers, red onions, and a chickpea spread). You just throw all the ingredients into a food processor, and out comes a fantastic paste that you spread onto broiled Portobello mushrooms. It’s delicious and easy – the whole thing takes me 30 minutes (including gathering all the ingredients from my disorganized kitchen).
I modified the original recipe by substituting yogurt for sour cream and adding 1/4 avocado and 1/2 tsp of turmeric. I don’t really care for sour cream and don’t usually have it around the house. The avocado makes it a lot creamier and the turmeric is just a nice touch. By itself, the paste doesn’t taste great, but when the dish is thrown together – it’s divine. I highly recommend using the thinnest buns you can find. I’ve tried it on bread, and there is just too much of a bread taste. I prefer thin whole grain buns or english muffins.
Bye Bye Burgie II (based on Bye Bye Burgie in Looneyspoons Collection)
1 cup of canned/boiled chickpeas
¼ cup avocado (I use a quarter-half of an avocado, depending on how much is in my fridge)
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp onion (a small wedge)
1 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 tsp of honey (or brown sugar)
¾ tsp of ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Throw this all in a food processor until you’ve got a creamy paste.
Next, rub a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (with some basil) on your mushrooms and sliced red peppers. Broil them on high for a few minutes, throw them on a baby spinach laden bun, put your paste on the mushroom, and voila! A scrumptious meal with your protein, carbs, and veggies! The mushroom is very juicy – so I wouldn’t add tomatoes, relish, mayo, etc on your bun. I’d stick with the spinach on the bun (below I am using a cucumber – was out of spinach) as originally suggested – it soaks up a little moistness of the mushroom (it’s VERY moist). I also like to have some extra red pepper slices – they taste great broiled! For a snack, try the paste on the balsamic-vinegar-coated-broiled-red-peppers. It’s fantastic!