Ro Raggy! Scooby Doo Blueberry Burger

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I was sitting around imagining what Scooby Doo would do if he knew what was actually in his Scooby Snacks. I mean, he’s a nice dog, right?

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So I decided to imagine a kinder gentler burger for him and Shaggy.  It’s turned out so good I’m posting it right away, but I haven’t tested it extensively, so move forward at your own foodie peril.

Ro Raggy Blueberry Burger
Combine
2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked whole grain mix* (could just use a sticky sort of brown rice). I used leftovers from this rice blend that I purchased at Costco
1/2 cup onion, grated fine
1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs (or g/f if you like)

Toast
1/2 cup pepitas, hulled (don’t make the mistake I did once and use unhulled–very prickly)
In a food processor, blitz
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 tsp umi plum paste (use 1 T soy sauce as substitute)
toasted pepitas

Add to lentil mixture. Stir to combine.

Dust top of bowl with brown rice flour. Using as much flour as you need to handle the burger mixture, form into balls–somewhere between tennis and ping-pong. Put on a lightly oiled nonstick pan over medium heat and press down into patty shape with a flat turner. There should be some sizzling when you set them on. Cook patties 3-4 minutes per side, until well brown. They should hold together well, but they are still fragile. Flip and do the same on the other side.

They should look like this–nice and Shaggy
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It helped that I paired my burgers with top-quality condiments, including
Vertical Paradise Baby Oak Lettuce
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Refrigerator pickles
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And Mazi’s piri piri sauce
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Ro Raggy! This was so good I don’t think Scooby’s ever going back.
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* Here’s the mix I used
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Coconut Red Lentil Soup

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Another lick-the-bottom-of-the-bowl winner from last month’s supper club was David Landrum’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup, which he got from Bon Appétit Magazine. We couldn’t find a good link, so here are the instructions below. Thank you, David! P.S. This isn’t a photo of the soup, but one like it. Discerning readers will see that David’s recipe has no peas. Add them if you want.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:
2 cups red split lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup tomato paste
7 cups water
1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving

Directions:
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking. Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.

Chef Dave’s Vegan Meatloaf

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As the exec chef for Barfly Ventures, Dave Ogren was no stranger to creative vegan cuisine.  Recently, he decided to head west to start up a new restaurant in the San Diego bay area.  But before he leaves, he promised me this recipe that he uses in all kinds of applications–ground beef substitute, vegan meatloaf and in the photo shown above–meatballs in a fresh tomato sauce.

Chef Dave’s Vegan Meatloaf

Ingredients
1 cup dried lentils
1 heaping tb mushroom base mixed w/ 1 qt water and 1 1/2 T of braggs liquid aminos
1 cup brown rice
1 tb Minced garlic
1 large onion diced
1 large russet potato, peeled & grated
2 small carrot, peeled & grated
1 tb garlic powder
1 tb onion powder
1 tsp celery seed
1 tb dried chives
1 tb dried basil
1 tb dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp white pepper
1 box soft tofu
1/2 cup soy milk creamer
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups oats
2 cups cracker crumbs, processed finely
1 cup mushrooms, chopped

Instructions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Combine the lentils, rice, Braggs and mushroom stock in a small pot and cook until tender.
In a large bowl, combine garlic, carrot, potato, onion, mushrooms, nuts, oats and cracker crumbs
Combine soy milk, and tofu to food processor, blend until smooth. Add mixture to bowl.
Add cooked lentils and rice and seasonings.
Fold the contents evenly to distribute them throughout the rice and lentils.
Put mixture into half-pan lined with sprayed parchment paper, cover w/ aluminum foil. Bake 1hr
Cool for 20 minutes before cutting or rolling

Love you, Chef Dave! (far right in photo below, cooking with us at Gilda’s Club), and I look forward to many more adventures together.

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Indian Summer

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One of my very best friends called in a panic from Georgia hoping my husband Roger would have an Indian dish for her to make for a special dinner party. Roger is an accomplished Indian cook, having studied with an Indian caterer in her kitchen. Narbada never used any measurements, so he had to follow her everywhere with a notepad (this makes getting recipes out of him a bit difficult. Here’s a classic. It’s so good! Amy’s party was divine. If you’ve never made Indian food, but love it, go to a specialty store and buy these ingredients. They are much cheaper than at a regular grocery store. Use the flavors you love. Make it as hot as you like.

Vegetable Korma

4 T oil
4 T broken cashews
2 T golden raisins
2 bay leaves
2 in. cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
14 whole cloves
½ t. white peppercorns
½ c. broken cashews
4 medium onions, chopped
Turmeric
Salt
4 T chopped ginger
4 T chopped garlic
Green chilies, chopped
1 T cumin powder
2 T coriander powder
Red chili powder
10 oz. coconut milk
1 c. vegan yogurt
14 oz. cubed tofu
2 large tomatoes
4 carrots, sliced/cubed
4 c. cauliflower, in small pieces
4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 c. frozen peas
2 c. green beans, in 1-in. pieces
1 c. cilantro, chopped
4 c. water

• Brown 4 T cashews and raisins in the oil, then remove them, leaving the oil.
• Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, and ½ c. cashews.
• Add onions and salt, and then turmeric. Stir, etc.
• In micro bowl, add cauliflower, peas, and carrots, with a little salt. Mix and add 1 c. water, cover, and microwave for 3 minutes, mix it up, and go another 2 minutes. Cook to firm.
• To onions, add ginger, garlic, and chilies. Stir and cook a bit. Let it cool down before grinding.
• Transfer micro veggies into a larger bowl. In the original micro bowl, add potatoes, salt, and about ½ c. water. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring after about 3 minutes.
• Add potatoes and water to veggies. Add green beans, lightly salt, and add ½ c. more water.
• Grind onion mixture, and then return to pan. Cook, stirring, and then add cumin, coriander, and chili powders. Add about ½ c. water to the mixture as it cooks.
• Add the tofu and chopped tomatoes, cooking a bit more.
• Add coconut milk and mix it all in.
• Add yogurt, a little bit at a time, stirring and cooking.
• Add vegetable and mix all together. You can add more water if you need it. Bring to boil, cook for about 5 minutes.
• Add chopped cilantro and the fried cashews and raisins.

Roger’s Lovely Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

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This delicious gluten-free loaf adorned with mushroom gravy was a gift from my Valentine, Roger Gilles. The photo elicited so many requests for the recipe that I’m posting it now in anticipation of the landslide of requests we’ll get at our supper club this evening. If you’re free, come over and try it!

Walnut Basil Rice Casserole

This came from ExtraVeganZa, by Laura Matthias, p. 106. I wasn’t sure if the 2 cups of rice meant before or after cooking, so I started with 2 cups of uncooked rice and then used about 4 cups of cooked rice, which seemed about right. Also, in place of fresh basil, I used two “cubes” of frozen basil blended with olive oil—which Sue makes in the summer in ice-cube trays and then puts in our freezers. This was very easy to make.

2 c brown basmati rice, cooked
1½ c walnuts
½ c fresh basil
½ medium onion
2 T tamari or soy sauce
5 T rice milk or soy milk

Cook the rice. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until reaching a coarse consistency. Press mixture into an oiled loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before turning onto a dish and slicing.

Mushroom Gravy

This came from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, p. 211. I used a blend of shiitake, oyster, and baby bella mushrooms. I also used brown rice flour because Sue wanted the meal gluten-free. After sautéing the onion and mushrooms (but before adding the garlic, etc.), I whirled the mixture in a food processor, even though the recipe didn’t say to. I wanted a smoother gravy.

2 c vegetable broth
1/3 c flour
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t thyme
½ t sage
Salt and pepper
¼ cup white wine

Mix flour into broth and set aside. Sauté onion in oil, then add mushrooms and sauté. Add garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, and sauté some more. Add wine and bring to simmer. Lower heat and add flour/broth. Stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meet the Neighbors: Jackfruit, the ‘vegetable meat’ of India.

Jackfruit is native to Asia and is difficult to get fresh here in the states.  It has been dubbed the ‘vegetable meat’ in India, because, in its unripe state, it has a stringy, chewy consistency that can replace meat in many dishes.  In honor of our supper club this evening, where I will be giving a demo, I’m putting this online for my subscribers.

Here in west Michigan, we only have access to canned versions.  But after reading this blog on the adventures of using a fresh jackfruit, I can live with the canned version for now.  Here is the kind that we buy.  I have seen it at Spice of India, Mediterranean Island, and Asian Delight Market, next to Horrock’s on 44th. Make sure to get the green ‘unripe’ version of the fruit.  The ripe version is sweet.

Okay, canned jackfruit is preserved in citric acid, so first thing you want to do is rinse it thoroughly in a strainer.

Following that you want to squeeze the water out of it.  You’ve probably had the experience of not squeezing enough water out of spinach and having a soupy dip–yuk!  The more you squeeze your little jackfruit pieces, the better.  They will readily absorb sauces this way.  I usually take two or three pieces in my hand at a time.  This is what it should look like:

Next, you want to separate the strands.  Now, this is where I get a little bored.  I don’t know all that much about jackfruit anatomy, but to my thinking, there are three parts to deal with: the lovely stringy stuff, the seedpods and the harder core pieces.

strings, seeds and pods, oh my!

You definitely want to use them all and various recipes have you separating the parts after cooking–very messy–or separating them by hand as you massage in the spices–very tedious. “There’s got to be a better way!”  Turns out, there is …

You could just take a couple of your squeezed handfuls and put them in your food processor. Pulse maybe 5, 6, 7 times.  Or you could do as I do and take five minutes to separate the stringy bits from the core and seeds and pulse the bejeebers out the core and seeds first.  Then add the stringy bit and pulse a time or two more.

This is perfect for pulled pork-alikes!  But, you can also get a gleeful and throw all the rest in and turn the processor on and end up with…well, something more like sloppy joes!

So, to try things out, once you’ve got your jackfruit ready, stir it up with your favorite barbeque sauce (last time I made this, I used two cans of jackfruit and about 3 cups of sauce.  Don’t fear soupiness, you can always drain it).  You can heat the two together in the microwave or simmer it for twenty minutes or put it in the slow cooker for a few hours.  You want to give the jackfruit time to absorb the sauce.  Here’s what the finished dish looks like…

vegan pulled pork with creamy cole slaw…have a fork handy!

 

Below find my favorite ‘no cook’ kinda healthy bbq sauce.  We have used jackfruit to make ‘crab cakes.’  These are amazing!  Roger, my cooking husband, recommends that you reduce the amount of lemon juice you use to offset the citric acid in the canned fruit.  I’ve used them to make jackfruit carnitas with, what else, avocado cream!!  They are so very delicious.  I will provide recipes for all these things in time, but at the moment, I must clean my house.

Sue’s Que Recipe

2 cups of sugar-free or reduced sugar ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 T reduced-sodium tamari
2 T tomato paste
1/4 cup date sugar*
1/4 100% jam preserves (I like cherry!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T smoked paprika
A few dashes of hot sauce (I like chipotle for this—it’s sweet and smoky)

*Date sugar is dried ground dates, so you get sweet but all the trace minerals, too. Look for them in health food stores

I recommend eating this Carolina style with a bunch of coleslaw on top. It’s a sweet bbq sauce, too, but you can adjust to your liking.

This is so easy, you don’t have to take my class, but it’s a lot of fun if you do!

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