Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Not to Toot my Own Horn, but Toot Toot!

Lentil burger success!
Maybe pineapple whip?
So I tried to recreate a pineapple whip, which I've never even had! I have never, nor do I desire to ever go to Disneyland, or world so I guess I will never know the joy of an authentic pineapple whip, but this tasted pretty darn good, and was super refreshing on a miserable humid day. I also had great success with my lentil quinoa burger. It's really amazing, because homemade vegan burgers are something that I have struggled with. This is my first attempt in quite awhile. I feel very happy that yesterday was a day that I remembered to write measurements down!
                                                 Maybe Pineapple Whip
  • 3/4 C. Coconut milk
  • 1/4 C.water
  • 2 T. agave
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 C. frozen pineapple
Add all ingredients to your blender, and blend away, till smooth, and almost a soft-serve consistency. Enjoy! If your pineapple is really sweet, you probably don't even need the agave. I just had a somewhat tart pineapple. Depending on your blender, you might need more/less water. You can also use any plant milk, there are lots of recipes online using almond milk and such. This was maybe more like a Pina Colada soft serve, but it was still delicious!
                                                   Lentil Quinoa Burger
  • 1 C. cooked quinoa
  • 1 3/4 C. cooked brown lentils
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 C. shredded carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 2 T. flax meal mixed with 8 T. water
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T. Barbeque sauce 
  • 1/2 C. rice flour
Sautee the celery, carrot, garlic and onion in oil of your choice, or water sautee, for about ten minutes. Add basil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper while cooking. When softened add to a mixing bowl with the quinoa, and lentils. I smashed my lentils a bit with the back of a fork, but for the most part I left them whole. Add your flax "egg", the liquid smoke (optional, but does add good flavor), barbeque sauce, and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, and then start adding flour. You want the mixture to hold together, but we're not making dough. I started with 1/4 cup, and ended up adding just shy of half a cup. Once you have everything mixed, put your mixing bowl in the fridge, and let that stuff cool down! This step I feel is super important for great textured vegan burgers. It helps the flour absorb, and everything firms up which makes for firmer, easier to cook burgers. These are super easy to make, you could make the mixture before work, and have burgers waiting to be cooked when you get home! Once the mixture is chilled, form into patties. I got six nice size burgers out of this mixture. I first cooked the burgers in a pan on the stove top to get that crispy exterior. I cooked them in coconut oil for about ten minutes on one side, five on the other. (medium flame) I then transferred the burgers to a baking sheet, and finished them in a 375 Fahrenheit oven for about twenty minutes, flipping once. I think this was key to making these the best damn vegan burgers I have ever made! I always get the taste right, but the texture is off, or vice versa. Starting them in a pan gets that nice browned, crunch on the outside, but as I've learned, stopping there can leave for mushy insides. Finishing them in the oven just helps the inside to really firm up. Because of the hickory smoke, and the barbeque sauce, these had a nice smoky taste that was delicious, and somehow summery! I checked the leftover burgers this morning, and they have really firmed up. If you are someone who likes to grill, I would say let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight, and then grill them. I can't believe I made a burger worthy of sharing the recipe! If I ever do write a lentil cookbook, this will be in it for sure! I feel like this burger would satisfy non-vegans. It's certainly not a Beast burger, but it's substantial, and the lentils, mixed with liquid smoke and barbeque give it that ooomph. I had my burger with a big schmear of Dijon mustard, some Romaine, and alfalfa sprouts. It was tasty, and I could hardly believe I made it!
That is Joan by my pineapple whip, by the way. She decided to have a lay down right where I needed to take the picture. What a little vegan ham!

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