Monday, August 2, 2010

Forget the Meat: Black Bean Burgers and Vegan Creamy Pesto

IMG_8430 My girl is a total meat eater. She’ll eat turkey without the sandwich and ribs without the potatoes. She could make a meal entirely out of meat.

I think many people don’t consider a meal to be complete without meat.

I challenge myself at least once a week to eat a vegan meal. I always feel better about my eating habits when I do. Amaya loves beans so it makes things easy at dinner. I get tired of making them the same way so this recipe from Veganomicon is very handy. You can make these in 15 minutes if you have canned black beans.

I had made some vegan pesto the day before for pasta and did the whole thing to taste in my cuisinart.IMG_8400 Pesto isn’t really an exact science anyway so I’ve approximated measurements here. I’m not afraid of tasting and adding as I need anyway. I dipped my finger in there more than once. Sauce is good on sandwiches and the pesto kept me from slathering on the mayo.

IMG_8403 Vegan Creamy Pesto

  • 1/2 block firm tofu
  • 1/2 C nutritional yeast
  • olive oil (probably about half a cup)
  • salt
  • big handful of pine nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 C basil leaves (not packed)
  1. Blend together in a cuisinart, adding olive oil slowly as you blend. You may have to scrape the sides a few times. Blend for at least a minute for an even consistency. Makes more than 2 cups.

IMG_8428 Black Bean Burgers (adapted from Veganomicon)

  • 2 C black bean (canned is fine) (a mix with some garbanzo beans is good too)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C and 2 T vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 small onion grated on a box grater
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • chili powder to taste
  • 2 T cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • olive oil
  1. Mash the black beans in a medium bowl with a fork until most beans are mashed—some half beans still visible. Add the following but do not mix yet: garlic grated with a rasp grater, grated onion, wheat gluten, water, salt, cumin, chili powder, cilantro.
  2. Mix with a fork and then with hands to knead ingredients together a little. Shape into 6 patties by pressing mixture very firmly together into a ball then pressing into patty about 1/2” thick. Spray both sides of the patty with nonstick spray.
  3. Heat large fry pan over medium heat. Pour in a thin layer of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot, put 3 patties into pan. As bean burger cooks, press firmly with a spatula. Flip when first side is browned, about 6 minutes. Cook other side in the same way.
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