Tag Archives: Vegetarian Cooking

Meatless Monday: White Bean Basil Burgers

One of the things I miss most about no longer eating meat is a good hamburger. I can easily turn down a steak, chicken (even wings!), and seafood. But I won’t try to pretend that I don’t miss a juicy hamburger (well, 99.9% of the time it’s a cheeseburger) from time to time. There was even an period when I was in middle school that my go-to order when out to eat was some type of burger and fries. It wasn’t because I was picky eater – it was simply because I loved them that much! So now that I’m a vegetarian, I think it’s natural that I find myself making some type of veggie burger frequently.

In the past my go-to base for a veggie burger has been black beans… partially because I love black beans, and partially because they seem to be the default for most restaurant and packaged veggie burgers. As I’ve delved more and more into a vegetarian diet and cooking in general, I’ve come to realize that you can really transform almost anything if you’re willing to take a little time and get creative.

These particular burgers came about due to a craving for both falafel and a veggie burger. I knew I had white beans at home (but no chickpeas), so my first instinct was to try and make a generic falafel based on white beans instead of chickpeas. While trying to remember what else I had laying around at home, I remembered the fresh basil from the previous week’s fresh box that was definitely on its last legs. That’s when I realized I could use the white beans and basil together, and satisfy my veggie burger craving; enter the White Bean Basil Burgers!

With the perfect combination of basil, red onion, and fresh sliced tomato and mozzarella, these burgers are a great end-0f-summer treat. I didn’t have mine on a bun simply because I didn’t have any, but they would be great on an Italian roll!

White Bean Basil Burger | FoodosaurusRex.com

White Bean Basil Burgers
– makes 4 burgers –

Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can white beans (cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade (just chopped works too)
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp oil for cooking
Optional: Sliced tomato & fresh mozzarella cheese to top the burgers

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mash the white bean burgers with a potato masher or a fork.
2. Once the white beans are mashed, add in the rest of the ingredients: bread crumbs, garlic, onion, basil, and rosemary, stirring to make sure everything is combined well. Form into 4 patties.
4. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook on each side for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once.
5. Serve with sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese, and additional fresh basil if desired.

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Perfect Tofu

Of course on the same day I blogged about not having any good recipe ideas, I came up with what I’d like to think is a pretty decent tofu marinade. I know a lot of people aren’t tofu fans, but as a vegetarian, the big ‘ole block of soy is a really versatile way for me to get some extra protein. As long as you have a good marinade and cook it properly, I think it can be really delicious. Up until this point, my favorite was this Spicy Peanut Baked Tofu, which is easy, but not extremely versatile. I’ve never really used tofu outside of stir-fry styled dishes or egg replacements, but I’ve seen plenty of seasoned and marinated tofu “steaks” in stores, so I figured I would try my own.

One thing I’ve noticed in most vegetarian recipes that attempt to be meat replacements, is the use of soy sauce. So, I went to my pantry, grabbed a whole bunch of spices that I thought would go well together and soy sauce, and got mixing. This can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, and the beauty of a marinade is that the longer it sits, the better it winds up tasting. I served these tofu “steaks” with some brown rice, black beans, and salsa. I think it would probably be equally as delicious on a baguette with sautéed onions and peppers… I’ll definitely be trying that next!

TofuSteak2

Baked Tofu Steaks
– Serves 2 –

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Press the excess water out of the tofu (for at least 10 minutes). If you don’t have a tofu press, a big cookbook with the tofu between two plates will work – just make sure you have a towel under it! 
3. In a bowl, mix together all of the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, liquid smoke, and spices) and pour into a shallow baking dish or tupperware container.
4. Slice the tofu in half long-ways, and then in half again so you have 4 rectangular pieces.
5. Place the tofu in a single layer in the baking dish with the marinade, and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes flip to the other side, and allow it to sit for an additional 15 minutes.
6. Place the tofu on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
7. Serve with rice and beans for a Southwestern flare, enjoy on a baguette, or by itself!

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan