Sunday, April 28, 2013

Black Bean Burgers with Tempeh Crisps

Black Bean Burger with all the toppings!

The Post Punk Kitchen Top 100 for 2012 alerted me to the fact that archived editions of Vegetarian Times magazine are available to read for free via Google Books! BTW - if you haven't looked through the PPK Top 100 list, you should check it out for all kinds of wonderful vegan things that came out last year! Anyway, while looking through the old magazines, I came across this recipe for Black Bean Burgers with Tempeh Crisps that I decided to try! 

The recipe is also available over at their website, where I also discovered that they post all of the recipes from their magazines (also available for free!). Now, you have hundreds and hundreds of recipes to try out. Only a few of their recipes are vegan or can be made vegan, so watch out for those recipes that have dairy or eggs.

Tempeh Crisps
The black bean burgers were super yummy, but I thought it was the tempeh crisps that totally put this recipe over the edge of deliciousness! Fix these burgers up with the toppings of your choice and on a whole wheat bun and you're all set! We also made the OMG Onion Rings from Appetite for Reduction to go along with them!

All the Toppings
 Black Bean Burgers:
  •  3 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (we used probably 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Panko bread crumbs)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. ketchup
  • ½ to ¾ cup water, or as needed to process
Tempeh Strips:
  • 12 oz. tempeh, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make Black Bean Burgers: Combine black beans, brown rice, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, scallions, chili powder and catsup in food processor, and process, adding just enough water to blend, until smooth. Form into 6 equal-sized patties, and chill 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, to make Tempeh Crisps: Toss tempeh strips with chili powder, salt and pepper. Spread strips evenly on sheet pan, and bake about 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Remove from oven, and set aside.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add patties, cooking 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through. Place each burger on whole wheat bun. Garnish with crisps and favorite condiments.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sesame Soy Soba Stir Fry

Oh, the veggie stir fry. It is one of my go-to meals because it's easy to make, it has loads of veggies, plus it's fairly versatile. Choose your base - do you feel like brown rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta, or soba noodles? Then, the veggies - which ones do I have in the fridge that I'd like to use up? And then the sauce - how about a sesame/soy/ginger, peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, sweet chili sauce, or coconut curry? Then, you can choose to add a protein of your choice - marinated tofu, tempeh, seitan, or even mushrooms. You can even add peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds...the possibilities are endless.  Now, I find myself whipping up various stir fry creations on my own without recipes in the kitchen. This is one of those recipes where you can alter it to your liking!

Here's a quick stir fry that uses soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles that you can find at most grocery stores), a ton of different veggies, a sesame soy sauce, and topped with green onions and sesame seeds. The most laborious part of preparing the meal was chopping all the veggies and even then, it doesn't take too long. It also uses a lot of alliteration - sesame, soy, soba, stir fry!

You'll need:

1 package of soba noodles, cooked as per the instructions on the box

chopped veggies: broccoli, bok choy, green beans, red onion, red pepper, julienne carrots, garlic

green onions, sliced
sesame seeds

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1" ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together. Stir fry all of the veggies in the sauce for five minutes until softened. Don't overcook the veggies - they taste the best a little bit crunchy and fresh!

Serve the veggies and sauce over the noodles, and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Air-Popped Popcorn with Yummy Vegan Toppings

When I was a kid, my family used to always make popcorn using the air popped popcorn machine. I have so many fond memories of curling up on the couch to watch a movie or TV along with my family, with a big bowl of buttery, salty, delicious popcorn. It had been a while since I'd enjoyed some freshly popped popcorn, aside from buying some of the bags of organic salted popcorn at Whole Foods. Finally, I splurged and bought myself a popcorn popper!

I purchased the air popper at Bed Bath and Beyond (using a 20% off coupon, too....woo!) and chose this one by Nostalgia Electrics. It is a bit different than the one I had as a kid, where you pour the kernels into the bottom of the popper and a narrow metal arm moves the kernels around (so they don't burn) until they begin to pop. It wasn't too expensive and it definitely does the job of making a fluffy, crunchy, delicious treat!

When it comes to toppings and making some dairy-free vegan popcorn, it's easy! If you're looking for that classic, buttery popcorn, just melt down some Earth Balance or other vegan margarine in the microwave, and pour it on top. You can also use olive oil on the popcorn. Using the Earth Balance, coconut oil or olive oil allows any other toppings you put on top to stick to the popcorn.  My favourite popcorn right now uses melted Earth Balance, spoonfuls of nutritional yeast (a great way to add a cheesy taste and get your vitamin B12!), Trader Joe's garlic salt grinder (garlic, onion, parsley, and sea salt), and dried dill. 

Here are some other ideas for popcorn toppings!

* Classic - melted Earth Balance and salt
* Noochy - melted Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and salt
* Spicy - melted Earth Balance with sriracha and garlic powder mixed in, along with nutritional yeast
* Asian-inspired flavors - sesame oil with sriracha and a tiny bit of soy sauce
* Sweet - olive oil and cinnamon sugar on top
* Kettle Corn - olive oil, sugar, and salt

If you don't like the nutritional yeast or other toppings falling to the bottom of the popcorn bowl, you can mix some of them into your melted Earth Balance first! With popcorn, feel free to add any of the spices that you love....smoked paprika, cayenne, chili pepper, thyme, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, curry....the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Speculoos (Cookie Butter) Cookies

For those of you who aren't familiar, Speculoos is a delicious cookie butter spread that is sold at Trader Joe's in the USA. It has the consistency of peanut butter, but it is made of crushed up cookies with a gingerbread taste. Since I'm from Canada, I bought a jar of it one time while in the States and found out that it is absolutely delicious on pancakes! I went to the States a second time and bought a jar of the then-new crunchy Speculoos. Now, I discovered that you can actually take the cookie butter spread, combine it with a few ingredients, and bake it back into cookies. This changes everything. Now, I'm almost out of Speculoos having baked this recipe a couple of times and have to go back to Trader Joe's to buy some more!

The recipe that I used is adapted from the one at Have Cake, Will Travel. I used a little bit less sugar the second time around and found that it tasted better. Feel free to use a full cup of sugar if you're looking for an even sweeter treat. These are really quick to make and you'll have homemade cookies in no time!

This should bake up 20-24 cookies.

2/3 cup Speculoos
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp soy milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the Speculoos, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour, baking powder, and soy milk. Put 1 tbsp of dough per cookie on a pan and bake 12-16 minutes.