EPIC Veggie Burgers

My friend Emily requested a veggie burger recipe for my blog.  When I began to research the ingredients and possible recipes, I was a bit skeptical about how a veggie burger could be as epic and delicious as an old-fashioned beef burger.  Once I tasted the burger I simply had to name it the “EPIC Veggie Burger”.  You will find that it truly lives up to its name.

I love portobello mushrooms so that seemed like the logical place to start when devising this recipe. Jonathan had the wonderful idea to add cornmeal, which really gave a wonderful, crispy texture to the outside and helped make the patty stay together.  The garlic and shallot gave a beautiful subtle flavour to the rest of the ingredients.

When we took our first bite into the burgers we were extremely impressed by the provolone cheese that was perfectly melted, and not overpowering.  It was in that first bite that I realized how truly delicious a veggie burger can be.  These burgers are not just the average veggie burger, and taste nothing like the veggie burgers from the frozen aisle.  I will have to admit I have only had a veggie burger once, and this was because they were out of beef burgers at a camp barbecue.  It was rather disappointing biting into one of those frozen veggie burgers.  My sister Laura has several friends who are vegetarian and has been to many vegetarian restaurants in Guelph, Ontario.  She assured me these burgers are even better than the burgers she’s had at these places!

For the topping we decided on fresh tomato slices and tzatziki.  Jonathan wanted to make his burger a ‘hypocrite’ burger and add bacon on top, but I wouldn’t let him. (Though, maybe we’ll make tempeh bacon to go with these next time!)  This recipe is going into a folder marked “favourites.”  I am positive Jonathan and I will be making these again soon!

Ingredients:

6 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into quarter inch pieces

1 small can white mushrooms chopped

2 cup shredded provolone cheese

3 eggs

1 cup cornmeal

¼ cup rice flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 small shallot finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ciabatta baguette

1 large tomato, sliced for the top of burgers

Tzatziki, your favourite recipe or store bought

Instructions:

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until evenly combined.  The ingredients should come together so you can form patties with your hands.  Makes approximately 8 patties.

2.  Add a generous amount of canola or olive oil to a fry pan at medium heat. (It’s important to use a generous amount to ensure that a crispy ‘crust’ forms) Add patties and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. It was raining here today, but you could also pop them on the barbecue for a few minutes after frying them to add grill marks and barbecue flavour.

3.  Place on sliced ciabatta baguette and top with tzatziki and sliced tomatoes.

4.  Enjoy!

Healthy Warm German Style Potato Salad

I took a bigger break from blogging than I meant to with the Victoria Day long weekend.  For the weekend my family went up north to the cottage.  It was a gorgous sunny day – so warm that Laura and Chris braved the cold lake waters to put in the dock in the lake! Depending on the weather we will be up boating and swimming in the lake as soon as possible.  The family has been going up to this cottage for four generations.  My great grandparents bought the property and built it.

It wasn’t just the Victoria Day weekend – we also celebrated my Auntie Andrea’s birthday with cheese and crackers, cookies and lots of treats.  It was lovely to sit by the lake and all together.  Auntie Andrea did a lot of work for Laura’s bridal shower and she continues to listen to all of my Mom’s checklists and wedding plans.  It is wonderful to see sisters that always have each other’s back.  I am even luckier with my three sisters.  Despite a few arguments, we get along well and always want the best for each other.

This warm potato salad recipe is one that Jonathan and I – inspired by this recipe – experimented with and really quite enjoyed.  There is zero mayonnaise, which gives it a distinct, but delicious flavour.  It is very different from the type you get in the grocery store that is full of calories.  The flavours came from the honey Dijon mustard, celery seed, white wine vinegar and chili flakes.  If you are looking for a new favourite potato salad recipe – you’re in luck!

Ingredients

7 medium red potatoes, unpeeled

4 slices bacon

¾ cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1/ teaspoon celery seed

2 teaspoons Montreal steak spice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons crushed chili flakes

¾ cup water

¼ cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In 4-quart saucepan, place potatoes. Add water just to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Cut into slices.
  • Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon; set aside.
  • Remove and discard bacon drippings from skillet. Add oil; heat over medium heat. Add onions; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and other spices. Gradually stir in water, vinegar and mustard. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened.
  • Stir in potatoes and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated. To serve, sprinkle with parsley.