Friday, September 20, 2019

mushroom + black bean burgers

If you aren't into fungi, this isn't the recipe for you. It's chock full of mouthwatering mushies and it holds together on the grill, the perfect addition to your backyard bbq menu.

We have had a summer full of camping and grilling. Hana trips, family dinners, and south side surf missions all require a little bit of creativity for a vegan grill up. I have done several veggie skewers, grilled corn on the cob, and I have an grill plate that is excellent for grilling the small stuff over an open flame. Brussel's sprouts, cauliflower, and asparagus grilled al dente are to die for. We've even done grilled bok choy this summer. But nothing really beats the ease of a good ol' burger to throw on. Many veggie burgers are either mushy or crumbly and fall apart easily, or they stick to the grill and are impossible to flip without complete mutilation. Not these mushroom burgers! Grill tested and camper approved!

Mushroom + black bean burgers

  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (any combination of basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, or dill)
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp psyllium husk powder

Dice onion, mince garlic, and rinse and chop all of the mushrooms. Saute the onions and garlic until soft and then add the mushrooms and a pinch or two of salt. Cook until soft and most of the moisture has been released from the mushrooms. Set aside to cool slightly.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add them into a food processor. Add the miso paste, fresh herbs, and black pepper.

Once mostly processed, add the cooked mushrooms, using a slotted spoon to leave the liquid behind. Process until coarse but leave some chunks. Transfer into a mixing bowl. Add the oats and psyllium husk powder to the food processor to blend into a coarse meal. Add this to the mixing bowl and fold to combine all ingredients. The mixture should be slightly sticky but manageable. Form into desired size patties and throw on the grill! Just a few minutes on each side should be enough.

The patties can also be frozen for later use, no need to grill or cook before freezing. When you are ready for burger night, just pull them out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge for a few hours prior to grilling. 

Load it up with lettuce, avo, mustard, or whatever your favorite burger toppings are!

Friday, July 26, 2019

sweet potato falafel

This recipe is so similar to traditional falafel, it's almost too easy! It's basically subbing out the garbanzo beans for sweet potato, all the same spices, and a little garbanzo flour to hold it all together. They are super moist, sweet and salty, and irresistible topped with vegan cashew tzatziki.

I have been batch cooking every Tuesday for a few clients (and myself of course) and this is on the menu this week! Along with some fresh turmeric ginger tonic. If you are interested in becoming a batch buddy and getting in on these goodies every week, just send me an email or message on Instagram (@iamalmostvegan).

To make this one yourself, here's the recipe:
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes (garnet yams)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp garbanzo flour
  • 1 handful fresh parsley

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, roughly chop the onion, and peel the garlic. Add to a food processor and process into small chunks. Scrape down the sides and add the spices and olive oil. Continue to process, scraping down the sides. Add the herbs last, making sure not to over-process and blend the orange with the green. That makes brown. Make sure there are no chunks left but don't process it into a puree. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the garbanzo flour.

I used a small scoop for these falafels but hand rolling would be fine. You may want more garbanzo flour if you are hand rolling falafel balls to make them stick together a little better, it's up to you. Arrange scoops or balls onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Allow to cool before transferring. Serve with hummus, tzatziki, or both. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

cauliflower rice gallo pinto

Many of you don't know this but I was a Rotary exchange student in high school and lived in Costa Rica for my junior year. It was an experience that changed my life, as expected. At just 16 years old I left my small town of Sandpoint, Idaho to travel and live in a foreign country, basically by myself. I learned Spanish, I traveled by bus around the country and to bordering countries, I made friends and ate good food all along the way. It's been 16 years now since I left on that journey, but I am still in contact with my fellow adventurers, and I am still making gallo pinto.

Gallo pint, meaning, the spotted rooster, is a breakfast dish made with black beans and white rice, served with Salsa Lizano, eggs, and natilla (Costa Rican sour cream). I have been making cauliflower rice lately and thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit. This is an easy side dish for any meal of the day, wrap it up in a tortilla, serve it over greens, or keep it more traditional with eggs (depending on how "almost" vegan you are).

Cauliflower rice is just as versatile as regular rice, serve it with curries, make a fried rice, or just cook it up with salt and pepper for a simple side dish. All you have to do is grate raw cauliflower, either with a box grater or the grater attachment of a food processor, and saute for a few minutes with seasonings of your choice. Minimal oil needed, flavor possibilities endless.

caulirice gallo pinto
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

Dice the onion, bell pepper, and tomato. Grate the cauliflower on a box grater or with the grater attachment of a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet and add the onion, pepper, and tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid from the tomatoes, then add the caulirice. Stir constantly to evenly cook the cauliflower, it will only take a few minutes since it is in such small pieces. Add the spices and salt. Then add the black beans, drained and rinsed. Cook until completely heated and caulirice is nice and tender. Serve as desired, and Pura Vida!