I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A wee harvest

It's not much yet. Everything went in late, per the usual non-plan. The radishes and greens were picked last week, the beans this week (look hard! They're in there!)

Waiting in the wings are the tomato plants, which are finally starting to take off, and now need stakes, a couple of tiny little eggplants and jalapenos plumping up, and squash blossoms scheming to take over the world. The Tiger's Eye shelling beans can't decide if they are pole or bush types, and I thought they were bush, so they are a little disheveled after recent storms- but the pods are filling out.

The parsley and basil finally look lovely, but we are far away from self sufficiency just yet. Sure is fun to harvest your own stuff though. Even if it's only a wee bit (bet this salad tips the scales at four ounces!!!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

BaBaCoo, I Wuv U

In a previous life (when I ate meat), I was never a barbecue fan. Perhaps the generous amounts of dripping grease that came with most BBQ food had something to do with that. But I love grilling, and so decided to try doing a veggie 'chicken' barbecue sandwich after seeing a chik patty over at Vegan Dad's that looked interesting (they have a new baby! Go over there right now and wish congrats).

Turned out very nummy, especially for a first try. Instead of keeping it whole, I sliced it fairly thinly, dunked it in some cheap BBQ sauce, and grilled just a couple minutes on a stovetop grill.

Fast! And it will be even better when I get off my lazy a and make some REAL barbecue sauce (Father's Day is coming up you know...)

Here are my adaptations from the original VeganDad burger recipe. Since I increased the beans, I also increased the flour and oil amounts. If you want kid-sized portions, make 10 or 12 smaller patties instead of 8.

- 1½ cups cooked light beans such as canary (Mayocoba, my new favorite) or white beans
- 1 cup water or veggie broth, more if necessary
- 2-4 Tbs. olive oil (I used 2 Tbs. but may use 4 next time)
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. chicken-style broth powder (I use the 'All-Season Blend' broth recipe from Jo Stepaniak's "Uncheese Cookbook")
- 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
- 1¼ cup vital wheat gluten (a 6.5 oz. box of Hodgson’s Mill)
- ½ cup chickpea flour, more if necessary
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- ½ tsp. hot paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, more to taste

Prepare a steamer (if it is at least 12" in diameter, these should all fit in one layer). Place beans through soy sauce in a blender and pulse several times for a rough blend. Place the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stir in the bean mixture, and knead into a smooth dough.

Shape the dough into 8 burgers (or more if you want smaller burgers).

Place the burgers over a rack in your steamer and steam, covered, for 30 minutes. I use a cheap splatter screen from the dollar store, sans the handle, and place that on top of an open steamer basket in a 12" wide casserole type pan, with about an inch or so of water simmering in the bottom. Nothing sticks to the screen. If you don't want to place the burgers directly on your rack, wrap each one in foil, place on the rack, and then steam. Serve on buns with your favorite fixins. Or slice and brush with BBQ sauce first, and grill for a few minutes on each side before serving.