Make It: All Veggie Three Bean Burgers

 

One major power to cooking at home is you get to control what goes into your food. This blog isn’t mean to be entirely veggie but summer just makes me think light veggietastic meals.

I’ve never had a veggie burger, house made or prepackaged, that I thought was to-die-for. Most of the time they end up being rather bland and run into the problems of either too chewy, not structured enough and end up falling apart, or dry as the desert. My goal is to make a tasty, easy, fairly inexpensive solution to all three of these problems.

Note: You can attempt this using the classic fork and mash it all together but honestly, a food processor will seriously make the process that much quicker. You can cook up a few to eat immediately but theyre great frozen for the next time you have a BBQ and you’ll never settle for Gardenburgers ever again.

All Veggie Three Bean Burgers:

  • 1 cup pink beans, soaked
  • 1 cup white beans, small or Great Northern, soaked
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, soaked
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked and cleaned
  • 2 small red shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs (for a bonding agent, optional if you’re trying to keep it all veggie.)
  • 3 cups of breadcrumbs, fresh or store bought
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Parsley
  • Garlic Salt
  • salt and pepper

Part one: cooking with dried beans.

Overnight Soak
Combine the beans in a large bowl or stockpot with 6-8 cups of cold water per pound of beans. Let stand for 6-8 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain the beans.

Note: In general, this recipe is very forgiving. If you like it spicy, add some peppers. If you like it drier, add more breadcrumbs. Add as many different kind of veggies as you like: such as diced sweet peppers, carrots, celery, or bean sprouts. BUT make sure that if you add wetter veggies, make sure to balance out with more breadcrumbs because if they are too wet, the patties will fall apart, and you’ll end up with a gross mess.

Drain your beans. Drain your quinoa, which you’ve fluffed in 1 can of chicken broth.  Mash them all together, making use that you get it as smooth as possible. Add in you veggies, onions, seasonings, and breadcrumbs. Add additional spice to taste. Form the mixture into balls, flaten into 2 inch thick patties, and layer between sheets of wax or parchment paper. Seal the patties in a freezer zip seal bag and freeze for at least three hours to set the patties before cooking. If frozen, the patties will last quite a while so you can make them days or weeks ahead of your next grilling party.

Once  ready to eat, grill them up at medium to high heat for just a few minutes until you get a nice crust on the outside. Top with any and all of you favorite burger dressings and enjoy. (I served mine with melted fresh mozzerella, lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled onion-garlic-mushrooms, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.)

If you need some solid, filling protein without the fat of ground meat, I highly suggest these babies.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

Make It: Slow Cooker Bean Soup

 

Sometimes, at the end of the month like most families, funds can get tight. Many people try to make simple recipes or end up settling for sandwiches or canned soup for dinner until they get the next paycheck, but I’m here to tell you that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.

I am a firm believer in the power of the slow cooker. When using canned vegetables and subtle flavors, cooking your dishes “low and slow” (i.e. at lower to medium heat for longer periods of time) is really the way to go to ensure deep, engrained flavors and thicker broths with more tender meat and veggies.

That said, I started making this soup a few years ago when I was tight on funds but wanted to make sure I stayed on the healthy track. Stocking up in advance on canned veggies, beans, dry pasta, and grains when there are sales is one of the key pilars to keeping a stocked and healthy kitchen. That way, when life gets hectic and you have to stretch a bit to make ends meet, a yummy dinner is only a few minutes away and really all you need is some creativity to make things work.

This soup is delicious, and only gets better with the longer it stays cooking slowing in the slow cooker. It also has affectionately gained the name of “garbage” or “pantry” stew because its very forgiving and you can add basically any veggies you have into it, along with any meat you prefer.

Slow Cooker Bean Soup:

  • 2 cans of kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, undrained
  • 2 cans of sweet corn kernels, undrained
  • 2 cans of seasoned chopped stewed tomatoes (can use unseasoned, its up to you.)
  • 1 fresh chopped yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chopped sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chopped sweet yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of quinoa, dried and uncooked (can also use rice here, if you don’t have quinoa)
  • 1 cup of water, to help plump the quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic salt
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and place it on low heat, letting it cook anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. Add as much of the dried seasoning as you see fit, as that the flavor will be subtle with all the veggies. You can also add hot sauce or any assortment of peppers if you need to kick up the heat. ( My mom hates hot spices, so I kept mine mild, letting people individually season their bowls as they saw fit.) The soup ends up with the thickness of a light chili, due to letting the veggie juices from the beans stay in the mix.

Serve it by itself, with cheese sprinkled over it, with sour cream, with hot sauce, or my favorite: poured over freshly baked cornbread!

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa