Sunday, November 9, 2008

Back to the kitchen.

Okay, my guy won the presidency, I'm healthy, I have time. It's time to get back to being creative.

I was thinking about burgers. When I ate meat, I was pretty good at making them. Fairly easy; some meat, onion, garlic, a little bit of breadcrumb, some steak sauce, and there you go. So why have I been so intimidated about making my own veggie ones? I used to buy the Boca ones a lot, but they started to taste a leeetle too much like mystery meat to me, and I wanted to come up with something that was hearty and delicious, but still quite obviously vegan. I'm all for my vegan cheesecakes, ice cream, scrambles, and sour cream tasting just like the animal product counterpart, but as far as meat is concerned, the less it tastes like the real thing, the better. 'Cept for sausage-y things, because it's all spices to begin with, anyway.

Don't you hate it when you come up with a great idea, only to find out it's been done? Every time I do this, I try to make it just a little different, so it can be uniquely mine. I found a million recipes for sweet potato lentil burgers on the interwebs, and they all resembled each other. Quinoa, cumin, blah blah. I made mine to be a little more substantial. They remind me of a falafel, but with a softer and sweeter taste.

Sambhar Garnet Yam Lentil Burgers

makes 12 big patties

1 cup rinsed brown lentils
1 chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 huge or 2 medium garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup broth
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp sambhar powder

Preheat oven to 375°

In a large pot, bring two cups of water to a boil. Do not salt; it makes the lentils hard. Add lentils. Bring back to a boil, then turn to low and simmer. Add onion. Simmer lentils for 20-40 minutes (it depends on how old your lentils are, so just keep checking). Meanwhile, steam your yams and carrot. Mash, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in a little broth, then add the gluten. Mix well until it toughens up a little; adding broth if you need to. When lentils are cooked, drain off any liquid, and add to the yam mixture. Mix, mix, mix. Stir in oats, tamarind, curry, and sambhar. Mix. Let it cool, and then form into patties. The stuff should be kind of sticky, so keep the water running. Put patties on a baking sheet coated with canola spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip, bake another 15. They should be golden brown. Serve in pitas with a yogurt-cilantro sauce.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama.