Sweet potato and rice burger

Oh dear…the Bloody Bonza Bucketty Beetroot and Bean Burgers did not pass muster from the tough judges running the Inaugural Mangrove Country Fair Veggie Burger Taste Test.

Head Taster Shrek saying “I really, really liked the flavour, quite a meaty consistency if I can use that word, and they held together pretty well.” Cheeky and Mrs Shrek however expressed their concern over the colour “I just don’t understand why any vegetarian would want a burger that looks so red – its like meat. Veggie burgers needs something green in them”.

The killer however was the case of shall we say “bottom burps” that all the tasters were afflicted with afterwards. Personally I don’t get this….the 4B burgers have been made and eaten quite a few times in the VegHead household and we can’t report any subsequent windy-pant problem. However we’ll settle for the judge’s final word in this and so we’re submitting another entrant: Sweet potato and rice burgers.

For the putting in:

  • 1 large potato, peeled and quartered
  • Sweet potato to approximately the same size, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1/3 cup of dry rice, cooked to just beyond al dente
  • 2/3 cup of oats, ground to flour – not quick cook oats (to make these gluten free follow the same advice as in the 4B recipe)
  • 2/3 cup of cooked chickpeas, roughly mashed
  • 2/3 cup of green peas (either frozen, or if using fresh blanch first)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari
  • Olive oil
  • NB: For those looking to use this recipe for catering size proportions, such as we did for the Mangrove Mountain Country Fair and the Gasfield Free Mountain Districts Declaration, base all ingredient amounts on using 1kg each of sweet potato, potato, (uncooked) rice, oats and frozen peas. You can expect about 60 generously sized burgers from such a mix – which each burger formed into a ball a little smaller than a tennis ball. When making such a large mixture I have found it to be best to mix the peas through the cooked rice, and mash everything else together separately. Refrigerate both mixes overnight in covered containers. Fork the rice/pea mix to separate then combine everything in a large container (or split the mixes into equal portions and do in batches if need be). There is no better way to evenly combine such a large quantity than to just do it with your hands.

To prepare:

Boil the potato and sweet potato until soft, then drain and mash.

Meanwhile, saute the onion over a medium heat in a generous amount of olive oil until transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds, then add the spices (not the herbs) and continue for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Mash together the potatoes, sweet potatoes, herbs, onion/garlic/spice mix, oat flour, tamari. Once mixed add the cooked rice and the peas, and thoroughly mix by hand or with a spoon until completely combined.

Cover and refrigerate the mix for at least 2 hours before forming patties.

Cook patties in a cast iron pan until crisp on both sides.

Patties can be frozen uncooked, once formed separated by squares of waxed paper. Uncooked mix should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Handy Tip: When forming veggie patties use an “egg ring” to get a good tight burger and also ensure even sizing. Form a ball of mix (experience will show how much you’ll need) and press tightly into the ring using palm or a flat spatula. Lift off the ring before cooking. You can either do this directly into the pan, or if preparing for later cooking form the patties in this manner onto the waxed paper. If a wider, thinner burger is desired to suit the size of the bun then squash the pattie as it cooks, just before turning it over to cook the other side.

Shittake Mushroom dip

You have to take a break from hommous every now and then don’t you? Though the Bamix eventually gets a little itchy for some blending.

What’s in the fridge?

What’s in the fridge?

Hmm….some nice shittake mushrooms, and a bag of fruity brown gilled mushrooms too…

Mushroom dip….yumm….

The following is how The VegHead would make it next time, as the first time it ended up a little sloppier than the ideal consistency.

Need to find in your fridge:

  • 4 to 6 large shittake mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of open gilled “standard” mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of pine nuts (by volume), fairly finely crushed
  • 2 thin slices of red onion
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • teaspoon of dark sesame oil
  • teaspoon of mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tamari
  • tablespoon of tahini
  • ground pepper

きのこののり作成方式 (*)

  • Lightly sauté the shittake mushrooms together with the garlic, onion and pepper in a little olive oil
  • Blend the cooked shittake mushrooms etc together with the raw mushrooms.
  • Add the nuts, and the sesame oil, mirin, tamari and tahini. Continue blending to a smooth paste

Store in a covered container in the fridge, lightly drizzled with a little more olive oil. Try to finish it within 3 days of making.

* Roughly translates as “The method of making mushroom paste”

Roasted pumpkin soup

There was left over pumpkin in the fridge – maybe about a cup of it mashed up. Ten minutes later it was soup for SheWhoMustBeFed. The VegHead had a salad roll instead.

Needing and doing:

  • about one cup of left over roast pumpkin (any skin peeled off)
  • saute a few slices of onion with olive oil and a dash of tamari
  • add 3/4 cup or so of cooked haricot beans to the onion and mix through over a low heat
  • separately bamix the pumpkin, together with about the same amount of water, half a teaspoon of miso paste, and a teaspoon of tomato paste. Add more or less water to achieve the desired consistency
  • add the pumpkin to the pot and bring to a low simmer
  • garnish the soup with a few slices of avocado, and serve with a crusty roll

The Smaller Loinfruit’s Pea and Corn Fritters

The Smaller Loinfruit likes these fritters a lot, and insists on making them himself. No really….insists….woe betide anyone who dares to touch a spoon or even worse flip a fitter in the pan.

Its all good…Loinfruits need to be in the kitchen, to make something that they like eating, and be exposed to the dangers of knives and flames and in doing so become comfortably competent with them.

Your Loinfuit may need help getting the following from the cupboard:

  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of bicarb soda
  • egg replacer made up to 1 egg
  • soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of peas (blanched if freshly podded, or straight from packet if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of corn niblets (boiled if on the cob, or straight from packet if frozen)
  • virgin coconut oil for frying the fritters

The Loinfruit will insist on doing all of the following steps by themselves:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add you-won’t-believe-its-not-egg and stir through
  • Add soy milk slowly, beating in with a spoon. Aim for a fritter mix type consistency. Which is about the same as porridge. Which if you’re not familiar with is a bit like a pikelet mix consistency.
  • Mix throughthe peas and corn
  • Heat a heavy based frying pan, and after some oil spoon some mixture in to create an even fritter that is about 12 cms across. Advanced Loinfruits may have two or more fritters on the go at the same time if the size of the pan permits.
  • Fry until light golden brown underneath, and the uncooked side is noticeably beginning to “cake up” yet is still wet.
  • Flip, and allow other side to cook
  • Get Mum and Dad to do ALL the cleaning and washing up afterwards. After all, they’ve had nothing to do while you’ve been working hard….

PS. If you don’t have Loinfruits then these fritters are also good as quick snacky finger food. The fritter mix can be a good vehicle for anything really. Add some spices, or onion and garlic, or chopped carrots or courgette, or fresh coriander, or some chopped lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf or…or…or….

Golden cauliflower in a glorious sea green bed of ginger spinach

Your powers of multitasking will be required to create this dish of two stir fries. The cauliflower takes a little longer to cook, as the spinach is just being wilted, so start that cooking first. The golden colour comes from a mixture of powdered turmeric, as well as some grated fresh turmeric root.

In the golden cauliflower…

  • half a red onion – roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 3 cm length of turmeric root – grated using a ginger root grater
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of spanish smoked paprika
  • olive oil for frying
  • Saute all ingredients together in a heavy based pan – should take between 5 and 10 minutes

In the glorious sea green spinach…

  • a generous colander full of washed and well drained spinach leaves
  • a generous handful of green beans – topped and tailed and halved
  • a cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 4cm length of ginger root – grated
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • a splash of tamari
  • olive oil for frying
  • In a large wok, saute everything. Start with the garlic, cumin, mushrooms, and beans, cooking these on their own for about 1 minute. Add everything else and toss to ensure even mixing

Serve, with the spinach arranged in a ring around the plate, and the golden cauliflower in the centre. Squeeze half a lime lightly over the meals before serving.

TGV Pumpkin soup

Travelling to Cannes last week on the train, The VegHead knew that the rail buffet sarnies would be as edible as a monkey’s earlobe. The day before travelllng, this soup was made, then warmed up again just before leaving and poured into a thermos.

Paris never seemed as welcoming…

In…

  • 1/2 cup of chopped pumpkin – boiled til soft
  • 1/2 cup of cooked chick peas
  • 1 teaspoon of Berbere paste
  • olive oil
  • water

Do…

  • lightly saute the chick peas with the paste
  • mash the chick peas with a fork
  • blend the cooked pumpkin with some water, to your desired soupy consistency
  • mix through the mashed chickpeas
  • take the train to Cannes. Take some pita bread with you. Go to the buffet car when you’re hungry and ask for a large waxed paper cup to pour the hot soup into. Watch the fellow passengers eating vending machine sandwiches and feel superior.