...I like to be here when I can.
It's been a hectic, yet fun, past few days. We have been on the run quite a bit... and it's not going to stop anytime soon. Sorry for not commenting on your blogs--I will try to catch up soon.
Saturday our friends had a cookout, and instead of taking the standby Boca burgers, we wanted to take some really special black bean patties for grilling out. I have a recipe that I have used before which worked fine on the George Foreman grill, but I had serious doubts about how it would hold up on a real grill. So after playing with my old recipe some, and reading this recipe for some more inspiration, I finally came up with the following recipe--and it's a keeper.
Laura's Grillable Black Bean Patties
2 cups cooked black beans, drained well
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
3-4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup quick oats
Place the beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork until well mushed. In a food chopper, combine onion, peppers, garlic, and sunflower seeds, and pulse until veggies are well chopped and sunflower seeds are crumbly. Add to black beans, along with dry spices, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and liquid smoke. Mix with fork until well combined. Add the gluten and the oats, and fold them in well with the fork. Mix for several minutes until well incorporated. If it seems too dry, add some cooking liquid from the beans or some more of another liquid, until it gets to a nice workable consistency.
Form into patties (you should get about 7-8) and wrap each patty in a piece of lightly oiled aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 325 F oven; then flip patties and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, unwrap and allow to cool down. Then rewrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until ready to grill. The patties may seem flimsy at first, but once they chill they firm up nicely. Grill on a lightly oiled grill rack until delicious.
Alongside the black bean patties were these lovely grilled vegetables that the host of the cookout made. They were marinated in balsamic vinegar, oil, and some spices, and they were fantastic on top of the patty as well as on the side.
And for dessert the hosts made one of those cakes with whipped cream and angel food cake, and strawberries and blueberries on top to look like an American flag. Why? Because one of our friends just returned from Italy, and it was their way of welcoming him back home. Anyway, they reserved some of the fruit for Bob and me, and we brought our own whipped cream.
The whipped cream was made from a recipe out of Vegan Vittles, and it was wonderful--much better than Soyatoo. In fact, I have not purchased Soyatoo in a while because the last couple of cans we bought had little air pressure in them, and we could not get all of the product out. Bummer. But this was much better, though denser and more liquid than commercial whipped cream.
That was Saturday. Sunday I left to visit a friend in the small town of Manchester, Georgia where we had fast times, studying for the CPA exam together. We had fun too. We went hiking today and the woods were in full bloom with mountain laurel.
We also cooked dinner together... and being in Small Town, Georgia, we decided to go with the most basic recipe we could find. Veggie-Bean Burritos from Vive Le Vegan! This is the filling, which was simply and deliciously seasoned with chipotle sauce and a touch of cumin, oregano, and other spices.
Jessica and I became quite proficient at rolling up burritos.
And here it is after hanging out in the oven for a little while. We served these with salsa and a tossed salad with a simple cumin vinaigrette that I threw together with ingredients that were on hand (and reading Dreena's Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette recipe for a bit of inspiration).
This tofu is one of the best whims I have ever had. I pressed it and sliced it into 16 pieces, and I marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, maple syrup, oregano, paprika, and a touch of olive oil. After it sat in the marinade for about 30 minutes, I pan-seared it over medium-high heat, and I tossed each piece in nutritional yeast when I took it off the pan.
The tofu made a great lunch on tortillas with spicy mustard, lettuce and tomato, and a drizzle of the cumin vinaigrette from the night before.
I just got home an hour or so ago from visiting my friend, and tomorrow we're up and at 'em early again. In fact, for the rest of the month, we'll be going and going and going. I'll be back again soon, but peace for now!