Due to staying at home to mother rather than working outside the house, I've been trying to minimize spending while maximizing our savings. So when it comes to buying pre-made foods or making my own, you can guess what I try to do.
Yesterday for our picnic lunch (held in the kitchen due to little Mr. Disagreeable) I cooked up some homemade veggie burgers. I didn't exactly have a recipe, and had no eggs to use as a binder, but that didn't stop me.
One of my proudest skills as a cook is my ability to be resourceful in the kitchen. I can take a seemingly empty pantry and whip up a really good vegetarian meal. Case in point: last week's Miso Noodle soup with dried shitakes, kelp and carrots. The key is to keep your pantry and freezer stocked, but all of you cooks probably know that already.
Some of my always-on-hand pantry items:
sun dried tomatoes
jars of roasted red peppers
couscous (great for a quick meal)
cans and cans of beans (black, red, butter, garbanzo, etc.)
lentils and split peas
fridge and freezer items:
miso paste (found in Asian markets)
carrots (they last a while)
variety of vinegars (rice, balsamic, cider)
soy sauce (don't scrimp on this. San-J organic is my fave)
frozen peas, carrots, spinach
frozen won-ton wrappers (for raviolis and dumplings)
Those are just a few of the items. What do you keep in your pantry at all times?
Here is my veggie burger recipe, if I can remember the plethora of things that I tossed into it.
1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein...found in health food stores)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 can of butter beans, mashed
1/4 cup crumbled dried shitake mushrooms
1/4 cup mashed potato flakes
1 shredded carrot
1 small finely diced red pepper
1 finely diced small onion
some leftover corn
salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg (I didn't have this yesterday)
olive oil for frying
boiling water (enough to wet the ingredients but not make them too soggy. Consistency should be of stiff oatmeal, so you can form patties out of it).
I mix everything together in a bowl and incorporate the egg well. Without the egg, the burgers will just want to fall apart, even though you can get away without it and call it a vegan burger. Add the hot water a little at a time, making sure not to get the mix too wet and runny. Form into patties (about 1/2 inch thick) and fry in olive oil in a pan. Once the first side is crisp, carefully flip the burgers over to fry the other side. A good crust will help prevent them from crumbling apart. Eat it on a bun, homemade bread (like we did) or plain with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
After frying, I bake them in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees.