Archive | March, 2010

Spicy Peanut Tofu Burgers

18 Mar

Woah dang, I have successfully recreated a burger that I used to eat when meat did not gross me out so much.  Actually I not only recreated it, but I made it way better.

I would make turkey burgers with some finely chopped onion and A Taste of Thai Spicy Peanut Bake, which is like Shake ‘n’ Bake, only with peanuts and spices and lemongrass.  It made the usually dry ground turkey nice and moist and peanutty.

But you know, turkey.  Gross.

I know people have made burgers out of tofu, but I had absolutely no faith that I could create something that actually held together and wasn’t a big mess.  I decided to try anyway.  These baked burgers are fully of spicy peanut flavor, and the flour and fat from the peanut bake allowed for a nice brown crust despite not being fried.  The spice is balanced nicely with the grated sweet potato.  Like always, go ahead and fry them if that’s your thing.  But why would you if they look this good baked?

I’m convinced these would be delightful with a Sriracha/Nayonaise mixture, but since I’m out of both I topped my burger with some spicy barbecue sauce.  My combination made four good sized burgers and I froze two of them, so I’ll have to go shopping and try it.  I’ve heard that tofu burgers get firmer when frozen and reheated, just like plain tofu, so I’m interested in seeing how they are at a later date.  Even fresh out of the oven they held their shape when I lifted them out of the pan with a spatula.  My tofu burger fear went unrealized!

Spicy Peanut Tofu Burgers

makes 4 burgers

1/2 block firm tofu

1/2 small sweet potato, grated

1/2 small onion, grated

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

20 g A Taste of Thai Spicy Peanut Bake

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1) Squeeze as much water from the tofu as possible, and crumble in a medium bowl.  Add the grated sweet potato and onion and mix well.

2) Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Form into four burgers with your hands.

3) Cook on a lightly oiled baking sheet in a 350F oven for 20 minutes, flipping once.

4) EAT!

Eggplant Ball Z

7 Mar

Guys, I really want to make a Dragon Ball Z joke but I actually know nothing about it.  I’ve come to realize just how geeky I am these days, but I guess it could always be worse.

But anyway, there are plenty of other ball jokes I could make, right?!

I wont.

I’ve had all sorts of meatless meatballs.  Some I’ve bought pre-made, many I’ve made myself with things like Gimme Lean or TVP.  I’m almost positive you could make them with lentils, but that is still on my list of things to try.  This time, I made them with eggplant!

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables.  As far as vegetables go it is not very nutritious, but it is a vegetable and it is low in calories and high in fiber.  It also sucks up a whole lot of oil, so it can easily be not very healthy at all.  Luckily, the eggplant balls I am going to share with you are made with minimal oil and the eggplant is softened mostly by steaming.  Sure, you could fry them instead of baking if you’re into that sort of thing.

They would make a good appetizer or even a strange version of eggplant parmesan if you want to use some fake or real cheese and a marinara sauce.  I served them with rice, a marinara sauce, and a green salad.  I would also recommend seasoning these to taste, as they would probably benefit from a mixture of spices that I didn’t think to use.  Or even a seasoned breadcrumb mixture, making sure you don’t choose one with cheese in it if you’re not into cheese.

Baked Eggplant Balls

makes 15 – 18 1″ balls

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed

4 Tbsp. water, or as needed

2 prepared Ener-G egg replacer eggs, or equivalent egg substitute product

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup parsley, chopped

salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1) Heat oil in saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until just browned.

2) Add the eggplant and water.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the eggplant is softened, 20 – 30 minutes.  Add more water if needed.

3) Remove eggplant from heat and mash.  Add egg replacer, nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, parsley, and seasonings.  Mix until well combined, adding more breadcrumbs if needed.  Place in fridge to cool for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350F.

4) Form eggplant mixture into 1″ balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden on the bottom.  Serve with marinara sauce!

Good looking balls, no?

Where’d my sickeningly sweet tooth go?

1 Mar

I have a confession.

There was a time when I could polish off a good portion of a can of frosting all by myself.  I have put away a pound of gummy bears in under 24 hours.

I guess it’s not unheard of, but it is definitely gross.  My tastes have changed dramatically since I’ve lost those one hundred some-odd pounds.  To be honest, eating a can of frosting still sounds like it would be the greatest thing.  But in practice, not so much.

My favorite sweet now?  DATES.  I can’t pass the bulk bins at Wegmans (oh dear I miss Wegmans so much and I need to move back out to Western NY soon because I’ve been shopping at Price Chopper and it is not cool.  SO NOT COOL)  without loading up on them.  As much as I like dates in my baked goods, they usually never make it long enough for me to bake something with them.

I was determined this time, to make some date muffins.  This is a mish-mash of recipes that have all come together into one slightly sweet, crunchy yet still moist muffin.  The little bursts of apple and date make up for the fact that there is only 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the recipe.  I didn’t leave the bran cereal to sit in milk and soften this time, and I liked the crunchy texture it added.  But I don’t imagine it would change a thing if you like your cereal soggy.  I feared these muffins would be too dry.  Not so!  Yum!

Apple Date Bran Muffins

makes 12 muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup bran cereal

1/3 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped

1 1/2 tsp. Ener-g egg replacer

2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup soy milk

1 cup apple (peeled if you want, I didn’t want!), diced

1) Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or use liners.

2) In a medium bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and bran cereal.  Stir in the chopped dates.

3) In another bowl, prepare the egg replacer with the 2 Tbsp. water.  Add the canola oil and brown sugar, and whisk to combine.  Stir in soy milk and apple.

4) Add liquid ingredients to dry, and stir just until moistened.  Divide among the 12 muffin tins and bake 15 – 18 minutes.

5) Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.