Cook’s Illustrated Veggie Burgers

May 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm (Beans, B_minus (2.5 stars), Cook's Illustrated, Derek's faves, Fall recipes, Grains, Spring recipes, Vegetable dishes, Winter recipes)

Cook’s Illustrated’s veggie burger recipe is (as always) fastidious to a fault, and as a result quite labor intensive.  It’s also a bit light on vegetables.  But the burger tastes good and holds together well, even on the grill.  It’s definitely a good place to start when learning the art of creating veggie burgers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Homemade veggie burgers

May 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm (Uncategorized)

Veggie burgers are convenient, cheap, reasonably healthy emergency food for vegetarians (or for non-vegetarians).  As a result, just about every cooking or consumer site has carried out a taste test to see which ones are the best.  Cook’s Illustrated didn’t care for any of the frozen veggie burgers they tried, although they did say that the Gardenburger Original was the best of the bunch. It’s made up of mostly mushrooms, brown rice, onion, and a touch of mozzarella cheese.  I do like the Gardenburger Original, but I disagree with their generally negative view of frozen veggie burgers.  When I lived in the states there were a number of different veggie burgers I found more than acceptable.   But here in Germany the veggie burger doesn’t exist.  I can get countless varieties of veggie sausages and even veggie schnitzel, but no veggie burgers.  So I decided to try to make my own. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mushroom, celery root, potato burgers

May 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Fall recipes, Other, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes, Winter recipes)

I had leftover mashed potato/celery root, and Derek and although we really liked it when I first made it, we were both getting a bit sick of it.  Then I came across a veggie burger recipe in the Rancho la Puerta cookbook that calls for mashed potatoes.  I figured I could use up the rest of the mashed potato/ celery root in these burgers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Northstar Cafe beet and black bean burgers

May 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Root vegetables, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog, Winter recipes)

I’ve never eaten at Northstar Cafe, but when I went looking for a veggie burger recipe I found tons of people raving about their veggie burgers, which are made with beets and black beans.  A number of people have even tried to reconstruct the recipe.  I decided to try the recipe from Read the rest of this entry »

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Bok choy, fennel, and leek

May 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Dark leafy greens, East and SE Asia, Other, Vegetable dishes)

I pulled out the Rancho La Puerta cookbook (by Bill Wavrin) this week and started looking for a new recipe to try.  Many of the recipes call for ingredients I can’t get here in Germany.  I did, however, find one recipe with “German” ingredients that intrigued me.  The recipe is titled  bok choy, fennel, and spinach, but it also calls for four leeks, a chile, star anise, garlic, ginger, and fresh rosemary.  The flavors are pretty typical Asian flavors except for the rosemary, which seems odd here.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Mashed celery root and potatoes

May 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm (B_minus (2.5 stars), Fall recipes, French, Georgeanne Brennan, Root vegetables, Starches, Summer recipes)

I bought a big celery root to make Locro last week, but I only used a small fraction of it.  I decided to use the rest of it to make another recipe out of The Vegetarian Table: France by Georgeann Brennan.  The recipe is titled “celery root and potato puree”, and for some reason I thought it was going to be a soup.  But it turned out with a consistency more like mashed potatoes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deep-dish cassoulet of flageolet beans

May 18, 2010 at 10:31 am (Beans, B_minus (2.5 stars), Fall recipes, French, Georgeanne Brennan, Winter recipes)

Last fall Derek and I went to Metz for the day.  (It’s an hour away by train, so it makes a nice day trip.)  Saturday is their farmer’s market, and I searched every stand trying to find things that I can’t buy find in my local market.  I bought a beautiful braid of garlic, a bag of harissa paste, lots of French cheeses, some fresh beans (whose name I couldn’t understand), and a bag of dried flageolet beans.  I’ve never eaten flageolet beans before, or even seen them.  Mine were small, pale-green, kidney-shaped beans.  Georgeanne Brennan says they have an intense bean flavor that brings their particular character to a dish, they hold their shape when cooked, and they do not lose their integrity even when combined with other ingredients.

Inspired by our trip last week to Paris, I decided to make a French dinner on Friday night, using recipes from my new French cookbook (“The Vegetarian Table: France”). Read the rest of this entry »

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Thai tofu salad

May 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), East and SE Asia, Other, Salads, Tofu)

This is another recipe from the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan.  I bought mint and cilantro for a recipe, but then forgot which recipe I had bought them for.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the herbs and decided to make a deconstructed Vietnamese spring (summer?) roll salad. But at the last minute I saw this recipe for a minced tofu salad, which calls for mint and cilantro, and decided to try it instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five fat foodie days in Paris (as a vegetarian)

May 6, 2010 at 9:25 am (Restaurant review, Trip report)

In May, Derek and I spent a long weekend in Paris.  A friend of ours who is doing a sabbatical in Paris invited us to come for a visit.  In planning the visit, I hit upon the brilliant idea of spending Derek’s 30th birthday in Paris.  It turned out that our friend was going to be out of town that weekend, but she graciously arranged for us to stay at her place even in her absence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pasta with leeks, spinach, and sundried tomatoes

May 4, 2010 at 12:09 am (Dark leafy greens, Fall recipes, Pasta, Spring recipes, Starches, unrated, Website / blog)

A few weeks ago I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work, with no dinner plans.  I bought the veggies that looked the freshest–spinach and leeks.  When I got home Derek and I looked for recipes.  Derek thought that the spinach and leek would make a nice tart, but we didn’t have much cheese and I didn’t have the energy to make a crust.  Instead we went with pasta.  I was inspired by this BBC recipe, but I left off the blue cheese, cut the amount of pasta, and subbed yogurt for the crème fraîche.  Unfortunately I didn’t write down exactly what I did at the time, so some of the measurements below are just my best guess. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stir-fried tofu and cashews with mushrooms and bell peppers

May 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Derek's faves, East and SE Asia, Other, Tofu, Vegetable dishes)

My brother gave me the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan a few years ago.  I immediately started paging through the book, and left it open on my kitchen table.  The next day as soon as I starting looking at the recipes the pages started falling out.  I suspected that the special “layflat binding” was to blame, but when I called the publisher they assured me that they’ve been using this binding for a long time and have had no trouble with it.  They said they’d send me another copy.  They did, but two days after I received it (and before I’d made even a single recipe) the pages started falling out! I figured it wasn’t worth trying to get a third copy.

Although lots of the recipes looked good, I never did get around to trying them.  Many of the recipes call for “vegetarian or mushroom stir-fry sauce” or other pre-made sauces, which kind of turned me off.  First, I don’t tend to have them on hand.  Second, those sauces are pretty much junk.  Thus, whenever I wanted to make something Thai I always ended up using Nancie McDermott’s Thai cookbook instead.  But last week I was determined to finally try the cookbook out.   I bought some vegetarian stir fry sauce at the local Asian shop.  I figured if I liked the recipe with the stir fry sauce I could always try to figure out how to make up a similar sauce on my own.

Read the rest of this entry »

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