Hey all! I figured that a major cookout occasion would be a good time to share about what I’ve been doing in the kitchen. Yes, Memorial Day is much more than an excuse to fire up the grill, but that is a given. I appreciate all the sacrifices that our enlisted and retired brothers and sisters have done for me and I thank you all.
I am the sole vegetarian in my home, In my extended family, too. Family gatherings usually involve food, mostly old-school, Southern Sunday dinner-type food; not always veggie-friendly. I’ve been doing my part, bringing hearty sides that are mostly vegan, low cholesterol, lower fat, and wickedly delicious. But when it’s time to fire up the grill, this girl needs a little more than side salads and dessert. I’ve always liked burgers and dogs, but wanted to try my own creations instead of always pulling out Boca or Amy’s. I haven’t found a dog recipe, but Yves, Lightlife, and Morningstar Farms have good ones. Tofurkey and Boca sausages are yummy, too. If you’d rather make your own, try Julie Hasson’s Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausages. Oh man these are good! I’ve made them twice now, with beans and with tofu. They hold up to grilling quite nicely and made my omni family smile.
As for my burger recipes, a friend suggested adding a little pecan meal to a meatball recipe for a heartier texture (thanks Heidi) and it works! They were deemed the best ever by the family so I’ve made pecan meal a staple around here. The basic burger recipe makes four good-sized burgers or 16 meatballs.
Combine the dry ingredients and sit aside –
- 3/4 cup tvp
- 1/4 cup dry oatmeal
- 1/4 cup pecan meal
- parsley, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, & pepper to taste
In a separate bowl, mix
- 2 T ketchup
- 1 1/2 T soy sauce
- 3/4 cup water
Heat until near boiling (about 2 minutes in the microwave), give a quick stir, and pur over dry ingredients.
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then stir in 2 T nutritional yeast. Shape into balls or patties, then cook in a nonstick pan until browned.
They freeze well and are great to keep on hand. I made a double batch, and use one as crumbles to quickly toss into soup, chili, salads, tacos, etc.
I mixed up another batch and made bacon burgers! I added Bacos to the dry mix , added a few drops of liquid smoke to the wet mix, and added 3 T of nutritional yeast. Hubby liked these more than the basic burgers.
I’ve done some shopping, too. I bought some Teese and Sheeze online and am glad I did. They were a little pricey, especially with shipping (about $25 total), but both are really good.
I’ve had Teese on pizza, in a quesadilla, and on a veggie reuben. The Sheeze is cheddar, so I’ve had it in a grilled cheese & with crackers. I haven’t liked any vegan cheese cold and these work. The Teese has a nutty flavor that worked really well on the reuben (starring one of my veggie burgers). The Sheeze reminded me of a crock cheese spread. When I snag some pimientos I’ll make pimiento cheese & let you know how that is, too.
Remember to have fun with your food, this weekend and every day. Be safe, be well, and take care.