Today, February 1, 2009 is my official turning vegan day. I have been a vegetarian for many years and I recently decided that I needed to finally take the plunge and go vegan. The obstacle for me has always been cheese – give up meat and dairy, no problem. Cheese, wait…that’s dairy??? That was always my issue. Well I’ve made the commitment to not let cheese take over my life so as of today – no more cheese!
I’ve been reading many vegan blogs and vegan cookbooks in the last couple of weeks and trying new recipes and have realized that I don’t really miss the cheese. In the process I have become completely addicted to vegan blogs. Most provide a wealth of information – tips, recipes, and endorsements of products by real people. So far, no one has led me astray and all of the stuff I’ve tried has been great! I’m like a wide-eyed kid in the kitchen – completely amazed that ” I made that” and it tastes better than the “regular” version. I think I’ve been driving my partner crazy by obsessively grilling her “did you like that?” and she’ll respond and then 5 minutes later I’ll reword the same question :) She’s been vegan for a while so it is not that magical for her as it is to me.
So here are some of the things I made this weekend – first off I baked these cookies. I got the recipe from Joni’s blog . I only had crunchy peanut butter so I used that instead of the creamy kind, they still had a great texture.
For dinner tonight I made Black Bean Burgers. I kind of just made up the recipe myself from the inspiration that is Joni’s Blog (see below the pic). I served them with baked sweet potato fries!
Black Bean Burgers
Yields aprox. 6 burgers
15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 med. onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 tbs. olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, diced
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
3 tbs. ketchup
3 tbs. hot sauce
1 cup breadcrumbs
Heat a medium skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add oil. When oil is hot add onions, garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper and sauté for a few minutes. When the onions are translucent add mushrooms. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until all vegetables are browned. Set aside and let cool.
In a food processor add rinsed and drained beans, the sautéed vegetables, all of the spices, the ketchup, and hot sauce. Process for a few seconds and scrape down the sides. When it is well incorporated start to add breadcrumbs a little at a time. Process for a few more seconds and check the consistency. You may need to add more or less breadcrumbs until the mixture is neither too wet nor too dry. The mixture should be a good consistency for forming patties. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place a silicon mat, parchment paper, or lightly grease a cookie sheet. Form the dough into balls and press into patties of the desired size. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the burgers and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Well, I guess that’s it for today. Not bad for a first post from a blog newbie!