Want Fries with That?

by Sherri Koehler on October 16, 2014

I’m embarrassed to admit there are no photos with this post. Not even an attempt with a phone photo. We were just too hungry.

There’s a bit of a hiatus going on with the Great Gluten-Free Vegan Burger experiment. We’re getting ready to go on a big trip, so I may not be making burgers again until November. However, in keeping with the theme, I am going to be trying to hunt down vegan burgers on our trip and will be writing about them here.

That said, we did have burgers this week, just not homemade. Trader Joe’s have their own label version of the great Wildwood Veggie Burgers. These burgers are really tasty, satisfying, hold together well enough to be cooked on a BBQ, but taste just as good done in a cast iron skillet.

It used to be that we’d stopped having these burgers because we thought the higher fat content in them gave Christie heartburn. After finding out about Christie’s gluten-intolerance it turns out it wasn’t the burgers, but the buns that were causing the problem! Now we’re able to enjoy them again.

A word about buns and bread in general. If you can find it, we cannot recommend Happy Campers Gluten-Free Bakery highly enough. We’re partial to their Stompin’ Good Seedy Buckwheat Molasses bread and everyone of the burgers seen on the blog during the experiment has been served on one of their Wild Buns. This Thanksgiving I’m looking forward to using their Burly Bird Buckwheat Stuffing mix.

The real stand out to this week’s burger dinner were the fries. Usually we make frozen fries. Yep, that’s the truth. Usually the skin on ones from TJ’s.

This week I wanted to use some Yukon Gold potatoes I’d picked up when I made lentil soup since I’m trying to use up a lot of produce before we’re gone. I decided I was going to try my hand at making homemade, convection roasted fries. I feel I under utilize the convection settings on our oven and have had some good luck with roasting potatoes before, so I set out to make our fries.

I cut up all the potatoes into thin slices, tossed in a bowl with a few tablespoons of avocado oil and a couple of teaspoons of the salt blend I’d picked up at Bob’s Red Mill recently. They took a little longer to roast than expected, but were so delicious that I’m posting with out a picture because we ate them all.  In November you can expect a recipe coming soon for these delicious, healthier & budget-mindful fries.

The Whole Grains Store has a bulk spice & herb section where I find “Montreal Seasoning” which contained salt, garlic, black pepper, chili flakes, and dill seed. It was an intriguing combination and smelled awesome, so I had to get some. It seemed like the perfect thing to roast fries with… was I ever right!


Black Bean BBQ Burgers

by Sherri Koehler on October 10, 2014

The newest entry into the Great Gluten-Free Vegan Burger Experiment is an attempt to make the BBQ Black Bean Burger from Joni Marie Newman’s cookbook, The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet.

I say “attempt” because some things didn’t quite go right, but that’s the whole point in experimentation!

The recipe is gluten-free to begin with, calling for 1/2 cup of soy flour. I assumed we had soy flour and so progressed along with soaking the TVP and adding it with the black beans to a bowl. This would be when I remembered the soy flour.

Quinoa flour, fava flour, besan (chickpea flour), 3 kinds of gluten-free flour mixes, millet flour, almond flour… and…. soy milk powder.

At this point I decided my track record with using gluten-free instant oats had been pretty good and subbed them in for 1/2 cup soy flour I did not have.

Although I decided to start with 2/3 of the BBQ Sauce called for in the recipe, it still seemed very wet. 1/4 of potato flakes was added and I didn’t add in the final 1/3 of the BBQ Sauce called for.

Since I’d gone with oats + potatoes, I wasn’t sure if the fridge might inhibit the water those would soak up, so I let it sit at room temperature in the microwave (a.k.a., “cat safe”).

I’ll admit that I wanted to try baking in the drop-biscuit cast iron since it has been working so well to make very nicely shaped, cooked burgers. That perhaps isn’t a big deal, but I did try to get tricky and cook them at the same time as the french fries. So shorter time, higher temp.

At the halfway point I realized I couldn’t really flip them easily. Nor at the end point. Since the fries too seemed a little off, I switched the oven onto the convection setting and stuck everything back in for 5 minutes. Fries out, burgers another 10 minutes at 325F convection setting. They set up some in the pan, but we finally ate them. Still a little mushy, but way tasty.

The burgers sat in the cast iron for a bit, until they cooled and I put all the leftovers away. By that time they were very nicely set. This morning I had one along with a hashbrown patty from TJ’s, slices of the volunteer tomato that showed up in my zinnias, and a little avocado.

This experiment will be attempted again, this time using soy flour and really watching the liquid added to the TVP. I did sauté the onions, since they were very strong, which may have made for more moisture too. I do really like using the oats, but will see how the soy flour and refrigeration works before changing anything.

Something just seemed too wet with this version using oats, even through they ended up as well shaped burgers that reheated nicely and hold together well. I will add one to the freezer collection as well to see how it does with thawing. It may be these are a “make ahead” burger (the variation with oats), so they bake, set, and are lightly cooked again to heat through.


Denver Omelet Burger Redux

September 28, 2014
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A while back, when we first got our copy of The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet the first recipe we tried was for the Denver Omelet Burger. While we really the idea, the resulting texture was described as pasty and it felt like the peppers and onions overwhelmed the vegan bac’n bits. I’ve always […]

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Kidney-Qunioa Burgers

September 21, 2014
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This week’s Burger Experiment comes to us from Lindsay S. Nixon‘s cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook. I have decided that in the Great Gluten-Free Burger Experiment I’m going to try substituting instant oats (GF, of course) any time I see Vital Wheat Gluten called for in a recipe. I also sub Tamari for anytime soy sauce […]

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Scarborough Fair Burger

September 15, 2014
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For over five years Christie has suffered from a severe, life-affecting cough. She’s seen several doctors, had all kinds of tests, and taken several different medications, but nothing really has solved the cough. This year we changed physicians and our new one immediately started doing several tests for food allergies and sensitivities that could be […]

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Regarding the Hot Wok Changes

September 14, 2014

Being an Open Letter to New Seasons Market: Dear New Seasons Market, I’ve decided to make this letter to you public as it is too long to put on a comment card. I’ve already filled out one comment card and have not yet heard back, I’ve seen minimal response to my complaints on social media […]

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Seared Lemon Tofu Experiment

September 10, 2014
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I’ve been experimenting with refrigerator lemon pickles for a couple of years now. Tonight I wanted to work with lemon and other Japanese flavors, but didn’t have any preserved lemons in the fridge. Rather than put off using up some fresh shiso I had on hand, I decided to experiment with using other methods to […]

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Farmstand Birthday Dinner

August 30, 2014
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40 days without a post! Yikes! Let me remedy that by sharing my birthday dinner. Really, it was the day after my birthday, because we were both too tired to make food after a picnic at the beach and a stop at a farmstand, two of my favorite things to do. I love finding good […]

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All Fired Up!

July 20, 2014
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I love to grill. Becoming vegan actually made me love grilling things even more. I’ve grilled all kinds of veggies, fruit, pizza, and even have made tea & wood smoked noodles with Kefir lime leaves. Yes, noodles, on a grill. What is shocking is that for the past several years I’ve been doing all this […]

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Jicama Crunch Salad

May 27, 2014
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This refreshing salad is packed with extra crunch from 4 crunchy veggies that are tossed with a sweet, tangy, and very slightly spicy dressing. It is the perfect kind salad to put together for a picnic. It stays crunchy and the dressing remains lightly coating everything because it doesn’t get watered down by all the […]

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