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Memories of Szechuan

Yesterday we learned a hard lesson: Never eat these before and interval workout.

Szechuan Chickpea patties.

Don’t get us wrong, these are really, really good. They have a fabulous texture, and amazing flavour, but they just don’t sit well when you try and run your brains out in 35 degree weather.

Beans + workout = bad call Julie and Brittany. Oh well, live and learn. And lets be real we only regret eating them a little bit – they were so yummy!

Our plan was to make lots and freeze them so we had a bunch on hand for quick lunches and meals (that’s the name of the game during the school year!) but this recipe ended up making a wopping 5 patties. Looks like we’re just going to have to make more! 🙂

We suggest that everyone who likes szechuan make these, we promise you won’t be disappointed! Just don’t eat them before a workout. 😉

Szechuan Chickpea Burgers

Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Makes: ~5 burgers

Ingredients:

3 c. cooked chickpeas
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c. finely diced onion
1/2 c. finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 tbsp siracha (or other hot sauce)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, mash chickpeas until they reach a past-like consistency with a few chunks.
Add all other ingredients and stir until fully incorporated and everything is evenly combined.
Heat some coconut or olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Using a 1/2-cup at a time, form the mixture into patties.  Place in the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and the outsides are slightly crispy.

~twosaucysisters

What kinds of foods do you like to make big batches of to freeze for later?
Have you ever eaten something that didn’t sit well for a workout later on?

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The Lunch that Almost Wasn’t

Yesterday was just one of those days.

You know the kind where you just can’t seem to think of anything that gets your appetite going, and yet everything you eat turns out to be incredible!

It started with yesterday’s breakfast.  Seriously people, there is no better way to start your day than with a beautiful stack of decadent pancakes…. with ice cream 😉

It ended with a good ol’ basket of fish n’ chips (healthy of course!) with an out-of-this-world peach dipping sauce.  We promsie we won’t keep that recipe from you for long!

But yesterday, it was lunch that was the real test.

We couldn’t think of anything to make, and yet we came up with one of the most delicious vegetarian burgers we have ever made!

Here’s how it all went down:

1. open the fridge and find chickpeas and black beans.  Can’t decide which ones to use.

2. Decide to use both.

3. find ourselves unable to ignore the giant pile of zucchini on the counter.

4. Grate some zucchini.

5. …burgers, anyone?

So there’s not really a connection between grated zucchini and burgers, but that’s where our thought process went anyways, and are we sure glad it did!  The rest of the procedure was just an exercise in gluing.  Vegetarian burgers are actually quite easy to make, but the tricky part is making sure that they stick together in the pan.  No one wants a crumbly burger!

And of course, every veggie burger needs a delicious sauce.  In this case, hummus   came through for us once more! A smooth and creamy Berbere-Hummus sauce adorned this delicious creation.

We got the idea for the Berbere-spiced hummus sauce from here. We made that recipe a few days ago, and LOVED it! We had a bunch of leftover spice mix, and thought it would be awesome as a sauce for these burgers. We were right.

So here’s what we did for the sauce: mixed a 1/4 c. of our favourite hummus with 1 tbsp of this Berbere seasoning, and added 2 tbsp of water to thin it out and give it a more sauce-like consistency.

From the burger to the sauce, this recipe is so simple, so quick, and so delicious.

Zucchini-Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 small zucchini, grated

1/2 c. each chickpeas and black beans

2 tbsp finely diced onion

1 tsp oat flour

1 tsp water

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp hot pepper relish

pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the beans together, leaving a few larger pieces for texture. Add all other ingredients and mix together until the mixture comes together when packed.

Separate mixture into 2 equal-sized portions and form into patties.  Wet your hands to avoid having it all stick to your fingers!

Heat a pan with a little olive oil.  Carefully place burgers onto the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned.  Carefully flip over and cook for another 5 minutes.

~twosaucysisters

ps- congratulations to the Canadian Women’s soccer team, who won the bronze medal today!  This was the first time since 1963 that Canada has won a medal in a traditional team sport 😉

Do you like vegetarian burgers?  What do you do when you can’t decide what to eat?

Pork n’ Beans

Such a classic combination.

Of course, we really like the bean part, better. Actually, we’d prefer the beans sans-pork.  You see, we’re not really pork people.  We don’t like bacon, and we find pork often has just too much blubber, even the lean cuts.

But then, we had a brain-wave! What’s the best way to have meat? In a burger, of course!

A Pork n’ Beans burger. De-ee-licious!

First, let’s talk about the beans. They were sweet, savoury, tangy and rich, while still being entirely healhy, not full of the added salt and sugar of canned baked beans.  They were so buttery tasting, it was heaven! Not to mention they are really easy to make. Toss everything in the slow cooker at noon and you’ve got delicious beans by dinner.

These were so friggin delicious- we wished we had made at least a quadruple batch of them!  We’re pretty certain that we could’ve polished off four times the amount we made between just the two of us.  They were that good.

Slow-Cooker “Baked” Beans

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: ~4hrs

Ingredients:

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 c. crushed tomatoes (we used no-salt added)

1/4 c. molasses

2 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Worchester Sauce

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to mix evenly.  Cook for 2 hours on high and then 2 hours on low.

And now to the burgers!

Oh baby! Now this is how pork should be eaten.

Stacked up…

Squished down!

As it is obvious, we enjoyed these burgers pool-side. Is there really any other way to have a burger in the summer?

These burgers are great because they are purely meat and beans, with some extra ingredients for flavour. No eggs, no breadcrumbs. We are able to do this because of the same burger trick that we used when we made the Curry Burgers. With this trick, our burgers never fall apart on the grill! The trick? Blend half of the meat (and beans, in this case) in the food processor, making a paste-like mixture that acts like glue to keep the burgers together.  You then add the rest of the meat and slightly mashed up beans to the paste by hand.

   

We weighed the batter, and figured out that using 2lbs of ground pork and one can of beans, each patty should weigh 5.5 – 5.6 ounces.

This gave us ten big, delicious burgers. Leftovers, anyone?

Topped with our “baked” beans, ladies and gentlemen, this is summer at it’s absolute finest.  It really doesn’t get better than this- unless, of course, the meal ended with something chocolate… which may have happened 😉

Omnomnomnom

Good to the last bite.

Pork n’ Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

2 lbs. lean ground pork

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp worchester sauce

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 clove garlic

Directions:

In the food processor, blend 1 lb of ground pork, 2/3 of the can of beans, the molasses, worchester, maple syrup, and garlic until you have a sticky paste.

In a large bowl, slightly mash up the remaining beans.  Add the other pound of pork, along with the meat and bean mixture and mix together with your hands.

Form into patties (ours weighed 5.5-5.6 oz each)

Grill on low for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Top with slow-cooker baked beans, and any other toppings you desire!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like pork and beans? What’s your favourite  way to eat them?

A Burger by Any Other Name

I am not a crazy red meat person.  I enjoy a good steak on occasion, and am learning to appreciate more and more the uniqueness of bison and elk, but it’s not something I would typically order at a restaurant or really ever make at home. Once or twice in the summer, tops. But there is one way in which I crave beef, and I’m talking mouth watering, day dreaming, nothing else will satisfy it.

Burgers.

I adore them! There are so many things you can do with burgers, so many topping options, bun options, flavours, cheese or no cheese- the list is endless! With summer now upon us, and Food Buzz’s Flavour of the Month being burgers, Brit and I decided we had better get to burger making!

We didn’t, however, want to make an ordinary, ‘normal’ flavoured burger (though those are delicious!), we wanted to be a bit more creative. After turning over a few ideas, we settled on and East-indian/ Trinidad and Tobago influence – Curry!

And you know what? It was a damn good idea! They were so juicy and loaded with flavour! In the past, we have struggled with creating a recipe in which the patties would actually hold together when put on the BBQ, but we came up with a sure-fire method that will guarantee non-crumbly burger! The trick? Whipping half your beef mixture around in the food processor – it turns into a “glue” as my dad so aptly named it, but by adding the other half in manually afterwards keeps that same delicious burger texture!

Of course, one can’t simply throw any old toppings on a curry-infused beef patty and call it a burger! We knew to make this a winner, we had to put together something that would compliment the burger while not taking away from the flavour of the burger itself. We decided on two: A savoury/fruity chutney (fruit in a savoury dish=best!) and a coconut-lime yogurt spread. Finish off with a crisp leaf or two of lettuce and darlin’, you’ve got yourself a home-run!

*The chutney you will definitely want to make ahead, as it takes a couple hours and has to chill afterwards, as well. There are a few different methods that can be used to make it, but each still takes time to allow the flavours to fully develop.

Paired with a light sweet n’ sour cabbage salad (recipe tomorrow!), this is the perfect meal at the end of a hot summer day. Or any day. 😉

And with that I leave you with not one, not two, but THREE recipes! Go crazy!

Juicy Curry Burgers

Prep time: 20min

Cook time: 20min (ish)

Servings: 10 4oz. patties

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef, divided (it’s best to use beef that hasn’t been frozen, or allowed to thaw fully in the fridge)

1/2 c. greek yogurt

1/2 c. bread crumbs, divided

1 clove garlic

1/8th of an onion

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

black pepper

Directions:

Put one pound of the beef in the food processor along with 1/4 c. of the bread crumbs, yogurt, onion, garlic and spices. Blend until a smooth, mashed-potato like texture. Transfer to large bowl and mix remaining beef and bread crumbs. Shape into patties, 4oz each. Grill on low to medium heat, flipping occasionally, until burgers are cooked through (71 C/160 F). Take you whole grain bun, start with lettuce on the bottom, followed by chutney (recipe below) and the burger placed on top. On the top half of the bun, spread yogurt (recipe also below!).

Peachy-Tomato Chutney

Total Time: 2-3 hours

Makes: 3-4c.

Ingredients:

1 28oz. can no-salt added tomatoes (we used whole and cut them into chunks)

2 c. canned or fresh peaches, chopped

1/3 c. honey

2 tsbp Arrow root flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. mustard seed

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 c. red onion

Directions:

Bread Maker Method: If you have a bread maker, simply put all the ingredients into the machene, select the “preserves” setting and let er’ go! Once finish, transfer to a container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Stove-top Method: Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer forone hour. Transfer to another container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Slow-cooker Method: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for one hour or so, then transfer to another container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.

Coconut-Lime Yogurt Spread

Total time: 5 min

Ingredients:

2/3 c. greek yogurt

1-2 tsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Directions:

Combine and enjoy!

– Julie

Do you like burgers?

What’s your favourite burger combination?