Thinking Outside the Box

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”  Virginia Woolf

I recently stumbled across a book  “Oh She Glows Every Day” by Toronto’s own Angela Liddon.  This is Angela’s second book and her first book was on the New York Times bestseller’s list.   I am a little behind the scenes because I just heard of Angela Liddon a few months ago.  Her book is plant-based recipes and she is a vegan.  I am not a vegan, however, I have been eating less meat and I rarely eat red meat, mostly chicken  and fish.  Cooking has been a chore for me lately and that’s not like me as I love to cook.  The truth be told, I am totally bored, apathetic and disengaged with cooking.  I like to get a healthy dose of vegetables in my diet but I run out of ideas for cooking veggies and I am extremely bored of salads.  A friend of mine started posting her daily new creations from “Oh She Glows” on instagram and her posts caught my interest.  After gazing through Angela’s book at the local Costco, I bought the recipe book and began cooking and thinking outside the box.  Plant based cooking will be a challenge in my house as I live amongst definite carnivores.  My oldest son is taking a foods class in school and during a presentation about vegan food, he and his buddies chanted “Vegans aren’t right” to the bewilderment of his teacher.  Of course my youngest, well he thinks vegetables will poison him and my husband….he likes his meat but open to the concept of not eating as much meat, but he has a long way to go to being “open minded”.   Below I am sharing Angela’s “Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers from “Oh She Glows Every Day”. Click here to go Angela’s blog where she shares many recipes and enlightens us with her genuine and authentic soul.  Oh She Glows Blog

Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers

Ingredients:

For the burgers:
  • 1 1/4 pounds (565 g) sweet potato or butternut squash (2 cups of  sweet potato or butternut squash)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (100 g) walnuts, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup (75 g) hulled sunflower or pepita seeds
  • 2/3 cup (95 g) finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) minced garlic (6 or 7 large cloves)
  • Two (14-ounce/398 mL) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (14 to 21 g) 9-Spice Mix (p. 258, Oh She Glows Every Dayor this one, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup (8 g) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) Easy Barbecue Sauce (p. 255), or store-bought
  • 1 cup (70 g) spelt bread crumbs or breadcrumbs of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons (17 g) gluten-free oat flour
Topping suggestions:
  • Homemade Vegan Mayo (p. 269) or this one, or store-bought
  • Easy Barbecue Sauce (p. 255), or store-bought
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sliced tomato

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups. Spread the cubes over the baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 15 to 20 minutes more, until fork-tender.
  3. In a large skillet, toast the chopped walnuts over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Transfer the walnuts to an extra-large bowl (trust me when I say extra-large as there is a lot of dough to mix).
  4. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir to combine, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Transfer to the bowl with the walnuts.
  5. In a food processor, pulse the beans until you have a mixture of bean paste, chopped beans, and fully intact beans. Be careful not to overprocess them, as you still want a bit of texture. Transfer the beans to the bowl. (You can also mash by hand if necessary.)
  6. Measure out 2 lightly packed cups of the roasted sweet potato and transfer to the large bowl. With a fork, mash the potato into the other ingredients in the bowl until the potato is almost smooth.
  7. Add the 9-Spice Mix, salt, parsley, barbecue sauce, bread crumbs, and oat flour to the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. You can knead the dough together with your hands if that’s easier, or just keep stirring (it’s a great arm workout!). Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.
  8. Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of the dough and shape it into a round, uniform patty, packing it tightly as you rotate the patty in your hands. Place the patty on the lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 11 or 12 patties total, setting them at least an inch apart.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F (190°C), gently flip with a spatula, and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more, until firm and lightly golden. Cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving (this helps them firm up). Serve the patty in a bun along with your desired toppings. We love the combo of vegan mayo, BBQ sauce, avocado, lettuce, and tomato!
  10. Let any leftover patties cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also wrap the patties individually in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag with the air sucked out, and freeze for 3 to 4 weeks. Thaw completely on the counter or in the fridge before reheating in a greased skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side.

Tips:

  • Tip You will need 2 cups of roasted sweet potato (or butternut squash) for this burger recipe. Any leftover roasted potato or squash can be served alongside the burgers, so feel free to make extra.
  • Make it gluten-free Use gluten-free bread crumbs instead of spelt bread crumbs.
  • Make it nut-free Use hulled sunflower seeds or pepita seeds instead of walnuts.
  • Make it kid-friendly Shape small patties and serve them on slider buns. They are the perfect size for precious hands! You may also consider reducing the spice mix slightly depending on how much your kids enjoy spice.
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