Just a quick post to talk about how I squeezed yet one more meal out of my pepper pot soup and Hoppin’ John. If you remember from past posts, I made a huge batch of super easy, super tasty pepper pot soup- far too much as it turned out. I froze some of the surplus for a later quick meal, and then used the rest in our New Year Hoppin’ John.
That recreated the problem- adding all the beans and rice again gave us too much to eat at one meal. I added some to my FITR salad the next day- yum- but I did not want the second dinner of a new year to be a repeat. So instead I pulled a very handy leftovers trick- I made vegan patties for dinner. In this case it was even easier than usual. I simply used pressure with a burger-press, and then heated them in the oven. They held together well because of the beans and cooked veggies, and with a bit of salad and tzatziki they made a very nice light meal quite unlike the hearty stew of the day before.
Of course, vegetarians and vegans did not invent the idea of using leftovers for patties, but they have certainly opened my eyes to their versatility. Many Fridays after swimming I lunch at a local vegetarian café and the delicious patty variations never fail to please. I hope to offer some recipes in the coming months, but in the meantime I will provide some ideas and a quick formula so you can experiment yourself:
Making Vegetarian or Vegan Patties
First, you do not need a burger press, you can simply form the patties with your hands. But if you make patties frequently you might like the way a press makes them a consistent size and allows for more pressure to help hold them together more firmly. You can find all styles and sizes of press, go with whatever suits you.
1- Cooked Leftovers: veggies, grains, whatever. Be imaginative here- really you can throw in anything you cooked the night before (you can also use shredded raw root vegetables, or add a few chopped raw veggies to the patties). I’ve had patties made of millet, rice, shredded beets, quinoa, beans, turnips, hash browns, and many more. They have contained leafy greens, onion, peas, mushrooms, tofu, even vegetarian meat- the list is endless, and I’ve rarely had one that I did not like.
2- Binder/glue: Meat-eaters often use egg to bind burgers and patties. Similarly, vegetarians often use egg substitute or a flax egg, but there are many other choices, too. Beans, legumes, and cooked root vegetables are good for holding patties together. You can add chopped veggies and beans or lentils into the patties and then if you require extra “holding power”, also add some more blended beans. Some people use breadcrumbs or rolled oats to help bind, and you can also use nut flours (simply grind any nuts to powder).
3- Seasonings: Again the possibilities are endless, from none at all, to strong seasonings like curry. Experiment.
-Mix all ingredients together until you get a texture you like.
-Bake or fry. If you used raw chopped or shredded veggies, you will need to cook them through, otherwise you really only need to heat or brown them, depending on the texture you are aiming for. You can use oil or dry heat.
-Serve. You can serve with a sauce, in a bun, however you like them.
How cinchy is that?