Friday, July 11, 2014

Macaroni Cheeseburger

Macaroni Cheeseburger 

I hav two incredibly simple recipes here. However, I only have a picture of one of the items. As I said in my last post, I have been doing a lot of experimentation with veggie burgers this week. The main recipe is something you see in most burger joints, and diner type restaurants in America. Macaroni and cheese is a lot like the burger: it’s very popular all over US, and there are loads of pre-made, or partially made, macaroni and cheese products you can buy in your regular grocery store. Some come in a box and require little more than water. Other are frozen and/or microwavable, or you can buy elbow macaroni and make your own sauce. If you go to the health food store (or a major grocery chain), you can even find gluten free, or dairy free (sometimes even vegan) easy to make mac-n-cheese meals these days. I am not including a recipe for macaroni and cheese, because basically all you do is boil some noodles and pour on the sauce. Most recipes for cheese sauce are nothing more than milk (soy, rice, dairy, etc), butter or margarine, and cheese of some kind. When I make mac-n-cheese for myself, I always throw in a bit of fresh broccoli or lima beans, or carrots, for the added vitamins and nutrients and because they are low in calories and filling. This means I eat less pasta and cheese sauce, but still get the same sized meal. I also like to add soy protein or TVP for similar reasons.

Recipe One: Macaroni and Cheese with meatless ground protein and veggies.

1 serving (enough to fill a small bowl about half way) of macaroni and cheese, most of the way cooked
¼ to ½   cup of peas, carrots, lima beans, spinach, or broccoli.
¼ cup Tofurkey Ground Beef Style

Instructions:  Mix the ingredients into the pot and cook on a low flame for ten to fifteen minutes until thoroughly heated. You can feel free to use a different brand or type of meat substitute. I think Tofurkey one is best because it has a nice, smoky flavoring. However, it tastes a lot like actual beef (at least I think it does. I haven’t eaten beef in 20 years so I could be way off). It also doesn’t dry out as easily as some other brands. However, vegetarian hotdogs or sausages are quite good with this dish as well. The same goes for any type of TVP, vegetarian crumbles, and diced veggie burgers if you’re in a bind.

Recipe two. Macaroni Cheeseburger

¼ cup ready made macaroni and cheese, fully cooked.
1 veggie burger
½ a slice of cheese: cut into thin, rectangular strips
1 pinch mustard or garlic powder
1 bun, roll, or 2 slices of bread (optional)

1.      Grill the burger on one side. I recommend using the toaster oven or a grill for this. Make sure to line it with tinfoil (which you can use over and over) so the cheese and pasta won’t fall off and get stuck in the coil or heat source..
2.      Mix the garlic and/or mustard with your macaroni and cheese sauce.
3.      Flip the burger over to the other side.
4.      Place the noodles and sauce on the burger patty, and flatten it out.
5.      Organize the strips of cheese on top of the mac-n-cheese to form a “piecrust” grid.
6.      Continue to cook for about five minutes (different burger brands are cooked slightly differently but you want to grill, broil, or bake this one instead of frying it with oil).
7.      Top with ketchup and/or mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and/or other veggies. Once again, this goes well with potatoes. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

BBQ "Bacon" Cheddar [Veggie] Burger

 Barbeque "Bacon" Cheddar [Veggie] Burger

2 teaspoons barbeque sauce (I’ll leave the brand up to you but I like KC Masterpiece)
1 veggie burger patty
1 slice cheddar cheese (vegan cheese is just as tasty but doesn’t melt as well)
1 slice of veggie bacon cut in half
1 onion ring (deep frying is optional)
Optional Dinner Roll, bread slices, or bun

  1. Lightly marinade the burger in the barbeque sauce and place it on the grill, in the broiler or toaster oven or in a frying pan (microwave works too but personally I find it makes the burger too chewy) and cook it for about ten minutes, five per side. I think a George Foreman grill would work too.  
  2. If cooking the onion yourself start that next, with a bit of hot oil because it takes the longest
  3. Cook the bacon in a separate frying pan. Once again microwaving is acceptable but not quite as good. Do not cook it all the way through, you want to leave it slightly underdone, especially since meatless bacon is more apt to burn.  This takes about one minute but watch it closely for obvious reasons.
  4. Because the cheese is square and the bread/patty round, I like to trim it into a circular piece but it is going to melt so this is not necessary.
  5. Place the cheese on top of the burger and then add the bacon pieces on top of that and place on the grill or in the broiler/toaster oven at 375 degrees. Cook for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Toast or grill your bread if using any, and put it open face on the plate.
  7. Place your burger on your plate, on top of the (optional) bun. Top with the onion and—if you like—a little more barbeque sauce.
  8. Serve with a fruit or veggie side dish, and/or potatoes (mashed, fries, chips, baked, etc.), and enjoy.

Notes: I’ve been trying a lot of new kinds of veggie burgers lately. I’m a huge fan of anything from Amy’s brand because they are dedicated to providing healthy ingredients, no GMOs, all 100% vegetarian, and they have been around for a long time. I’ve been eating Amy’s stuff for almost as long as I have been a vegetarian. A friend recently recommended the Engine 2 stuff. So far I’ve only tried the curried lentil flavor but it was good. A bit on the dry side but good. There are a lot of options for several of the ingredients. These days you can walk into any grocery store, in any town in America, and find at least one brand of veggie burgers, and probably several other meatless items. You’ll probably even find vegan cheese, gluten free food items. If you’re like me, and live in the suburbs, you can try a different flavor and brand of veggie burger for every day of the year!  Additionally, you get to choose your sauce here. Some people like to make their own, while others prefer store bought. As for the meatless bacon, there are a few different types including Morning Star Farms and Tofurkey (though that one is made from tempheh, which I have never liked).  Also, there are tons of different types of breads or rolls you can put your veggie burger on. This last burger I made protein style because I feel like the bread is too filling and with all these ingredients it can get soggy. Because I’ve been trying out new types of veggie burgers right now, I’m planning to post a couple of new recipes in the next week or two. So, be on the look out!