mediterranean burger

Happy Thursday! A bit of recap: if you haven't yet entered to win The Vegan Air Fryer cookbook by JL Fields, why not enter now? Contest ends June 26, 2017, and is open to US residents. Enter HERE.

This week's sandwich is another burger, but this one features a homemade patty. I was in the mood for something Greek or Mediterranean and something with olives and sun-dried tomatoes. And speaking of air fryers, you can pan fry these or air fry them.


This version of Mediterranean Burger (as I am sure there are quite a few!) features a tzaziki type of sauce, meaning it is yogurt and cucumber based.

The patty is made with white beans, kalamata olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and oregano. It features a lot of those familiar flavors from the region. It's actually a simple burger to put together.


The binding is dried bread crumbs and I was pushing the envelope in this case because I wanted to see how much is too much crumbs. It turns out the limit lies between a half cup and three-quarters cup, depending on the moisture of your beans. If you add too much the burger goes from being too soft to being so dry that it crumbles.

The burger has some delightful pops of flavor because of the minced sun-dried tomatoes and olives and it gets a hefty kick because of the garlic in the sauce. Enjoy!





Mediterranean Burger
Makes 4 burgers 

Tzaziki Sauce:
1/2 cup shredded cucumbers
1/2 cup vegan unsweetened yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper

Patty:
1 3/4 cups cannellini beans
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup kalamata olives
4 halves sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (not panko)

Other:
4 burger buns, toasted
Sliced tomatoes
Slices red onions
Baby spinach

1. Sauce: Squeeze the moisture from the shredded cucumber using your hands. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, tahini, herb, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste, a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. 
2. Patty: Add the beans, garlic, parsley, olives, tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until only a few beans are left discernible. Remove to a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Set aside for 5 minutes and check if you need to add more crumbs. Don’t add more than a few tablespoons more. Season to taste. Form the mixture into 4 patties that fit your bun and air fry or pan fry. 
3. Assemble the burgers: bottom bun, spinach, onion, tomato, burger, sauce and top bun. Serve immediately. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


cappuccino ice cream

A new thing with me: every week I am going to try to make some kind of sweet or desert for the family. This is a big step for me because I'm not one with a sweet tooth, but after a few decades of living with these folks, I now realize that they might be endowed with the taste for sweets.

Last week I made Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Everyday Vegan Eats, my first cookbook. This week I made ice cream. I made aquafaba ice cream and it is creamy and delicious! I tweaked a recipe from my book, Aquafaba and made, as per requested, Cappuccino Ice Cream.

The original version is Chocolate, and the recipe can be found HERE. It is on my publisher's site.




This version is soy based. Because I know there are people who are allergic to soy, people who are allergic to nuts and people who've just about had it with everything tasting like coconuts, I've included three versions of ice cream in my book, each with its own base: soy, cashew and coconut.

It is highly, HIGHLY important that you warm up your ice cream before eating it. If it is too frozen, it will not have the proper texture of creaminess. Leave it out about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature and the size of the container.

I store my ice cream in 1-cup containers that are about 3/4 full. The smaller containers are ideal because they are individual servings and you don't keep thawing and re-freezing the ice cream, which creates ice crystals. I got mine HERE.

Here is the recipe of the cappuccino ice cream in pictures:

(1) After cooking the base and whipping the meringue, temper the base by folding in a large scoop of meringue:


(2) After tempered, add all of the meringue and fold to incorporate well:


(3) Chill this overnight. After chilling, mix it gently because separation is normal:


(4) Add the mixture to an ice cream machine:


(5) At this point it is amazing as is, as soft serve, and you should enjoy it if you can:


(6) Or you can freeze it:


(7) If frozen make sure to warm it to the proper temperature before enjoying:






Cappuccino Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart 

Although this ice cream hardens in the freezer, it will soften perfectly after a few minutes out of the freezer because of the addition of glucose syrup. If you’d like to omit the glucose syrup, add three more tablespoons sugar to the base. 

Cream Base
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
3 cups plain unsweetened soymilk, divided
1/2 cup lightly packed mashed firm tofu, rinsed before mashing
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
5 tablespoons nondairy butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated organic sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules (regular or decaf)
2 tablespoons glucose syrup or light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Meringue
1/3 cup aquafaba (see Note)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated organic sugar

1. Cream Base: Combine the starch with 1/4 cup of the milk to form a slurry and set aside. Combine 1 cup of the milk, the tofu, cinnamon and psyllium husk powder in a blender. Blend until very smooth. With the blender running, add the melted butter in a slow, steady stream to emulsify.
2. Transfer the tofu mixture to a medium saucepan. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, sugar, coffee, glucose syrup, and salt to the saucepan. Stir well with a whisk and bring to a boil over medium heat, making sure all the cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Add the starch slurry and reduce to a simmer, gently stirring until slightly thickened. Remove the cream base from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the cream base to a medium bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Meringue: Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whisk, whip the aquafaba for 10 seconds. Using a balloon whip attachment, whip the aquafaba on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the aquafaba can hold stiff peaks and is climbing the side of the bowl. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the course of 3 minutes and continue to whip until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 more minutes. 
4. Add a large scoop of the meringue to the cooled cream base and mix well. Add the rest of the meringue to the tempered cream base and fold to mix thoroughly. Chill in the refrigerator until completely cold, about 8 hours.  It is normal if the cream base has separated somewhat overnight. Gently mix the chilled base and, using an ice cream machine, churn the cream as instructed by the manufacturer.  Enjoy it as soft-serve immediately or transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze. Allow the ice cream to soften 10 to 20 minutes before serving if completely frozen.

Note: Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using. 



© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

"the vegan air fryer" + giveaway

The Vegan Air Fryer cookbook is here! Air fryers have become quite the rage and everyone from Becky Striepe of Glue and Glitter to JL Fields (the author of this new cookbook) has been frying up amazing dishes using little to no oil.

Even I have an air fryer (or two) and I, too, have been wondering when a vegan cookbook will hit the shelves. As it turns out, my publisher, Vegan Heritage Press, published the first vegan air fryer cookbook, written by JL Fields of JL Goes Vegan site: The Vegan Air Fryer [Amazon, B&N]


I have a very fancy air fryer (combo dehydrator, toaster oven, proofer, etc.) from Breville (thanks to in2insight!!), so I was very excited to see what kind of recipes JL created.

Fries, of course, would top anyone's list of things to make in an air fryer, and JL delivers with her Seasoned French Fries (page 44). The fries are made using fresh potatoes and a few seasonings. They come out beautifully crisp and delectable.

Since I am using a combo air fryer I had to up the temp on my oven and increase the time a bit, but this has nothing to do with JL's recipes, and everything to do with my oven. If you have a Breville Smart Oven, keep that in mind, but otherwise follow the recipe and you should be golden - very much like the fries.


JL has a few potato recipes in the book, which is not really a surprise since potatoes are perfect to cook in the air fryer. So, I couldn't resist making another potato recipe, this time these gorgeous Hasselback Potatoes (page 90).


And then there are recipes to accommodate sides such as those potatoes or Onion Rings (page 80), Cheesy Dill Polenta Bites (page 74), Balsamic Herbed Tomatoes (page 68) or Fried Avocado (page 53).

Such recipes as Mongolian Tofu (page 104), Tempeh Kabobs (page 110), Baked Spaghetti or this Chick'n Fried Steak (page 128), adds to your repertoire of cooking main-worthy meals in your air fryer.


No air fryer cooking is worth its weight in salt if it does not have a great selection of appetizers and snacks. The Vegan Air Fryer cookbook has those in spades. It includes Vegetable Egg Rolls (page 40), Jalapeno Poppers (page 47), Air-fried Pretzels (page 57) or Buffalo Cauliflower, below, (page 72).


The book is full of recipes to use in the air fryer, including many familiar ones that I, for one, was looking forward to seeing in such a book. And then there are more creative recipes to make in your fryer, such as Breakfast (Pan)cakes (page 26), Szekely Goulash Pastry Bites (page 52), Corn Dogs (page 116) and Doughnut Holes (page 20).

How about you take a recipe for a spin, and how about that recipe being the Doughnut Holes I just mentioned? Try the recipe and then enter the contest to win your own copy of The Vegan Air Fryer by JL Fields. Contest is open to US residents and will end June 26. Please leave a comment to enter and BE SURE I have a way to contact you. If I can't, I will choose another winner. Good luck!

Photo by Michelle Donner.





Doughnut Holes

These air-fried doughnut holes are fun to cook -- and eat. Enjoy them for breakfast or as a snack. They make for a great dessert, too. (From The Vegan Air Fryer, copyright © 2017 by JL Fields. Used by permission. Photo by Michelle Donner.)

2 tablespoons cold nondairy butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, divided
1 tablespoon Ener-G brand egg replacer powder or your favorite vegan egg yolk replacement
2 tablespoons water
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain or vanilla nondairy yogurt
1 to 2 spritzes canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar and mix well, using your hands until
clumps form. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the egg replacer with the water. Add it to the butter and sugar and mix well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Fold in the yogurt. Mix until a dough is formed.

Roll pieces of dough into 18 (1-inch) balls and arrange them on a large baking sheet or piece of parchment paper.

Grease the air fryer with the oil. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F for 3 minutes. Transfer the doughnut holes to the air fryer basket. Cook for 8 minutes, shaking halfway through the cooking time. 

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon on a plate. Roll the hot doughnut holes lightly in the cinnamon sugar before transferring them to a baking rack to cool.

Makes 18 doughnut holes





california dog

Veggie dogs have come a long way since we first went vegan. I remember the rubbery, tasteless veggie dogs of yore, but I know that all things start somewhere, as did veggie dogs.



Nowadays there are all kinds of veggie dogs, commercial, homemade and even carrot dogs. So, this post isn't about how to make a homemade dog - it is about how to dress your dog.

It turns out that there are a variety of regional dogs, from Italian Dogs to Chicago Dogs and this California Dog.



California Dogs come dressed with avocado, basil crema, carrot, roasted corn, lettuce, cucumber, jalapeno and vegan bacon - or as I like to refer to them - smoky, baked tofu (excuse me for being tired as all get out over "bacon").

Since throwing this together is easy, why not take your dog around a block you haven't circled, yet?







California Dog
Makes 4 sandwiches 

Basil Crema:
4 tablespoons nondairy sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped basil leaves 
2 scallions, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper

Topping:
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 carrot, finely shredded
2 slices vegan bacon, fried and chopped

Other:
4 dog buns, toasted
4 veggie dogs, pan fried or cooked

1. Sauce: Combine the sour cream, basil, scallion, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Cook the dogs in a 1/4 teaspoon oil, if desired. 
3. Assemble the sandwiches: toasted bun, sauce, veggie dog, avocado, lettuce, corn, cucumber, more sauce, carrot, bacon and jalapeno. Serve immediately. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


shooter's sandwich

I stumbled on a British sandwich that apparently became quite popular a few years ago because someone in a column somewhere claimed it was the BEST sandwich in the universe -  or something to that effect.

I assumed that Shooter's sandwich meant in the sense of shooting a shot of liquor - that's where my mind went to - but when I asked my daughter her opinion, she thought of shooting a gun or hunting. Turns out she was right: Shooter's sandwich became a thing because someone can shoot a gun while aiming at animals to kill and eat at the same time. Great.



I am instead claiming the word "shooter" (in this instance) to mean shooting a camera - as in "he's one of the best shooters of wildlife in all of professional photography" (credit: Merriam-Webster site).

Originally, the sandwich was a sort of portable Wellington - steak, mushrooms, horseradish, mustard and bread. The sandwich is pressed overnight so that once cut into, nothing falls out.

This, of course, is way too involved a project when I'm hungry, and, thus, here is my version of this camera-ready sandwich. Okay, maybe you need two hands to hold it. A sacrifice worth an overnight stint under a pile of cast iron pans.



I used mushrooms and kale as the base of the sandwich, topped it with some crunchy cucumber slices and slathered with horseradish-Dijon sauce. Broil the bread instead of toast it - this way, the inside stays soft and the outside is crisp. Toasting it just makes it way too crisp.

Enjoy!








Shooter's Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches 

Horseradish-Dijon Sauce:
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons vegan mayo (optional - I skipped it)

Filling:
10 ounces mushrooms, cut thick (about 1/4 -inch)
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon neutral oil or vegetable broth (I used the oil so the mushrooms can caramelize)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari

Other:
4 slices bread, toasted (broiled) on one side
12 slices cucumbers

1. Sauce: Combine the mustard, horseradish and mayonnaise (if using) in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. 
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until the mushrooms give off moisture, about 6 minutes. Add the kale and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the oil, garlic, paprika and season with black pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are golden brown but do not burn the garlic. Add the tamari and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat 
3. Assemble the sandwiches: bottom toast, sauce, mushroom mixture, cucumber slices and top toast. Serve immediately. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

reuben burger

Burgers are sandwiches, and if anyone has followed this blog, knows that I am a huge burger fan. Check out my five top picks from MoFo 2014, starting with this Schnitzel Burger:


For me, typically, burger making is from scratch - meaning that at least the patty is homemade. This time, though, I wanted to make a burger that was fast - and that meant using a prepared veggie patty. On this occasion, the bun is homemade but not the patty.

In our house, this also means that five different people will have five different favorite veggie patties: Boca, Quorn, Engine 2, Beyond Meat or Field Roast (this one is the family's pick, if they had a choice). I am more of a vegetable veggie patty person, but the rest of the fam leans more toward vegan meats, like the Field Roast, Beyond Meat or Quorn.


Having chosen our favorite patties, I thawed them and seasoned them with onion and garlic granules before cooking them. Then I added homemade Spicy Thousand Island sauce and fresh shredded cabbage, as well as sauerkraut.

Really couldn't be much simpler. You can, of course, add some cheese while cooking the burger (use a lid to cover the burger to melt the cheese because vegan cheese needs moisture to melt - otherwise it looks like plastic melted on your sandwich).

Have at it! Enjoy!







Reuben Burger
Makes 4 burgers 

Spicy Thousand Island Sauce:
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons dill relish
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Other:
4 vegan burger patties (of choice), thawed
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Oil spray or olive oil
4 burger buns, toasted
1 cup sauerkraut 
1/2 cup shredded cabbage


1. Sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and cayenne in a small bowl. Mix wel and set aside. 
2. Season the burger patties with onion and garlic powder and salt. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the oil or spray with oil. Cook the patties until golden. 
3. Assemble the burgers: bottom bun, sauce, burger, sauerkraut, cabbage and top bun. Serve immediately. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.