May 3, 2011

black bean burger and feta


Another of Tami's recipes from her upcoming cookbook - Grills Gone Vegan.

This is a Black Bean Burger. Don't think this is another of those homemade veggie bean burgers that is all mushy and really tastes homemade; nope! This one is meaty, firm, smoky and delicious.

I formed mine more in order of a big fat, meat burger - and boy, was it a mouthful! The kids were complaining a bit, but that is because they've never actually had a burger made of meat- not even a flabby, thin Mc'D's one, so this threw them for a loop.

David and I really enjoyed it, though, and the thickness was not a deterrent. This is a wonderful recipe. It is hard to imagine Tami topping her Incrediburger, but she's done it. Oh...and those buns are also a tester from her book. Very easy to make, whole wheat, Onion Buns. If bread is this easy to make, this delicious and still whole grain, why would we need to spend $5 on a package of buns?

I topped mine with my Feta Cheese. I've made this recipe before, but every time it has come out a bit firm. I made a mistake somewhere along the agar-tofu-way and they came out just like real feta! I have to figure out where I went right and get a recipe up. It was fantastic!

May 1, 2011

Vine and Dine, south of the border pizza

I could swear that Tami Noyes' biggest job - next to creating mouthwatering recipes - is to dream up ways to get us bloggers active. On top of her Food Network Friday Challenges to veganize Food TV recipes, now she has come up with Vine and Dine. In these cookalongs we are following one particular vegan recipe and choose a wine to accompany the meal. This is all lovely, except for those not well immersed in wine-lore. We would be among those folks. Luckily I was able to pass the wine baton to my husband who after a little coaxing agreed to take on  the wine part of the challenge. I think I got the better deal.

First the food: This is a recipe from The Vegan Table. Beans on pizza are not a combination most people think of as compatible, and neither did we at first. Fortunately it all worked out. The crust contains cornmeal which keeps in tune with the Tex-Mex theme. The toppings are typical of the theme as well, vegan cheese, jalapeno, beans, salsa and sour cream. Although I wouldn't have beans on my pizza again, it nevertheless made one very interesting meal.

The Wine: My hubby will be covering the write-up of the wine:

When my wife told me we would be doing the Vine and Dine with a Southwest Pizza, I was skeptical. I wasn’t keen on a non-traditional take on a family favorite but I try to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to my favorite chef’s creative interpretations of certain recipes. I was given the task of picking the wine to be paired with this unusual pizza preparation and I immediately started thinking of a red.

I don’t really have much of a nose for wines, I prefer libations with far fewer variations and more of a straight to the point affect, and I should have paid closer attention. I started looking for an organic vegan red and got so wrapped up in checking the label that when I found “Vegan Friendly” and “Organic” on a bottle of Our Daily Red, I overlooked the screw top on the bottle. After getting the bottle of wine home, I was loath to go back out to correct my mistake; we decided to give this selection a chance, although we doubted it had much of one.

I will start by saying that the Southwest Pizza was a pleasant surprise and turned out to be excellent. Pairing wines with food is a very difficult thing to do, given that very few wine pairings actually end up enhancing or complementing the flavors of the dishes they are paired with. I was disappointed in the wine, “Our Daily Red”, in my opinion it is a “Box Wine” in a bottle and it has far too much bitterness for my taste.

After our meal, I was curious to see if anyone out there had a different take on this wine so I did a Web-Search and found this comment: “Our Daily Red is full bodied yet smooth and mild. This easy-drinking red wine blend is comprised of Syrah, Carignan & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This variety creates a rich ruby color and a relatively mellow flavor with flavors that blend well together rather than compete for attention”. I think there must be something wrong with my selected search engine because I do not think that either “easy-drinking” or “mellow flavor” is an appropriate adjective when describing this wine. I will say that the wine is “Full-Bodied” but given the bitterness of this selection, I’d say the body is in the bottle.