Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Green Frankenburger

Burger more green in person than in picture.  :)
There are food bloggers out there with fail safe recipes and gorgeous photography.  And then there's me - someone who loves cooking, isn't afraid to experiment and sometimes turns out something slightly bizarre and isn't afraid to admit it.  Tonight was definitely more Lucille Ball than Julia Child.

Some of my more fun posts to write are when I have a kitchen debacle, such as my Passover cake drama.  Tonight, I decided to try and wing my own black bean burgers.  Now, I have made black bean burgers before using Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook recipe several times, so I thought I'd be ok winging it.

As many of you know, I love kale and have been enjoying making kale chips. I usually put a bit of kale in my version of Tosca's recipe.  Tonight, I thought it would be a good idea to put in, oh, five giant leaves.

It all started off well and good - I put the kale, some red onion and two garlic gloves in my food processor.  A lovely green juice aroma came out.  A pesto like substance emerged.  So far, not so bad. 

I added oats, sunflower seeds and carrots, measuring as I went, thinking to myself, "This will be a great recipe!  I will put it on my blog with actual measurements!"  And then I noticed the mixture was bright green.

"I just need to add the beans," said I.  So I did.  The mixture, at that point, became greenish gray.

"Screw the measuring," I sad, and I added in more oats, more beans and some nutritional yeast until the burgers became . . . somewhat less greenish gray.  At that point, I decided I had put so much food into them that I had to eat them, no matter what awful color they were.  So, I seasoned the mess with salt, pepper and cumin, formed them into six patties and popped the thing in the oven for 25 minutes and hoped for the best.

My intention was to serve this with a baked sweet potato.  However, when I went to prepare my sweet potato, it was . . . slightly mutated and looking dangerously inedible.  While I was willing to try the Green Frankenburger, I wasn't sure I was willing to risk this sweet potato.  So, I rummaged through the fridge for side replacement and ended up with some leftover corn kernels and scallions.  So, I heated them up in a pan with some olive oil, tomato paste concentrate and salt and pepper.  

With five minutes to go with the frankenburgers, I decided to take pity on myself and cover them with cheddar daiya, hoping it would make them more attractive.

The result of the actual food - not that bad.  They could have been a little firmer.  And while the color was definitely weird, I didn't mind the flavor.  I may try and disguise the leftover patties in something else this week.

The result of the cooking itself - I had a good laugh.  Life isn't perfect - why should your kitchen be?  I had fun, I tried something new and nothing caught fire.

While I may not make the Frankenburger again, I'm glad I made it.  Not only did I get my green veggies for the day (and perhaps the week), but I got a reminder of what cooking for me really is, and that's fun.

So, if you want to try cooking, but are intimidated, let this blog be an inspiration to you.  Sometimes even good cooks (and I consider myself a good cook, and so does my mother) have strange things happen in the kitchen.  Cooking is an art, but it's also a learning process, a way to enjoy time with family and friends and a way to discover what you need to nourish yourself.  Most of all, it should be fun

What fun have you had in the kitchen lately?

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