When an unavailable ingredient, an accidental wrong ingredient, and some why-not ingredients lead to a culinary delight…
…that is magic to my taste buds.
I really wanted a carrot, hemp seeds, and parsley vegan burger the other day. I had not made them in a couple months, so I clicked on Elephant Journal and opened my profile page to scroll down to find the recipe I wrote a couple years ago.
Darn, chickpea flour is needed, and I have not had that staple in my pantry for several months. I am surprised my Publix grocery store does not carry it. They carry everything. So, onto plan B, no flour, I will use hippie dust, aka nutritional yeast instead. I reached into the cabinet of saved glass jars, a habit that started at the end of March 2020 when Target removed all the recycle bins to put employee energy into cleaning carts and filling sanitizer stations. So, I had no choice but to wash and save those jars.
And a new earth-friendly habit stayed.
The jar I selected is perfect, it is an empty chickpea one. I use it to save the aquafaba when I drain the chickpeas and sometimes save half the chickpeas too. I opened the pantry next to the fridge and selected a can of chickpeas; my cabinets are orderly. Overly so.
As I dumped the legumes into the colander to drain the liquid, I thought the chickpeas looked larger and a different shape. Perplexed and confused, I rinsed them and then picked up the can. Butter beans. Organic butter beans. Okay, you can get up from rolling on the floor laughing now.
Time to back up a bit to before the paragraph above and start from the beginning. Well, the beginning after you decided what to eat and check to see if you have the items needed.
Scan the kitchen looking for Hamlet and Ofelia. Hamlet is not the problem cat child; Ofelia is when she’s not being lovey-dovey. She likes high places and the kitchen counter, top of the fridge and top shelf of the cabinet next to the freezer half of the fridge are her favorite daily napping spots. Remove cat. Scrub down the kitchen sinks and countertops with your distilled white vinegar. Set a mood, good food mood.
Mise en place—set out all your ingredients and supplies in an orderly fashion. I am going to assume you properly washed your hands before and after the previous tasks.
Butter beans: I used about 10 ounces
Carrots: one large one, mine was orange
Seed/nuts: about ¼ cup each of hemp hearts, flax, walnuts
Oil: avocado or any high heat unless you bake or air fry instead
Spices: your choice of amount of suggested turmeric, black pepper, cumin, dry mustard, optional mineral salt
Condiments: about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, start small add more if needed
Topping ideas: mixed greens, parsley, dill, microgreens such as broccoli, sweet pea, or hot wasabi mustard
Bread: any or none, I chose to eat this on Ezekiel sprouted bread and lay it on all the greens
Misc: avocado, tomato, cucumber
Additional suggested items: sauté pan, medium-sized glass bowl for mixing, cutting board, chef’s knife to fit your hand, mixing spoons, spice spoon, fork, hand masher, colander, mortar and pestle for crushing walnuts, cat removal, potholder if using one, love, towel or two, gratitude. Good mood, patience. Silly singing or silence. If you prefer, air fryer or oven.
1. Place the drained and rinsed beans or legumes in a medium to a larger-sized glass bowl and start hand mashing, stopping every so often to switch to a fork to mash and fluff.
2. Peel the carrots, or not, and chop in tiny pieces, or use a box grater. I do not own a grater, so I chop. The essential Forks over Knives cooking course I took through Rouxbe.com has precise directions for dicing. I do not do precise—I seek asymmetry and chop to my desire. Add the carrots to the bowl.
3. Add in seeds and nuts if using. I had walnut halves and usually break them into smaller pieces by hand or use a mortar and pestle. However, using your hands allows you to use another of the five senses in the preparation, and eating of the meal. All five senses: sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.
4. Add the dry spices.
5. Add parsley or perhaps spinach if you choose.
6. Add a little moisture. I used Dijon mustard, but water is good, or mayo, perhaps a little juice.
7. Give it a mix testing for consistency. It should be sticky, but not too much. Does it hold together? Too dry? Liquid. Too moist? Drier, perhaps more seeds, which was my choice. This is where flour, nutritional yeast if you had not added it in anyway, corn starch, panko, or breadcrumbs will work.
8. Cover the bowl and place it in either the freezer for about 20 minutes, or fridge for one to two hours. This step assures a good firmness to make the patties.
Clean up the mess you created with love. Check for cats. Chill a bit. Read an article on Elephant Journal, call your mom, or just chill and mind the gap.
Time to cook, assemble and eat. Wash your hands, cat removal, wash those mitts again. Clean the counters if one pesky fur ball had been on the counter again.
9, I sauté, so I have my pan and lid on a burner, oil of choice next to it, or pour a small amount in but leave stove turned off. If baking, preheat the oven. If air frying, I have no idea. I turned on the stove light to low, burner to medium, and fan on seconds before I started the next step.
10. With a spoon or ¼ measuring cup, scoop out a ball and start to form a patty whatever thickness tickles your eyes. Feel the coolness of the mixture and imagine you are shaping a clay piece of artwork. If making more than one or two, form all the patties first, then place in cooker of choice.
11. Keep an eye on these, timing will depend on thickness and choice of cooking method. I cooked my patties for 6 to 7 minutes per side. It turned out to be a good guess.
12. While the vegan delight is getting its inner agni stoked, place bread, if using, in the toaster. I started snipping greens from my Aero Gardens and microgreens from my HAMAMA tray. Remember to thank them as you snip and give them love and gratitude for their nourishing you.
13. Check the patties. Check the toast.
14. Assembly will depend on you. I put avocado on my Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin halves. And started stacking greens, then microgreens high. Wanting to get as many of those tasty and healthy bitters into my gut. Tomato slices if they please you. It’s summer here and tomatoes may add heat to a pitta dosha burning already with fire. That would be me too often in this hot, humid Florida weather.
Now, look at the plate full of good mood food and love. Find a place to sit down and enjoy this, a quiet place inside or out. Perhaps a lovely view. No phone, no screens, just peace. Give gratitude to the food, farmers, yourself for growing your own, the stores, delivery people, cashiers, and baggers. Give gratitude to Momma Earth.
As usual, no critters were harmed in any step of the process. One more small win for this tiny blue marble we call, Momma Earth.
For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.