Friday, March 1, 2013

Veggie Burgers with Avocado Creme {Vegan}

The Dairy-free Challenge has been accomplished, it is done, over…and I must say I am glad.  I really don’t eat much dairy but I went full throttle and made sure anything I was eating completely void of it. I don’t drink milk, so no problem there…I LOVE cheese, problem.  I have tried vegan cheeses and I am sorry they are just not the same.  But while doing this challenge the thing that has surprised me the most is that my body reacted the opposite of what I thought or expected it to react.  I have had more bloating and have been pretty constipated (sorry for that picture) and I really thought that I would have A LOT less bloating.  I think it is really weird.  I don’t think I have changed my diet in any other way, other than cutting the dairy out. Below is my conversation with Leanne, she recommended adding probiotics, and I have actually considered that before so I may actually give them a try.

What I do know is that going completely dairy-free is not for me, I once thought it was. This is not to say that I won’t still make vegan meals or try different dairy-free versions of recipes, I enjoy eating vegetarian and vegan and that isn't going to stop.  That may be the inner vegetarian in me trying to get out, I still toy with the idea of going back to that lifestyle, but I have yet to give in to it.  For right now, being gluten-free is enough. 

For the end of my dairy-free week I decided to give this dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan dish a try… 

All the veggies and fillers

Veggie Burgers

1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 large onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
5-6 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 flax eggs (1/4 cup warm water plus 2 tbsp. flax meal)
1 chia egg (3 tbsp warm water plus 1 tbsp chia seeds)
1/2 cup GF Oats, processed into a flour
1 tsp. Chipotle Seasoning
Salt and pepper

In the food processor, combine the onion, garlic, carrot, peppers, mushrooms and half the can of beans.  Pulse until, vegetables are fine.  

Add the flax and chia eggs, quinoa and seasoning, pulse until everything is combined. 

Transfer to a large bowl.  Add the rest of the beans to the quinoa mixture, stir to combine. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning to taste, add oat flour stir to combine (add more if it seems too wet).  

Form the mixture into patties.  Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat, cook patties for about 3-5 minutes on each side until the outside is browned and the patty is heated through.

Serve on a hamburger roll, alone or like me on a lettuce leaf with the Avocado Creme or any and all your favorite burger toppings. (I added some ketchup and fried onions...Yum!)  The outside gets a nice crunch and the inside has a really nice texture.

Avocado Creme

1 ripe avocado*
1 tsp. chipotle seasoning
juice of a 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

*My avocado wasn't really ready, so since I wanted to use it right away (my mistake for not buying it a few days early) I used the microwave to quickly "ripen" it.  The results, not bad.  But I would let it naturally ripen if you have the time, use the microwave only in a pinch.  

{Obviously, if you weren't dairy-free you could add cheese to the mixture and/or topping.  You could also use a real egg instead of a flax egg, and bread crumbs instead of the processed oats.}