There are so many food holidays this month, you would think it is Christmas in the food world. Every day should be a holiday. Face it, if you woke up this morning, it should be a CELEBRATION! That’s right folks, life is the best celebration of all celebrations. If you are not living then you are not able to celebrate anything else, either! So be HAPPY for your gift of today, since it is the present (… of your life)!
Life offers so many choices. From the way you look, the things you do, where you live to the things we eat. Many people opt to eat anything and everything, where others watch what they eat. Then there are those who are just plain “health fanatics”!
Being vegetarian is an alternative that many people have chosen to do. Without “meat” in their diets, many vegetarians face the challenge of getting the proteins, iron and calcium in their diets. From what information that is out there, that really is not a problem at all. Besides, there are so many alternatives for example, many of the greens like spinach, collard greens, kale, all are high in iron. Most legumes or beans, are high in fiber and proteins. Now some vegetarians do consume dairy, so their calcium intake is o.k. and for those who are “vegan”, other sources of calcium are found again in spinach, collard greens, kale, plus in fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, broccoli, almonds, carrots. So have no fear, being a vegetarian is not only an “earth and animal” friendly way to eat, it is also quite healthy, too!
There are plenty of articles that feature vegetarian recipes, ranging from “grilled ratatouille” to portabella mushrooms to “pea picking cake” (hey, cakes are vegetarian, not vegan, but…)! There are many foods that are vegetarian, so take some time and check out the variety of ways to prepare veggies. You never know, you may become a vegetarian too!
Today, being “National hamburger day” we will add one more recipe to your collection. All burgers are not created EQUAL! Not all burgers are made with meat, either! You can play with this recipe or just follow it for a super good veggie burger (you can even make this into veggie meat balls). Serve it on a whole grain or multi-grain bread or bun, with some homemade French fries and you will be in “veggie heaven”!
Veggie burger recipe
1 – Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 – Vidalia or any sweet onion
3/4 to 1 pound – brown Italian mushroom (or button mushroom)
1 – large carrot, peeled
1-2 stalks of celery
1 small can roasted red peppers, drained
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup bulgur, soaked in water (make sure the water covers and is about 1 inch above the bulgur)
1/3 cup peanuts, chopped very fine in the food processor (or walnuts)
S & P to taste
1 egg or egg substitute
3 cups or so of bread crumbs (Panko, Italian seasoned… being creative adds more flavor)
Shred the onion, mushrooms, carrot and celery in the food processor with the shredding disc. Then cook off in a sauté pan until all of the moisture is evaporated. Puree the drained red peppers in the food processor. Add this to the veggies that are cooking and cook until reduced. Next, in a large mixing bowl, mix all of the rest of the ingredients, including the cooked veggies but not the breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs to the mixture, a little at a time, mixing until you get a nice texture that will form patties. Scoop out large balls and form into a ball, then pressing the veggie ball between two sheets of wax paper to form patties. Wrap or seal the patties and then refrigerate for several hours to firm up the patties.
Remove from the refrigerator and pre-heat your sauté pan. Sauté the patties in a fry pan with a little olive oil until browned on one side and then flip once and brown the other side. Remove once cooked and place on a paper towel to absorb any oils. You can put an assortment of cheeses on your veggie burger. You can put it on a bun with some nice pesto, sundried tomato or roasted red pepper mayonnaise, top off with some grilled red onion slices, fresh tomato and baby field greens. You will definitely make the “whopper” very jealous! Or you can simply put it over a salad, cous cous, rice or some sautéed veggies. Hey why not!
Yummy! Now we are talking some good stuff there! Like mentioned before, you will never miss meat when you eat these treats! That recipes makes a few of them burgers, so you might as well invite a few friends over and share with them the “veggie” way of life! You can even tell a few “veggie tales” to make the night more interesting! We are so lucky to have the chance to make these recipes and to enjoy another day of life. Not everyone has that chance, for some people, their chances ended yesterday. Hey, not to be a downer but remember my friends, today is a gift. Don’t forget that fact.
So take extra time today to show how grateful you are. Go out and do something for someone that you don’t even know (you will know them after you do something nice for them). Be kind to everyone you meet, especially the face that meets you first thing once you wake up! You better be kind to yourself because then it is easier to be kind towards others. Peace my friends and remember…
THIS IS YOUR LIFE! Enjoy your life and be GRATEFUL for everything!
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody, special!