Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cooking

My father cooks something that my sister lovingly refers to as a "vomit omelet." Basically, whatever leftovers are in the fridge will end up in his morning omelet. Shrimp, chicken, sweet potatoes, mahi mahi....and it wouldn't be just one of those, it would be all of those!

I would say that was my first exposure to "kitchen sink cooking." Cooking where you just throw a bunch of crap in a pan and hope for the best! As I make an effort to stay on a budget and eat healthier, I find that I'm doing more kitchen sink cooking. This isn't my usual style. My usual style is to look up a bunch of different recipes and then take bits and pieces from each.

But, not lately! I've been flying by the seat of my pants, moment to moment. Yeah, that's me.

My recent kitchen sink concoction are these lovely veggie/grain burgers, which I made from leftover black beans and quinoa. They're actually pretty good. Really though, this recipe shows that you can be creative with leftovers. Just throw a bunch of crap in the food processor, bind it all together with an egg and form into patties. Voila! Dinner!

Kitchen Sink Veggie Burgers
makes 4 burgers

1/2 medium sized onion
2 carrots, peeled
1 -2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein -- what the hell is this?***
1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
2 - 3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 - 2 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

1. Prepare textured vegetable protein as stated on label.
2. Place onion, carrots, and garlic into a food processor. Process until veggies are tiny chunks. Use your judgement. Add black beans and process a little more.
3. Place black bean mixture into a bowl and add TVP through salt and paper. Stir until mixture comes together and you can form burgers. If the mixture is a little too wet, add more breadcrumbs or oats.
4. Form mixture into patties and brown over medium heat in non-stick skillet. Be careful because they are still a little fragile. Flip after 5 - 6 minutes and cook on the other side.

***Textured vegetable protein is a meat substitute made from defatted soy flour. Mmmm....sounds delicious, no? In fact, they use it as a meat extender in institutions in hospitals and prisons! Anything they serve in prison has got to be good! Actually, it's not that bad and usually takes on the flavor of whatever its cooked with.

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