Vegan Brown Rice Burgers

June 20, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Don’t you fret, my dear Veggin’ reader, I have not disappeared, just got a little caught up with lots of cycling, traveling and whatnot. In fact, this recipe was whipped up during some of my “whatnot” – a lovely summer sickness that included coughing and wheezing and other fun stuff.

As noted before, I’m on a journey to find and cook delicious veggie burgers this summer. This recipe is a winner, but, I’ll admit, these burgers are not meant for the grill. They’ll fall right through. In fact, I modified the cooking part of this recipe a little bit and heated them in a cast iron pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes flipping them part-way through. (I mark this adjustment in the recipe below).

These burgers were spicy, hearty, spicy and quite flavorful. Exactly what I needed to eat to make me feel better.

Vegan Brown Rice Burgers
from via what the hell _does_ a vegan eat anyway?

  • 1 cup brown (basmati or jasmine) rice, pressure cooked (yields about 4 cups)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded, minced (optional)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Daiya
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Pressure cook the brown rice (22 minutes, first ring) while prepping the rest of the ingredients. The brown basmati or jasmine are essential because of their “stickiness” which binds the burgers together.

In a large saute pan over med-low heat, add 1 tbs. olive oil and cook the sliced onions slowly with a pinch of salt until well cooked and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and optional jalapeno and cook 1 additional minute. Add the black pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle and cook 1 additional minute.

Add the cooked rice, Daiya, peas & pumpkin (or sunflower) seeds and mix to combine.

Don’t be gentle, mash the hell out of it if you like. — or put half of it in a food processor. (Megabeth note: Definitely put half in the food processor, otherwise there isn’t really enough “stickiness” to hold the patties together.)

Check for salt. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl and let cool slightly.

Form the burgers into patties and cook in a cast iron pan (regular or grill pan) with a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides. (Megabeth note: Or, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a little olive oil to a cast iron pan. Place patties in pan and bake for 20 minutes flipping once until heated through and browned.)


Vegetarian Vuelta a España: Vegetarian Albóndigas (Spanish Chickpea Balls)

August 29, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers, Vegetarian Vuelta a España

This recipe clearly is a clear reflection of the period of Islamic rule in Spain during the 6th century and how it influenced the cuisine in the area. Albóndigas, or Spanish meatballs, are often flavored with a variety of aromatic spices and flavors and most often include garlic, mint, onions, oregano, cayenne, paprika, cumin and mint.

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Holy smokes these were good. One little “meat”ball was a perfect little bite of spice and flavor. Nutmeg, cayenne, cumin, and even lemon zest in this recipe pack an awesome and unique punch. Look, I know I have a readership of omnivores. Trust me, there’s no need to go out and find lamb and pork and whatever. I guarantee you won’t be missing the meat after making and eating these. Heck, I’ll do you one better, don’t use egg, make them vegan. I made them that way and we didn’t miss a thing. Just add a little more olive oil to help the mixture stick. These albóndigas are an excellent addition to your tapas spread, or just load up some rice and albóndigas on your plate and dig in.

Spanish Chickpea Balls – Vegetarian Albóndigas
via Top Chef Blog Spain

  • 15 oz chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 3-4 tbs olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 1/3 cup fine wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten (omit if vegan and substitute with extra olive oil)
  • for the sauce
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, mined
  • 300g (10½ oz) ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup fresh parsley &/or coriander, roughly chopped

Mince the chickpeas in a food processor or by hand until soft, make sure to retain texture, do not process or mash them to a pulp, you want to still be able to see small chunks of chickpea.

In a large bowl combine the minced chickpeas with the garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, spices and egg if using; use your hands bring the mixture together adding the olive oil a little at a time until the mixture starts to come together to form a mass. Depending on the chickpeas you use the mixture may be a little dry, add a little lemon juice if you desire to get the right consistency.

Once the mixture is moist and combined roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. For best results refrigerate the balls for 30 minutes or so before frying.

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a good sized heavy based frypan. Over a medium heat cook the balls in two or three batches, tossing in the pan occasionally until golden all over. Set the cooked chickpea balls aside on paper towel.

To make the rich tomato sauce add 1 tbs of olive oil to the same pan; add the onion and cook over a medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the garlic and cook for a further minute.Add the wine and allow to simmer for about 1 minute before adding the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Let the sauce simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.

Add the cayenne and peas, stir to combine, add the chickpea balls and allow to gently simmer for a further 5-10 minutes until sauce has reduced slightly and flavors are rich and spicy. Remove from heat and toss through chopped herbs.

Serve the Spanish Chickpea Balls as a tapas or with Spanish Rice for a main meal.

Matar Paneer Redux

August 11, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I wanted something easy, something comforting and something spicy for dinner. And, I found that in this recipe of peas and cheese in a spicy sauce. If you double this recipe, you won’t be sorry. In fact, the leftovers are twice as good as the original.

I borrowed the basics of this recipe from a wonderfully beautiful food blog IndianSimmer. I toned down the onion in this dish as the original recipe called for 1 cup onion paste.  You can saute some onions in the first steps but I opted to use onion powder instead. (I was looking for a no fuss dinner and wasn’t in the mood to cut onions.)

Dear reader, let me confess, I actually made this recipe a few months ago I but I spectacularly lost my camera on a cross country trip on an airplane. So, the pictures were lost forever (and hopefully enjoyed by the person that decided not to turn my camera in). In fact, I had this post all written up but I had no photographic proof of how good this really was. I had to recreate this recipe and I’m so glad I did. I was able to remember how good this was the first time I made it.

Matar Paneer
Adapted from IndianSimmer

  • 2 cups of cubed paneer
  • 24 oz frozen peas (1 1/2 16 oz bags)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/3 cup non fat yogurt (or cream, or half and half)
  • Salt to taste

Put paneer in bowl and cover with hot water from the faucet. Add two teaspoons salt and stir to dissolve. Let paneer soak and set aside. (If using frozen paneer, defrost first before putting in water.)

Using a thick bottomed pan, heat oil on medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic paste and onion powder. Turn heat to medium low and cook paste until it turns light brown.

Add chili paste and turmeric powder and stir to combine. Add salt. Continue cooking the paste until the oil starts separating.

Add diced tomatoes and let cook at least five minutes. When the excess water evaporates, add garam masala and yogurt. Mix into the tomatoes.

Add peas, mix, and cover with a lid.

Let peas simmer on stove until cooked. Drain water from paneer and add to the peas.

Mix well and let simmer until you feel all the flavors are melded together in both the peas and the paneer.


Vegetarian Giro d’Italia | Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas

May 28, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas (3)

Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas (2)

vegetariangiroDid you you that there is a type of pasta that was originally made, before pasta maker machines, by wrapping the pasta around a bicycle spoke? Yup, fusilli avellinesi is that pasta. Think about the condition of your bicycle spokes and let’s all hope that they used brand new ones in the pasta making. If you check out Anthony Bourdain below, there’s a demonstration of how the pasta is made around minute 9:10. (Fair warning, once you hit the 10 minute mark, you’ll see some animals getting prepped for a feast. If you’re squeamish, then don’t watch past the pasta making demonstration.)


Fusilli comes from the word fuso meaning “spindle” in Italian and was first found in Granducato di Toscana around 1550. This stuff is good because the little nooks and crannies can hold a lighter sauce tightly yet it doesn’t wither when faced with a heavy sauce. For the recipe below, I use a basic dried fusilli, not one formed on a bike spoke, which is more easily found on any grocery shelf.

Whether you call them fava beans, horse beans, English beans, Windsor beans or broad beans, one thing’s for sure – these beans have been around for a very very long time and once were the only beans available in Europe. For your bit of trivia: Apparently, the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (a noted vegetarian) completed despised them. Despite this, he is credited with being the root of pharmacogenetics when back in 510 BC he “noted that hemolytic anemia occurs in some individuals after fava bean consumption. Twenty-five centuries later, this enigma was elucidated by Mager et al. ( 51 ), who demonstrated that deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is responsible for this adverse effect of bean ingestion.”  In other words, some folks may be allergic to fava beans causing an anemic reaction (i.e., tiredness, headache, fever, etc.) Thank you, Critical Care Medicine for that information.

On the brighter side, for those of us that don’t have that reaction, this recipe of fusilli con fave e piselli makes a nice rustic meal. I, unfortunately, could not find fresh fava beans, so I resorted to canned – hence the brown hue of my dish. Oh, and don’t forget, you’ll want to serve these fava beans with a nice bottle of chianti…sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Fusilli Pasta with Fave Beans and Peas (Fusilli con fave e piselli)
by Alta Cucina Recipes


  • 1 14.5 ounce box Fusilli shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh fava beans, unshelled (if you can’t find fresh ones, canned will do fine, rinse them first, though)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 – 3 cups vegetable broth
  • grated roman pecorino cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and white pepper

Finely chop the onion and cook it gently in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the peas and the Fava beans.
Season with salt and pepper and let it to cook for 15 minute over a light heat, adding a little stock when needed. Clean the leaks and chop them in thick slices. Add to the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes. Cook the pasta al dente and pour it into the pan with the vegetables.

Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas (1)


Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas (2)Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve, covered with the grated cheese.

Fusilli Pasta with Fava Beans and Peas (4)

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