Posts tagged ‘Sandwiches’

Goat Cheese, Avocado & Onion Burgers

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I just don’t really like meat, and as far as I can remember I never really have. So for a long time, my approach to burgers has been to smother them in as many condiments as I can lay my hands on. That’s an approach that has stuck even as I’ve found veggie burgers that I really like, but these days I like to smother my burgers in combinations of veggies, cheeses, and sauces that make them more sophisticated  than the burgers of my youth.

This particular burger came out of a need to use up many of the included ingredients, including salsa, goat cheese, and avocado. Lucky for us, those are three ingredients that balance each other well! The creamy, mellow avocado balances the sharper flavours of the goat cheese and salsa, while the sauteed onions add another level of flavour that gives the burgers a real depth. All in all, these burgers were a huge success! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Goat Cheese, Avocado & Onion Burgers
Makes 4 Burgers

4 whole wheat hamburger buns
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine (optional)
4 premade veggie burgers (we used Morningstar’s Tomato-Basil Burgers)
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
½ cup pickle slices or sliced pickled hot peppers

  1. Cook the veggie burgers according to the package directions. (We heated them in a large frying pan on low heat, cooking 5 minutes on each side).
  2. Toast the hamburger buns, spreading with butter first if desired. (This is optional, but it makes the buns moist, rich, and just a little bit crispy). If you use butter, toast the buns in a toaster oven, an oven, or on the grill. The butter could be dangerous in a conventional toaster, and at the very least, it may ruin your toaster.
  3. Slice the onion into thin rings. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, and sautee the onions until just beginning to brown, stirring constantly (about 10 minutes).
  4. Spread mustard on the toasted buns.
  5. When the burgers and onions are done, place the burgers on sliced rolls. Top each burger with ¼ of the onions, ¼ of the avocado, and 2 tablespoons each of goat cheese, salsa, and pickles (or pickled peppers).
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July 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

Avocado and Fried Tofu Sandwich

IMG_7161When I was twelve years old, my family moved back to Edmonton after a brief hiatus and my parents’ friends came over to help us get settled. I’m sure that they moved furniture, and helped unpack and so forth, but what I remember are the sandwiches.

They brought ice cream pails full of different sandwiches for us to eat until we had unpacked our kitchen implements and stocked up on groceries. At first, I dug into the old stand-bys like PB&J, but then I discovered the avocado and bacon and I never turned back. The salty, crispy bacon mixed with the creamy avocado in what I can only describe as a culinary revelation. This recipe is my vegetarian version, which I think is just as good. Better even, because you can pile on the fried tofu (which can be made entirely without oil if you have a good non-stick pan) in amounts that would be inadvisable (at best) with bacon.

If you don’t want to make all four sandwiches at once, you can still prepare all of the tofu ahead of time and then store it for later. Cut up as much of the avocado as you want, and then spread lemon juice over the rest and wrap it tightly in tin foil or plastic wrap. Leave the remaining avocado in its skin with the pit to help preserve its freshness, and it should keep in the fridge for a day or two. Don’t worry if the surface has turned a little bit brown, as long as the rest of the avocado is still green underneath. If you are making these sandwiches to eat later, toss the avocado in a little lemon juice before spreading it on the sandwich. These keep for a few hours, but not much longer.

Avocado and Fried Tofu Sandwich
Makes 4 Sandwiches

8 slices of multigrain bread
1 ripe avocado
½ teaspoon salt or to taste, preferably coarse or kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste, preferably freshly ground
1 lb. tofu, cut into slices

Smoky Tofu Marinade
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of chipotles
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce (or additional soy sauce)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse to combine.
  2. Place sliced tofu in a long, shallow food storage container or a large resealable bag.
  3. Pour marinade over the tofu and add additional water to cover if necessary.
  4. Marinate overnight.
  5. Remove tofu from marinade and heat it in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat until it is browned on both sides.
  6. Meanwhile, toast the bread. When it is finished toasting, spread ¼ of the avocado on each of four slices of the bread. Top with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Place ¼ of the tofu over the avocado, and top with an unadorned slice of bread. Enjoy!

June 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm 1 comment

Healthier Falafel

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Sorry I’ve been away so long. It’s been a crazy few months around here, but I’m back now and I have a delicious falafel recipe ready and waiting for you.

So, I’ve been making falafel at home for years – or rather attempting it. Until now, the texture had never been quite right and I couldn’t figure out how to make a satisfyingly crispy falafel without deep frying. Those days are over. Today, I managed baked falafel that was perfectly crispy, soft on the inside and bursting with flavor, and I knew that I had to share my newly discovered tricks with you.

The first trick is to use a food processor, not a blender. Blenders tend to require a lot of liquid in order to blend the falafel, and this can lead to falafel that lacks texture and falls apart when you try to shape it. A food processor, on the other hand, chops the dry ingredients finely with very little liquid, leaving you with nicely textured falafel that is easy to work with.

The second trick is heat. The falafel is baked at a moderate heat for 10 minutes, to make sure it’s cooked through. Then, the heat is turned up to make the outsides crispy and brown. Just make sure you watch the oven closely while you’re cooking or you may end up with charred falafel instead.

We like to eat falafel stuffed into a pita with some combination of lettuce, red onion, tomato, cucumber and maybe even hummus or tahini, just like the falafel that’s served by street vendors everywhere. It’s also great as a side dish, with a grain salad (like this or this) and a green vegetable, as pictured below. However you serve it, it’s a delicious meal rich in protein and fibre, and it makes great leftovers. Enjoy!

Healthier Falafel
Makes 24 small falafels

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (or a 19oz. can of chickpeas, drained)
½ cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. cumin
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. water
1½ tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup flour (for a gluten free version, use chickpea flour)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and parsley until the chickpeas are finely chopped, the texture of coarse bread crumbs.
  3. Add the water, lemon juice and oil and pulse a few more seconds, until well mixed.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and mix with flour, adding 1 Tbsp. at a time until the mixture sticks together.
  5. Form mixture into small balls, wetting your hands periodically to keep it from sticking to you. Press the balls  into patties and place on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, and then turn the oven up to 450F. Bake 10 more minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

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May 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

Curry Tofu Sandwiches with Cilantro Bean Spread

img_64961A friend emailed me awhile ago asking for recipes that she could take to work. I’ve been on the lookout for such recipes myself and the result has generally been hearty salads (like this or this or this) and sandwiches. To make your searching easier, I’ve added “Lunchbox” as a tag on this site. This category includes hearty, one-dish meals that are easily transportable, (usually) don’t need to be reheated, and make enough to last at least most of the week.

For me, the perfect sandwich is one that tastes great, won’t get soggy, and packs a lot of make ahead ingredients that I can slap together in a hurry before heading out the door. This sandwich meets all criteria. Placing the tomatoes between the tofu and cheese will prevent them from making your bread soggy (and thickly spread beans and chutney help, too, even if you omit the cheese). Plus, the bean spread and tofu can be made ahead of time so that you have quick lunches all week.

This recipe pulls together a few recipes from elsewhere, including a bean spread modified from an old edition of Vegetarian Times. I also used the Curried Tofu recipe from Veganomicon but you can use any premade baked tofu if you prefer (Pete’s “Thai Tango” would be especially good), or just chase 16 slices of extra firm tofu around a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, a couple cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of curry powder. I’d love to hear about your variations.

Curry Tofu Sandwiches with Cilantro Bean Spread
Makes 8 Sandwiches

1 recipe cilantro bean spread, below (3 Tbsp. per sandwich)
2 – 8oz. packages baked tofu, cut into 16 slices (2 slices per sandwich)
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced (½ tomato per sandwich)
1 cup mango chutney (2 Tbsp. per sandwich)
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese, optional
16 slices good quality, whole grain bread

  1. Spread one slice of bread with bean spread and one slice with chutney.
  2. Layer cheese (if using), tomatoes, and tofu on the beany side and then close the bread with the chutney side. (The bean spread offers the best sogginess protection if you are omitting the cheese).
  3. Enjoy!

img_64891Cilantro Bean Dip
Makes 1¾ cups

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 scallions (green onions), white, light green and dark green parts, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup white cannellini beans or other white beans
1½ Tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. cumin

  1. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil and saute garlic and jalapeno until garlic is translucent. Add scallions and saute until bright green and browning on the edges, being careful not to burn them.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

P.S. This recipe produces a thick consistency best suited to a spread. If you want a dip instead, add 1 cup of plain yogurt (soy if you prefer) and eat it with crackers, chips and/or veggies.

December 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.