Yes, I made it across the country and am in Saskatoon, enjoying my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law’s hospitality and sleeping on their surprisingly comfortable couch.
I am proud of myself. Not only did I restrain myself from throttling my mother in the three-day drive across Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota (wow, is there ever NOTHING in North Dakota. I mean, nothing), Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, I managed to injure myself in the parking lot of a Perkins’ in Regina, and I improvised a veggie burger recipe.
That’s right. That’s the kind of goddess of vegan cuisine I am. I made up a veggie burger recipe out of thin air. Well, not entirely. It is loosely based on one from the Cafe Flore cookbook. But, in case you are in the market for some veggie burgers and you happen to be staying in a house which has the same ingredients in it as my sister’s does, here’s the recipe:
Vegan lentil black bean couscous burgers
– 1 cup green lentils
– 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or the equivalent dry black beans, cooked, drained, and rinsed)
– 1/2 cup couscous, cooked
– 1/2 a medium onion, diced
– 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp curry powder
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
– 1 small red chili
– 1 bay leaf
– Lots of fresh herbs – I used about 1 cup parsley, 4 or 5 large basil leaves, and about 8 chives – finely chopped
– 1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup white or whole wheat flour
Cook the lentils in more water than you’d think (you want them mushy) with the bay leaf, until they are starting to fall apart.
While they’re cooking, cook the couscous.* In case you don’t know how, combine 1/2 cup couscous with 1/2 cup boiling water or vegetable stock, remove from heat, cover tightly, wait 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add black beans to couscous and mix, trying to break the beans up a bit.
The lentils will still be cooking, so saute the onions in a bit of vegetable oil. When they start to brown add the garlic, then the chili. When these are cooked add to the couscous-bean mixture. Mix well and add the curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt.
When the lentils are done (this will take 30-45 minutes, just so you know), drain them, remove and discard the bay leaf, and add to the mixture. Mash a bit with a potato masher to break up the beans and lentils more. I very much doubt you will have to, but if the mixture is very dry add a touch of warm water.
Add the herbs, chopped fine. Mix in. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs** and the flour over the mixture and knead until it hangs together. Add more breadcrumbs as needed.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour, then make into patties and panfry. I imagine they’d be good broiled too. A bit too crumbly for the grill, though. Serve on a bun with burger toppings to taste. I had mine with a bit of hummus, which was great.
*You can substitute amaranth or quinoa here. Millet would probably work too.
**You can use rolled oats, ground in a food processor, if you don’t have breadcrumbs. Put the rolled oats – not instant – in your food processor, pulse about 15 times, and you’re set.