I recently joined a cookbook review club being hosted by Cooking For A Vegan Lover and the premise is to review recipes in the cookbook that is chosen. You have to actually make 3-5 of the recipes in the book and essentially talk about it.
The cookbook for this month’s cookbook club is Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The day I made the decision to join the book club I ran out and bought it. While I was there I also bought another book by Ms Moskowitz titled Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I was beyond excited to try out recipes….all of them.
So with the idea of getting the review done by March 26 I figured I couldn’t make them all. I sat down and chose the recipe titles that intrigued me the most. I then gave Karen the book and told her to pick the recipes that were intriguing to her. From there we chose the 5 recipes that I would re-create for the cookbook club.
I decided that I was going to make burgers and fries or a classic American meal but of course it would be vegan. I chose to make the Lentil Chipotle Burgers with a side of Scallion Potato pancakes.
Lentil Chipotle Burgers
My thoughts on this recipe immediately were that is not a lot of ingredients and they are going to be easy to pick up. My second thought was that I needed to make the lentils first since that involves cooking the lentils until they are done and that could take about 30-40 minutes.
The tip in the cookbook was great for those not familiar with their way around a kitchen as it suggested to assemble everything else while the zucchini was cooking. I took it one step further and started assembling everything while the lentils were cooking so that once the lentils were done the zucchini mixture was in the food processor waiting for them.
I made one change to her recipe and instead of using regular whole wheat bread crumbs I went with Panko bread crumbs (because the scallion potato pancakes called for panko why get a whole other set of bread crumbs I thought.)
Once everything was in the food processor you could see the mixture come together quickly and knew you were about to get a tremendously hearty veggie burger.
I divided the mixture up according to the recipe and wound up with 6 burgers. Once they hit the hot pan and started sizzling my excitement grew and grew. I already knew they would taste great because I had to taste the mixture for seasoning purposes. The patties cooked well and held their shape unlike other veggie or bean burgers I have made in the past.
I would say that if you are trying or interested in being a vegetarian but still want to feel like you are eating meat this is a great burger for that feeling.
Scallion Potato Pancakes
If you are going to eat a burger you gotta have fries with them right? I decided I wanted potatoes with my burger but instead of going with the old cut into french fries and coat with oil and bake I went with the potato pancakes and this was a great idea. The plate came together wonderfully and the recipe was easy to follow.
Similar to the burgers I made one change and that was to use sweet potatoes instead of yukon gold potatoes. I can’t recall the last time I ate a white potato and so I had sweet potatoes on hand and just went with it.
Again, the main goal was to get the sweet potatoes boiled since that would take longer than any other part of the recipe. As a matter of fact I started that before anything else.
Once the time for waiting for water to boil (I promise I did not watch the pot the entire time) the recipe comes together quickly and is simple. Combine all the ingredients and mash to remove the lumps. Once that is done dip into breading and bake. Simple and easy.
I will say that I had to bake them longer than the recipe called for but that may be because I used sweet potatoes instead of the yukon golds. It turned out to not be a problem.
This is a terrific side to the Lentil Chipotle Burgers and I would also eat this for breakfast. As a matter of fact I would eat these at anytime they came out that good.
As you can see I added some spinach and tomato to the burger and served it on a whole wheat thin bun. The scallion potato pancakes had an olive salad placed on top for a little salty flavor.
Like any good meal the ingredients were simple and the recipes easy but the flavor was outstanding. This is a meal I would make over and over and not get tired of it.
In addition to that is the nutritional information for these two recipes (per serving): 310 calories, 4g Fat, 11g Fiber, 13g Protein, 58g Carbs
My version will be slightly different because of the whole wheat thin bun and addition of spinach and tomato.
And lastly let’s discuss cost. I like to review costs because every time I speak with somebody about healthy eating the issue of cost comes up. For this meal which wound up with 4 complete meals (1 lentil burger and 2 scallion potato pancakes) plus 2 extra lentil burgers I spent a total of $21.70. On average that comes out to $5.43 for 4 complete meals with leftovers. What do you spend on average at McDonald’s? What do you spend on average for chopped meat? If it is the same or more then you can eat healthy once a week without breaking the bank.