I’m Batman Back!

Where have I been? I was off accepting a job half way across the country, then swimming in the chaos that comes along with such a decision! (Anyone wanna buy or rent my house?) I have missed my kitchen, but now that things have settled down a bit, I’m hoping for a few more quiet weeks to spend – just me and my kitchen – before the move and related insanity kicks in.

My return to said kitchen featured a new cookbook that I have been literally dying to dig into: The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman.

What can I say? I love to eat with my hands. I’m a burger fanatic. I love me a good sandwich.

This cookbook has so many amazing sounding flavor combinations that I can’t wait to try more!

But for now, I’ll settle for one: the Bacon Cheeseburger. The recipe can be found over on the author’s blog, JustTheFood.com.

Now, these are veggie burgers, and more specifically, they’re all vegan – so there’s no actual bacon or cheese to be found. And I didn’t have any fakin’ bacon or tempeh to use, so I had to skip the bacon part. And I was out of barbeque sauce, so I used General Tso’s sauce instead. And I was out of hamburger buns, so I used some whole wheat oat bread.

Even with all of my substitutions, MAN, did this make a tasty burger! Sweet and smokey. It honestly didn’t need any condiments to dress it up. Heck, it was so flavorful it could have stood alone without a bun! But I like a messy burger, so I got to dressing.

Bacon Cheeseburger from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

Bacon Cheeseburger from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

Whole wheat oat bread, topped with a smear of roasted garlic hummus, followed by a few pickles, and the star of the show – the (veggie) bacon cheeseburger, and a swirl of ketchup.

I grilled this burger on my Griddler Jr grill at about 1/4 heat for as long as it took me to assemble the supporting cast:

Big Ol' Salad

A Big Ol' Salad

My salads have a tendency to get outta hand. Salads are just the easiest, tastiest way to get a boatload of veggies down the hatch! This salad had a mixed greens base, followed by a shredded carrot, sundried tomato, about 1/4 of a cucumber, half an avocado, and a red wine olive oil vinaigrette.

I have a super crush on avocados. Just in case you haven’t made nicey-nice with avocados yourself, I love them even more since learning this little trick to preparing them. Once halved, slice the avocado while it’s still in its skin. Then scoop all the neat little pieces out with a spoon!

Slicing an avocado

Slicing an avocado

The scooping is the best part. Super fun! Except when you scoop too quickly and drop a giant blob of avo on the floor. But whatever.

Veggie Bacon Cheeseburger and Cherries

Veggie Bacon Cheeseburger and Cherries

Whaddya say? Fits pretty well with the new USDA “My Plate” recommendations, eh? Just ignore that pesky little dairy bit off to the side. It’s optional anyway. Speaking of the new Plate, I agree with most that it’s an improvement over the old pyramid, but still screams a little too loudly of placating various lobbying food industries. Here’s my favorite take on the Plate so far, over at Peas and Thank You. Good links to further reading there too. Marion Nestle’s deconstruction of My Plate is worth a read.

Good stuff!

{Posted: June 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm}
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