Saturday, March 26, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ALI BLAKE AND THE PERFECT VEGGIE BURGER

By Mary Kennedy                          


Ali Blake, from my Dream Club Mysteries is on the hunt for the ultimate veggie burger. As readers, know, Ali and Taylor have added a "café" to their vintage candy store, Oldies But Goodies, and they serve soups, sandwiches and pastries.

But I'll let Ali tell the story, since she is bound to, anyway! A long-time vegetarian, she enjoys experimenting with recipes that are both healthful and delicious. People in Savannah love good food and Ali is determined to keep her customers happy.
                                                         

Ali says, "Are you eating those veggie burgers out of a box? The ones that are flat, uninspiring and have about as much taste as a hockey puck? I know I have. Did you know that you can make your own veggie burgers, using fresh veggies, and they're scrumptious? And easy? A home-made veggie burger can be a delight!                                                              
Here's a recipe that easy, delicious and will knock your socks off. You can tweak it however you want.  Sometimes I substitute black beans for white beans or use half and half."

Ali's Veggie Burger

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 to 2 cups kale, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup panko
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

Saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Next, cut the center stem off the kale. This is very important. The stem is bitter and will ruin everything. Chop the kale and sauté in the same pan as the other vegetables.

Drain and rinse the canned beans. You can use black beans if you prefer. 

Add the egg, the Panko bread crumbs and paprika.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times. You don't want the mixture to be completely mushy, you want it to have a little texture.

Refrigerate the mixture for half an hour. This will help it hold together.

Now, add one tablespoon of the olive oil to a frying pan and heat. Shape the mixture into six patties.  Fry lightly on both sides.              
                                                       

Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!  
                                                                                                                        

Bon Appetit, everyone!

Mary Kennedy