A vegetarian burger with beans, oats and nuts

Beans, oats and nuts burger with wasabi mayo and picked onions

It’s Friday, vegetarian daughter Sam is home and I made vegetarian burgers for her. The patties were made with mashed beans, toasted rolled oats, nuts, sesame seeds, chopped bell peppers, garlic, panko and egg. The seasonings were basic — sea salt, Himalayan black salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sam assembled her own sandwich and garnished the burger with avocado slices and homemade mustard sauce. I assembled one for Speedy and myself (we always do a taste test of every vegetarian dish that I cook for Sam), and I chose wasabi mayo, pickled onions and cilantro to go with the vegetarian patty.

The trick in making this vegetarian burger is to find the right proportion of ingredients so that, after frying, the patty has formed a light crisp crust while the inside remains moist and juicy. Sam thinks we can tweak the recipe a bit more (she prefers larger pieces of nuts) but this one is pretty good as it is. In fact, it’s darn delicious! »

Pasta with avocado sauce

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The best way to describe the sauce is a no-cook creamy pesto. The creaminess is courtesy of the avocado which also imparts a slight sweetness. Overall, the sauce is a little bit tart, garlicky and full of the wonderful flavors of fresh sweet basil.The grated cheese topping is optional. Omit it and this pasta with … »

Mango and avocado salsa

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Our mint and basil are thriving but our lime tree has gone on vacation once more and it'll probably be several months before we see fruits again. The juice of the last three limes and a handful of freshly picked mint leaves went into this fresh salsa that is creamy, tangy, zesty, sweet and spicy all at the same time. It's … »

Vegetarian burrito with beans and mushrooms

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I've always wondered if black-eyed peas were different from black-eyed beans. It appears that they're the same. After that discovery, I chanced upon dried sitaw (yard-long) beans at the grocery and I wondered of sitaw beans which have that distinctive black spot, are the same as what the English-speaking world calls … »

Flashed-fried eggplants with rice vinegar and soy sauce

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On Thursday evening, as we were scanning the contents of the fridge in preparation for the arrival of the girls the following night, Speedy said our weekend restaurant was about to open again. That's how he describes the cooking and eating routine on weekends when the girls are home -- we're like a restaurant that's open … »

Fried mushrooms and vegetables spring rolls (no, they are not egg rolls)

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An American reader once commented that, in the States, spring rolls are fresh and, when fried, they are called egg rolls. The difference in terminology actually goes beyond the frying. In the States, spring rolls are dipped in beaten egg and dredged in flour (or starch) prior to frying. That's something we don't do with … »

Rice-stuffed fried spring rolls with eggplant caviar dip

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Sam likes to have a crisp element in her vegetarian food. When I cook something that doesn't have anything crispy in it, she's likely to remedy the situation by throwing in things like pop corn or potato chips. I'm not kidding.Last week, she caught a bug and, as usual, her appetite and taste buds went on hibernation. I … »

Zucchini and tomato “spaghetti”

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I saw a zucchini and tomato "spaghetti" salad recipe that looks similar to the dish in the photo. I wasn't sure though if Sam would eat raw zucchini so I decided to create a cooked version of zucchini and tomato "spaghetti". The peg? Pasta aglio e olio. But there is no pasta in this dish. Instead, the zucchini is shredded … »

Spinach quesadillas

spinach-quesadillas

I can hear the noise from firecracker explosions as I write this, and it isn't even December 31 yet. On Facebook, author Geraldine Maayo posted about what she calls the impertinence of hospitals preparing for firecracker casualties when we should focus on banning firecrackers instead. I told her, tongue-in-cheek, that a lot … »

Baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese stuffing

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The vegetarian dish in our simple Christmas Eve meal. The potatoes were baked, the flesh scooped out, the hollowed out centers stuffed with mashed potatoes, broccoli and shredded cheddar. Creamy and filling. And even better when paired with something that provides a contrast in texture like the simple lettuce salad that I … »