Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Earth Day 2014...

Tuesday was Earth Day, and Earth Day is one of my favorite non-holiday-holiday’s! Each year I celebrate by making a tasty meal, and then my husband and I go and see the latest Disney Nature Earth Day film - proceeds of which go to benefit things like ocean conservation, the national parks, Chimpanzee’s etc... whatever the year’s film happens to be about.

This year my dinner was a little lower-key then dinners past because I’ve been so burned out on food lately, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have some delicious fun.

I started by making a delicious batch of Summer Strawberry and Mango Guacamole from Angela Liddon’s wonderful new book “The Oh She Glows Cookbook.” Now, you might not think that mangos and strawberries belong in a Guac recipe, and I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but this guac was so good! Seriously, all the flavors mingled so well, and I absolutely loved the combination of buttery avocados, with tart strawberries, and sweet mangos. A perfect marriage of the three - we ate this up like ravenous dogs, with a bag of Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

For our meal I decided to make Brian Patton’s Meatball Parmesan Burgers from the August 2013 Issue of VegNews Magazine. I remember being particularly excited about this issue because of the exquisite burger recipes, but as often happens I never actually got around to trying any of the recipes until now. These burgers were pretty easy to make, however they did require a few steps. First you need to make the patty which is a mixture of tempeh, walnuts, vegetables, spices and wheat gluten. Then you make the Garlicky Mozzarella Sauce which is a creamy cashew based cheese sauce, then you make a batch of the Basil Macadamia Pesto. I also decided to make my own burger buns since I didn’t have any buns on hand. I used the recipe for Rustica Buns in Joni Marie Newman’s wonderful book “The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet.” Since the buns have chopped up pieced of sun-dried tomatoes in them I thought they would be a perfect fit for a meatball burger and boy was I right. These buns were super awesome, and I would definitely make them again.

The only significant change to the recipe is that I decided to make them sliders instead of full burgers. I thought they would be cuter that way, and of course making a smaller burger - and a smaller bun - decreases cooking time. Honestly, in the end I wasn’t sure how I’d like the burgers but they ended up being one of the best home-made veggie burgers I’ve made - and I’ve made a lot. They weren’t overly gluten-tasting which I really appreciate, and they weren’t mushy either. I think they’d probably stand up well to a grill. They were particularly amazing when all the components were brought together, the bun, the burger, the sauce, the pesto, and the marinara. Both the cheese cause and pesto were excellent. I’ve made a lot of vegan pesto in my time but never one using macadamia nuts. It was a really nice surprise flavor wise.

To accompany our burgers I decided to go with another one of Brian Patton’s recipes. This time I chose The Green Bean Fries from his book “The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour At Home” These tasted a lot more like green bean tempura then french fries but they were delicious nonetheless. The beans were tossed in arrowroot powder, then bathed in a batter mix of flour, beer and spices then deep fried.  To serve you make a really delicious tahini dipping sauce that tasted so amazing with the beans.

Since we’re pretty burnt out on sweets I opted not to make dessert for once, but we didn’t miss it. We stuffed ourselves silly, and were quite happy there wasn’t anything else that needed eating. After filling our bellies and cleaning up we went for a nice walk. The weather was nice, sunny and mostly warm with a breeze. Then as stated earlier, we saw the new Earth Day film "Bears" which really tugs at the heartstrings. If you're as into Nature Films, Nature Documentaries, or Animal Documentaries as much as I am, you'll love it - for the amazing close-up footage alone.

Hope you all had a happy Earth Day.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Earth Day!
    It was a lovely day & I had fun. Thanks for all that amazing food! The guacamole was the best! It really is a great combo of flavors & I had no idea they'd go so well together, either. Crazy.
    The movie was entertaining, too. So glad we made it out to see it.