On Ryan’s Plate: Bacon Veggie Burgers
Another one coming at you from my other (better?) half!
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One of the many important lessons I’ve learned from eating less meat is that I often prefer vegetarian options to meat. Many meals, I’m happy to replace a mediocre piece of meat with a great non-meat option. But at the same time, I’ve learned that there are some meats I could never, ever totally give up. Great seafood. A really good pork chop. A juicy brat. And the meat right there at the top of the list is bacon. Sweet, salty, crispy, greasy, delicious bacon. The mere sound of it sizzling in the pan can make the strongest, burliest lumberjack weak in the knees. According to an ancient legend that I just made up right now, the Trojan War and The Norman Conquest were ultimately conflicts over bacon supply. My feelings on this important topic can be summed up by this poster making the internet rounds:
I’m not alone. Bacon is hot right now, and people are doing bold, experimental, potentially disgusting things with it. Bacon ice cream. Bacon mallomores. Bacon maple cupcakes. Bacon S’mores. Bacon popcorn. That’s the power of American innovation. We can put a man on the moon, and we can combine bacon and taffy. There’s hope for our great nation yet.
So I decided that I could combine my preference for non-meat options with delicious bacon. Win-win. I was inspired to create a bacon-topped veggie burger after hearing that Fatburger offers a secret menu item called “The Hypocrite” (only people at an establishment called Fatburger could devise such a glorious monstrosity. They are the Dr. Frankensteins of fast food). To create my masterpiece, I wondered which veggie burger recipe would pair well with bacon (answer: all of them). I eventually made a variation of the chickpea-spinach burger from the book Veggie Burgers Every Which Way. I figured, it has spinach, it has eggs, it’s practically an omelet. Plus, the recipe is pretty easy. Here’s the version I made:
Chickpea-Spinach Veggie Burgers
1 can chickpeas, cooked
1 generous handfull of spinach
1 half red onion, chopped
1 half zucchini, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp bread crumbs
1) Cook onion and zucchini in skillet until soft.
2) Combine chickpeas, eggs, lemon juice, onion, zucchini, and salt in food processor. Blend into a thick, chunky mixture.
2) Cook spinach in skillet until it wilts (about 3-4 minutes)
3) Use fork to mash spinach into chickpea mixture.
4) Add flour and bread crumbs to chickpea mixture.
5) Form mixture into 3-4 patties. Place patties in skillet and cook until browned on each side.
6) Cook patties in oven at 350 for about 10 more minutes.
The patties turned out beautifully:
Especially when flanked by sweet, sweet bacon:
Even my lovely wife couldn’t resist bacon’s siren song:
So the dinner was a success. And yet, it doesn’t bring me any closer to resolving my perpetual quest to solve the mystery of the bacon burger dog, Cliff Huxtable’s famous specialty. Despite years of research, I’ve been unable to discern the exact ingredients of this forbidden treat. How, dear readers, did Heathcliff Huxtable combine bacon, a hamburger, and a hotdog? We may never know. Damn you, bacon burger dog!
But I digress.
The veggie burger was perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a nice, lemony flavor throughout. The bacon was…well, bacon. A great meal, all in all.
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When I asked Ryan what he was going to write his blog post about, he said simply “Bacon.” He’s a man of his word.
Have a great Friday!