Saturday, May 15, 2010

Direct from Brugge (Belgium) -- The Awesome, But Healthy VEGGIE BURGER

And just in time! A friend who got me started on commercial veggie burgers just sent me this link this very morning:

about veggie burgers containing junk chemicals. And this was the day I was going to post the news of the awesome veggie burger from Brugge.

First -- here is a photo from Brugge just to set the scene of this medieval village. Now picture a day just walking and sightseeing, taking a canal trip and savoring all the beauty of this town. And just when we decided to sit down at a local cafe for lunch, we realized that we had dallied too long and we were short of time.

We went into a tiny fast food type restaurant, where you ordered at the counter - lots of burgers and fries. As I looked at the menu with chagrin, the counter chef person asked if there was a problem. I said, "I'm a vegan and I was just looking for something to eat."

She said, "Oh, try our veggie burger." Since a line was behind me, and we were short of time, I gave her the thumbs up and sat to wait for what I figured was the "traditional veggie burger" tasting like ground mushrooms or sawdust.

You can imagine my surprise when she brought out a homemade veggie burger made with yummy veggies in a mashed potato base, on a grain bun with a sauce and lettuce. I was moaning with delight as I savored the flavors (almost to my embarrassment -- someone could have shouted, "I'll have what she's having!" if I kept it up.)

The recipe is simple -- I made up a batch yesterday (photo above) and froze the rest for later:

I made a bowl of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes -- skins and all, using a little vegetable broth to smooth them a bit.

In a large saute pan, I added some of my favorites:

vidalia onion, chopped
green cabbage, chopped
red cabbage, chopped
matchstick carrots and broccoli

and sauteed this mixture until slightly wilted in vegetable broth
then I added:
sun dried tomato bits

All I did was add a good portion of the veggies to my potato mash (I made more veggies than I needed, but can use them later as a meal in and of themselves).

I formed potato pancakes and breaded them in panko breadcrumbs (not necessary, but a nice touch) and cooked them in my frying pan with just a spritz of olive oil.

Photo above --- the taste is great. Add the veggies you love. I ate mine without a bun, but that option is available.

And the bonus: No chemicals. No additives. You control the mixture and you enjoy the taste.

Make up a batch and thaw them when you need them. I had one without the crumbs from breakfast today with a spritz of nouveau catsup.

1 comment:

  1. you're too cool, Rabbi Ann!
    congrats on your happy, healthy lifestyle.
    may you be an inspiration to many...including me!


The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.