As an ex-Montrealer living in Toronto for the past 30 years, I’ve discovered over time that other ex-Montrealers think I’m, well, weird (okay, fine—so it’s not just ex-Montrealers).
It’s not because I love the sound of an authentic joual accent (which I do); nor because I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid more than 40 times after I discovered it in my teens (which I did), nor because I love okra (which I do), nor because my first boyfriend’s name was “Burger” (which it was). No, the reason ex-Montrealers think I’m weird is because I absolutely adore Toronto, I don’t miss Montreal at all, and I have no desire to ever move back there. And yes, that is blasphemy coming from an ex-Montrealer.
That said, the one aspect of life I’m not crazy about in Toronto is the weather. I mean, where else in Canada could you have 29C (84F) weather on Friday, and 11 C (51F) on Saturday? It went from shorts to scarves, ice cream to oatmeal, patio to fireplace in less than 24 hours. I hear it will be 34C (93 F) tomorrow.That’s the kind of quick turnaround of which I’m not too fond.
Then again, when it comes to cooking, the phrase “quick turnaround” is all I need to hear to try out a recipe. These days I’m delighted if I can manage to eat anything that isn’t some variation of my Toronto Sandwich (see, even my food pays homage to my adopted city), mostly because it’s ready in less than 10 minutes; or if I manage something from a can without the word “Amys” on the label. With the launch of Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free only a few days away (Wahoo! Yummy allergy-friendly desserts for all on the way!!), I’ve had precious little time for cooking up new recipes. And while I have enjoyed mixing up a few things from other people’s cookbooks recently (I’ll be sharing those anon), I haven’t really created much that’s new in my own kitchen.
Until yesterday, that is.
[Yesterday's burgers--Instagram edition.]
After a busy weekend working, the HH and I made the trek downtown to spend some quality time with Heather and Allyson, who were both in the city for the Vegetarian Food Festival. We had a raucous time gabbing, eating great vegan food at Lola’s Kitchen, and taking Instagram photos of our food (good bloggers that we are!).
Yesterday, it was more work for me, and by dinnertime, I was pooped. The HH was craving anything that “isn’t obviously so veggie.” Hmm! Then I remembered a stash of my Meat Crumbles in the freezer, and the coup de foudre hit! (See, other ex-Montrealers, I haven’t entirely forgotten my French). I could turn that “meat” into “meaty” burgers! I decided to treat the crumbles sort of the same way I’d treat actual ground beef, and fashion some patties. We threw together some sweet potato fries and a classic kale and avocado salad, and within 30 minutes, dinner was served.
Well, I hadn’t intended to post that recipe, but you know what? It was so darned delicious that, despite having just a few Instagram photos to share with you, I decided to put it up here anyway. Then, when I dined on the leftovers this afternoon, I managed to snap a few more pics.
[Today's meaty burger leftover. Complemented by some organic corn on the cob we got from our CSA!]
I just couldn’t let this burger pass you by. It’s brown and crispy on the outside, moist and meaty on the inside, and would be equally at home nestled in a bun with some vegan cheese, mustard and onion rings as it was on my plate today with sliced red pepper and sriracha.
I must admit that in this case, the result of a quick turnaround was just super. Or, if you speak joual, “SUPER.”
“Mum, we think they look super, too! Hey, Elsie, maybe we could get some if we learn to obey commands in French! What do you think, huh? I bet I could jump for “La Frisbee,” and then Mum will let me have a burger or even–”
“Zip it, Chaser. Fuggedaboutit. Don’t you know that those burgers have onions in them? Oh, right, that’s oignon to you.”
Meaty Veggie Burgers
These burgers are the ideal way to use up leftover “meat crumbles“–or a reason to make some! Because the crumbles are already well-seasoned, there’s no need to add more salt or spices here, unless you wish to change up the flavors. The burgers can be partially baked, then popped on the grill for an authentic smoky flavor, too.
3 cups (720 ml) prepared meaty crumbles from this recipe, unpacked
1 medium carrot, finely grated
3 Tbsp (45 ml) ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) whole psyllium husks
1/3 cup (40 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
2/3-3/4 cup (160-180 ml) vegetable stock or broth, as needed
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the crumbles, carrot, flax seeds, psyllium husk, and oats; toss to distribute the oats and seeds. Pour the water over top, starting with 2/3 cup (160 ml). Mix well. If the mixture is moist enough to hold together, don’t add more broth. If not, add broth a little at a time, just until you can form patties that will keep their shape. Allow to sit 5 minutes.
Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, scoop the mixture and place mounds on the cookie sheet. Flatten the mounds to create burgers that are about 3/4 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Flip the burgers and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the outside is browned. Serve in buns or as is. Makes 6-7 burgers. May be frozen.
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