I feel like I’ve been avoiding fall. The weather has been really mild here – enough that I haven’t even had to break out a sweatshirt most days and I’ve still been picking tomatoes from the garden regularly. It’s made it easy to pretend summer is just ending.
But, I can’t pretend forever – our first frost is coming tonight and it’s finally kicked my brain into fall mode. I’m officially craving all the autumn flavors – and this vegan burger just hits the spot.
These have just a few simple ingredients but they flavors are incredible – fresh, and perfectly seasonal.
And, how is everyone doing? Honestly, we’re coming off a week of survival mode – all last week we were passing around a seemingly-un-pandemic-related stomach bug so I never got this post up for our Lenten Friday series.
Given everything going on in the world, sometimes plugging along with the Lenten Friday series as normal feels weird – after all, our diocese granted a dispensation from abstaining from meat on Fridays for the rest of Lent.
But, we’re all just pressing on and doing our best, aren’t we?
So in the spirit of pressing on, last week’s Lenten Friday becomes this week’s Meatless Monday – because I couldn’t hold onto these awesome vegetarian burgers any more.
Today is the halfway mark for my annual Meatless Lenten dinners series – I feel like this season has been flying. We’ve been so busy, and as we roll closer to spring, the family to-do list only seems to grow.
The whole thing is making me really glad that all of this year’s Lenten dinners are make-ahead friendly.
Today is the first Friday of Lent, so I’m kicking off my annual Lenten project – sharing meatless meals every Friday. What began as simply a way to keep from eating plain spaghetti and pizza every Friday has grown into one of my favorite yearly blog projects.
But, nine years on, how do I keep this series fresh? I’ve spent a bunch of time thinking about our family’s current needs and how to get them to reflect in my meatless Friday posts.
Chinese takeout fake-outs have become some of my favorite Lenten dinners. Our local Chinese restaurant has limited meatless options so it isn’t really a great option for us during Lent. Cravings a few year back led me to Kung Pao Chickpeas and then General Tso’s Cauliflower.
All of these sort of hide the bulk of the meal with the sauce, so even if you’re not usually a cauliflower fan, you might like this. Battered, fried, and covered in the fresh orange sauce, you can barely tell you’re loading up on vegetables here. My kids happily gobbled it down!
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
Zest of 1 orange + juice of orange
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. brown sugar
Rice, for serving
Mix together egg, water, cornstarch, flour, and olive oil to create a batter. It should be thick enough to coat, but not clumpy – think waffle batter consistency!
In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil on medium high. When the oil is heated, dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and then add it to the hot oil. Fry until browned, then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
In another skillet or wok, heat olive over medium-high heat and then add garlic and green onions and cook for a minute. Stir in orange zest and juice and cook for another minute. Add soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Seriously, I’m getting ready to build an ark. I’m not sure the backyard is ever going to dry out at this rate. And let’s not even talk about that our sump pump died a few weeks back…
Suffice it to say, I’m really, REALLY dreaming of warm, sunny days. How nice would it be to be on a beach somewhere tropical? So, for this Lenten Friday, I’m cooking up some island-inspired sliders that are – of course! – meatless.
I made these as sliders because they’re the perfect size for the kids, but you could make these as four large burgers too.
1/2onion, chopped 3garlic cloves
1 14.5oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2cuprolled oats
1/2cupfrozen corn, thawed
1 green onion, chopped 2tsp.cumin 1/2tsp.curry powder 1/4tsp.cayenne pepper 1/4cup plan breadcrumbs Salt and pepper 3Tbsp.vegetable oil
12 pineapple slices
12 onion rings
Sweet bbq sauce
6 Swiss cheese slices, halved
12 slider rolls
In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add the beans, oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry powder, and cayenne and pulse until well mixed – about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides, add salt and pepper to taste, and process for another 10 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and chill for several hours.
When ready to cook, stir in breadcrumbs and form into a dozen equal-sized patties.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway, until their is an outer crust and the patties are heated through. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Add the cooked patties to the slider rolls. Top each with a pineapple ring, onion ring, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.