Edamame Strawberry Balsamic Burgers w/ Creamy Avocado Sauce

You know those burgers that are meant to mimick the kind that you find at your greasy uncle’s burger bar? Where the oil drips off the bun while you quickly down a cheese, mayo, ketchup, pickle-laden creation sure to make you feel like you took a bath in the deep fryer? Well…..this is not one of those burgers. A lot of times veggie burgers are created in hopes of making a thick, dense burger that reminds you of the aforementioned establishment. That’s okay. I like a vegan-version of that burger every now and then alongside my sweet potato fries, but this time I was craving something a little different.

I made a salad a couple of weeks ago that had spinach, balsamic vinegar, strawberries and some edamame thrown on top for some protein and it was delicious! I know that that salad wasn’t really reinventing the wheel but the idea of all of the flavors combined into a light, delicious veggie burger shot into my mind. Ever since then I kept wanting to create something but didn’t have time until last night and viola! Done. Because these burgers are so light, you’ll want to bake them first and then you can pan fry them if you’d like.

I had planned on simply topping my burger with some spinach and avocado but thought that I would ‘jazz it up’ a bit with an avocado sauce instead! I don’t normally use vegan cream cheese because I don’t like the taste by itself, but I happened to have some Tofutti on hand so I threw that in as well. If you do end up buying some vegan cream cheese, make sure you get the non-hydrogenated kind as the other kind has nasty trans-fat in it! Silken tofu could also probably stand in for the cream cheese but it wouldn’t result in the exact same flavor. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Balsamic Strawberry Edamame Burgers
[makes 8 burgers]

  • 1 cup frozen Edamame
  • 5 medium Strawberries (140g)
  • ½ cup coarsely-chopped red onion (55g)
  • 1 medium carrot (80g)
  • ½ cup coarsely-chopped bell pepper (45g)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia Powder (or ground chia seeds)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

– Preheat oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.  If you use tin foil, spray it with cooking spray.

– In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients. Note: If you would like, you can reserve some of the edamame, veggies and oats and add them after processing the other ingredients first in order to create a chunkier burger.

– Using measurements of ¼ cup of the burger mixture, create patties by spooning the mixture onto the parchment paper/foil and shaping them into burgers.

– Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake 10 minutes longer.

– If you would like, you could then pan fry the burgers to create a crispy exterior.

– Serve with Daiya vegan cheese, and some creamy avocado sauce!

Creamy Avocado Sauce
[Yields ½ cup]

  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Non-Hydrogenated)
  • ¼ cup Almond Milk
  • ½ tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ of a ripe Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

– Blend all ingredients in a small food processor or with an immersion blender. Add some sriracha to spice it up!

Put all burger ingredients into your blender/food processor.

Blend it all up!

Form into patties.

Bake for abot 20 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through.

Fry in a skillet until browned on both sides.

Sandwich some daiya in between two patties with some avocado sauce on top for a double stack!

Eat!

– I didn’t have any burger buns but did have tortillas so I stacked my burgers in there with some spinach and Daiya.

– Don’t forget the Creamy Avocado Sauce!

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Pie!

December has definitely arrived with the declaration of several inches of snow in our area this past weekend. I was pretty excited on Saturday while if was snowing because I always like the first real snow. That being said, it won’t take me long to get over it! I think I’m in for a long Winter. Do you look forward to the first time it snows? Or maybe you live in an area where you don’t even get any snow. I think that Christmas would be a little strange without snow but otherwise I wouldn’t mind it.

On Saturday night I went on a trolley ride that was supposed to be a holiday lights tour. While it was fun (they served wine and champagne 😉 ), I was surprised that the majority of people didn’t have any Holiday lights up around their houses. I know that it’s a lot of work for the short period of time that they’re up (unless you ‘forget’ to take them down..), but was still surprised. It was nice because it was still snowing but there were some hills on the route covered in snow that I wasn’t sure the trolley would make up! They had to back up a couple of times when the tires started spinning. At least we didn’t have to get out and push…

Enough about my weekend though. No one guessed what the fruit that I used in the pie recipe is, so I will just tell you! Persimmon. I had heard of Persimmons before this year but hadn’t actually tried them until recently. There are usually two varieties available in stores, the Hachiya and Fuyu. I bought both and used a combination in this recipe. I think that main difference is that the Hachiya is more ‘astringent’ when it isn’t ripe and leaves this really strange, chalky coating on your tongue. Because of this, try to buy the Hachiya when it’s soft to the touch. I preferred the Fuyu for taste because I’m impatient and didn’t want to worry about it ripening.

 The following pie comes together quickly in a blender or food processor. The crust is equally easy to make and compliments the filling well, but if you really want to make it simple, a graham cracker crust would work fine too.  However, check the nutrition labels if you do! A lot of graham cracker crusts still have trans fat in them so you definitely want to avoid that because it is the worst type of fat for you to consume (it actually raises your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels).

Persimmon Coconut Pie

Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups of chopped persimmon + 1 whole Persimmon
  • 6 ounces of firm Silken Tofu (about ½ of a box of Mori-Nu)
  • 1 tbsp. of Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/8 cup Sucanat or Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Dried Dates
  • 2 tsp. of Coconut Spread or Oil
  •  ¾ cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 tsp. of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. of Ground Cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp. of Orange Zest
  •  ¼ cup of Shredded Coconut
  • 1 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. of Salt

Crust:

  • 10 Dried Dates
  •  ¼ cup of Pecan Halves
  •  ½ cup of Old Fashioned Oats
  •  ¼ cup of Shredded Coconut
  •  ¼ tsp. of Ground Cardamom
  •  ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Spread or Oil
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

– Preheat oven to 350 F.

– In a blender or food processor combine the ingredients for the crust.

– Spray a pie dish with cooking spray. Put the crust mixture in the pie dish and use a small rolling-pin or spatula to press the crust along the bottom and up the sides (it should not go all the way to the top).

– Slice the whole persimmon into thin rounds and line the pie crust with about half of them. Reserve the other half.

– Process all filling ingredients in the blender.

– Pour the filling into the pie dish (it will completely cover the pie crust). Top with remaining Persimmon slices.

– Bake for one hour and then cool completely before serving.