Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guest Blogger - Andrea Lependu

The following scrumptious recipe for white bean burger comes all the way from TAHITI! I am proud to present a dear friend of mine, and fellow mom and lover of all things in the kitchen, Andrea Lependu. I can't even start to tell you about how I feel about her. I'll cry. I'll just say she inspires me in everyway and her heart is made of pure love. And she puts me to SHAME in the kitchen. Her husband and her kids worship the ground she walks on. And justifiably so. And so do I.

Here is a picture of Andrea (second from right). Two of our Wai'anae gang are just arriving (at the two ends) and two of us are returning to Hawai'i

Andrea, her wonderful husband, Andrew, and their five incredible children
So my husband an I are always looking for a good hamburger. In fact most of our lunch dates involved looking for the ultimate burger which was not so good on our waist lines. Since we've been together we have gained triple digits on our really bad eating habits. This past February I went back to Hawai'i for a quick visit and met up with some good friends. One of those friends being Ms. Liana and she looked fabulous. Out of curiosity I asked her what she was doing and she had informed me about a plant based lifestyle change. I told her I was very interested. I mean she looked fantastic which is testimony enough for me that it must be a good thing. The only problem with going plant based is the burgers suck. So since my husband was joining me on this life changing experience it was my quest to find a really good vegan burger recipe because my burger lunch dates with him is my once a week favorite thing to do. So I finally found a great recipe White bean burger and it was fantastic. Even my kids gobbled it up. I ate mine with dijon mustard and roasted pepper hummus topped with lettuce and tomatoes, of course. You can top the burger with whatever you choose or just eat it plain. It is really that good. Hope you enjoy it! As they say here in Tahiti,  Ta ma'a maita'i or Bon appetit (Good eating).

White Bean Burger
(This recipe comes from thevegannurse.com)

2 T oil - plus more for pan frying
1 cup red onion – diced small to medium size pieces
1/8 cup sliced black olives – optional
2 T finely chopped garlic
1 cup fresh and finely chopped mushrooms – fresh only, not canned
1 cup diced bell peppers – yellow, red or orange – sometimes I mix the colors
½ cup finely shaved carrot – I use the vegetable peeler and shave and then I cut the shavings into smaller pieces
3 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
pepper and salt to taste
½ to 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp coriander- optional
¼ – ½ tsp cumin - optional

Heat a pan to medium-high heat and add all of the above vegetables and garlic, turn down heat and allow the vegetables to sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Make sure to keep the heat low as you do not want the garlic to burn and turn bitter. Toward the end add the pepper and salt, paprika, parsley, cumin and coriander. Stir well.

While the vegetables are sweating away in the pan, set up a food processor( if you do not have a food processor just use a potato masher and mash really well)
2 – 15 oz cans cannellini beans – rinse and drain very well
1 – 15 oz can chickpeas – rinse and drain well
½ cup cooked brown rice
1 cup old fashioned oats - uncooked

Add the beans and chick peas to the food processor and mix well until nicely mashed. Add the brown rice and oats and pulse several times until well blended.
Add the sauteed vegetables/seasonings and pulse a few more times.
Check out the mixture and add bread crumbs ¼ cup at the time. You want a nice mixture that stays together well. This is also a great time to do a taste test and add more seasonings if needed.

Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes and then form into patties. I usually make some of the patties thick for dinner type meals and then I also make some thinner patties that are great for a sandwich at lunch time.
Once all the patties are formed, add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and heat up on low to medium-high heat. Cook the patties until they are a golden brown color about 305 minutes on each side.
These burger patties freeze quite well. Just wrap them individually and when ready to eat either heat in a pan or in the oven.

*** I used cilantro instead and dropped the coriander instead of using parsley and no salt or oil... :O) Enjoy!!!

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