When I sit down and really think about it, it boggles my mind that I have been doing this for a year. I feel like finally I have found what I love to do and that is reading about, writing, photographing and developing vegan recipes. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty to hate about blogging: when recipes don’t work out despite adding everything flavourful and good into one pot then having to eat a sub-par dinner and doing all of the dishes for it. Revised, redo and keep my fingers crossed. I have had some serious disasters and failures yet something about recipe developing that always brings me back to the kitchen. That is when I knew I loved it.
The problem with loving something so much is the acceptance period where you realize that your days can’t be consumed by just this one thing. When you love something you want to do it all the time but there is school to attend, clocking into my server job, homework, laundry, errands and some kind of social life. I went through this acceptance period without a lick of grace. I was really angry and resented everything else I had to do in my life that wasn’t blogging. However all these things that I do besides this all benefit my blogging life and I had to keep that in mind as well.
One trick I use so I can keep my sanity at a job I rather dislike is to keep my server’s notepad filled with recipe ideas or menu planning or cocktails (coming this summer!) to add to my site. When it is slow or a guest is being particularly awful I turn back to my notebook and put my energy into something I enjoy. Blogging drives me insane and yet keeps me sane all at the same time.
Going back and looking at my first post, I knew I needed to make some changes. While the original tastes great it was a lot of work, cooking quinoa, four kinds of vegetables and mixing it all together. I wanted to cut the prep time since burgers should be easy and quick. Thankfully in this recipe the food processor does 90% of the work. This recipe does omit the quinoa and I added sweet potato instead for texture and switched the panko for oats (a little trick from Mark’s mother. Thanks Eileen!) These burgers are still gluten free like the original but are quicker, more healthful and contain much less oil since they are baked instead of pan fried.
While there is still much to learn about recipe development, blogging, SEO searches, coding (oh the frustration and many YouTube How-to’s) and WordPress I feel I have come a long way from the first time I hesitantly hit the “publish” button from the first time.
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 shallot, peeled and halved
- 2/3 cup packed cilantro or parsley leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder (this is what makes it smoky)
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1-teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and well drained
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, ground and mixed with 2 tablespoons water (see note)
- ¼ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a completely dry bowl of a food processor, attach the S-blade and process the oats until fine. You should have ¾ cup oat flour. Transfer oat flour to a large bowl.
- In the now empty bowl add the garlic, shallot, cilantro or parsley and spices and pulse until the mixture is minced and there are no huge chucks of garlic or shallots (about 7-10 pulses). Transfer mixture to the bowl with the oat flour.
- Add the beans to the food processor and pulse until only some of the beans remain in tact. Do not over-process here or your burgers will have a slightly gummy texture. Transfer beans to the bowl.
- Attach the grater attachment to the food processor and shred the peeled sweet potato. You need about 1½ cups of shredded sweet potato for this recipe. Transfer to the bowl and add the chia seed mixture, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and the oil. Now here is the messy part: with your hands, mix until everything is incorporated and taste before you make the patties, adjusting the seasoning to your liking.
- With either a ¼ measuring cup (for sliders) or a 1/3 measuring cup (for larger burgers) measure out the mixture and form a patty with your hands, making it about 1/2 -inch thick and fairly flat. Place patty on prepared baking sheet and continue with the rest of the mixture.
- Baked for 35 minutes, gently turning halfway through. Serve in lettuce wraps, collard greens or on a bun.
- I found that the chia seeds remained in tact during the cooking process so I chose to grind them up to a fine powder before adding them into the burgers the second time I made this recipe. If you don’t mind the seeds in your burgers, don’t bother grinding them.
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