Thursday, August 11, 2011

Veggie Burgers and Grandmothers

Both of my grandmothers were incredible cooks. Absolutely incredible. Some of my most cherished memories are those spent with these amazing cooks in their kitchens while they prepared delightfully delectable dishes. There was never a time at either house that we left feeling less than completely satisfied and loved.

Not a single one of us can duplicate even the simplest of their sinfully delicious kitchen creations. And we have tried. Multiple times. Countless times. It simply cannot be done. And there is a very good reason for our failure. Neither of these accomplished cooks used such trite kitchen tools as measuring cups.

My mother once asked my grandmother how to make the pudding part of her banana pudding. Here it is:

Amount of sugar you think it needs
Add milk ‘till it tastes right
Add flour ‘till its thick enough
Start with 2 egg yolks; add more if needed
You can put vanilla in it but you don’t have to
This is all leading up to the explanation of why I can only give out the ingredients I used for those VEGGIE BURGERS I made this week. It's not that I don't want y'all to have it. It's that I cook just like my grandmothers did. I rarely, if ever, measure. I change most recipes that I do follow- adding or changing or taking out ingredients here and there. If I were to attend cooking school, I'm certain they would kick me out after one day.

That being said, here are the ingredients I used for the veggie burgers.

shredded carrots
shredded zucchini
a handful or two of mixed baby greens
chopped onion
1 can Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
oats (some I ground up in the food processor to a floury consistency, some I kept whole) [Next time I will use coconut flour and whole oats]
egg whites
various seasonings (this one is easy though- just add what your family likes)

I will mention that, once I had it all mixed up, I thought it was a tiny bit wet so I added some more oats. Next time, I will leave those extra oats out. I think they would have been even better had the mixture remained wet- but dry enough to stay together in a patty.

Then I simply baked them in the oven on 400 degrees. Don't remember how long but I did turn them over so they could brown a bit on both sides.

Sorry y'all. BUT here's some good news! For those of you who asked for the Zucchini Lasagna recipe, I can lead you to the one I used as a guideline:  my Zucchini Lasagna is based on Debbi's here. She also has a recipe for Tomato Zucchini Bisque that really is to die for! I follow the bisque recipe almost to the letter. It's so amazing!

As a matter of fact, Debbi has an entire index of recipes that she has modified for lower calories and calculated the nutritional value for her readers. I am using quite a number of her recipes as a guideline for the Slimmer this Summer Challenge! Check her out! 

AND maybe, if we're lucky, Patrice at Everyday Ruralty will share her Ratatouille recipe with us! She's a professional chef you know! (And mom to four daughters, wife of a farmer, friend extraordinaire, owner of Wendell the wonder horse...).


  1. I can just imagine how my pudding would turn out if I tried to follow your Grandmother's recipe! lol You really have know your way around a kitchen to make great meals without recipes or measuring!

    As for the veggie burgers - did you purée the chickpeas or leave them whole?

  2. Kara- I put the chickpeas in the food processor but I left them a little bit course. Yeah, trying to cook any of her recipes is like that!

  3. I have a hard time repeating a recipe for my family because I cook like you...change it up and prepare how it strikes my fancy!


    BTW...One of my Grandmothers cooked....the other didn' Mom we all ran the other way when she was in the kitchen! ;-)

  4. So did you like those veggie burgers? I'll have to try them! I cook a lot the same way, starting with a basic recipe and adding/subtracting here and there. :-)

  5. I think that's how most good cooks do it. My Mother makes amazing bread and she just dumps it from the canister into the mixing bowl, no clue how much! She does it the same way whether its for a big batch or small. Perfect every time..... I'll never be able to have her 'recipe', because a written one does not exist, that's when the precious time spent learning & watching becomes most important and cherished!

  6. I LOVE veggie burgers! (And your instructions too!)

  7. Sush-I'm glad I'm not the only one who still does this! Too funny about your mom!

    Judy- I did like them. I'm going to try again this weekend and see if I can improve them!

    April-Both of my grandmothers made the best bread just like that! No measurements. Nothing written down. I can smell it just thinking about it!

    Betty- Thanks! I'm going to try again- hopefully they will be even better!

  8. OMG, I just posted my post about my Grandma without seeing yours. The Scotch Shortbread Cookie recipe that I mentioned said to use a cup of this or that and when I first made them they were awful. Come to find out a cup to Grandma was a huge coffee mug. She didn't measure either. What a coincidence. Sounds like your Grandma's were as special to you as mine. Great post.

  9. Yes, I cook like that, too. Recipes are just for the ingredients which are often changed depending on what I have. Love your veggie burgers and can't wait to try it out.

    My son is a chef and I often wonder how he can create the same menu items perfectly every time.

  10. Betty-I will try to remember to write it all down. But...LOL

    Barb- That is HILARIOUS! Weren't they the best, those grandmothers?!

    Stephanie- There is no way mine turn out exactly the same every time. Maybe that's what sets those amazing chefs above us?!

  11. I have to try those burgers. They sound delicious.
    I cook the same way you do. I take a basic recipe and add or substract.
    I still can't make things my Oma made.


  12. Those burgers sound delicious.

    I cook the same way. I always was assigned to make the chocolate pies for family gatherings. Someone wanted my recipe...what? I had to make a pie and then write it down.

    Mom loved my pies and an older friend told my sister, I made chocolate pies like her mother did.

    Once a week I make refridgerator stew and never know what that recipe will be.

  13. I am the same...I never work from a recipe and, if I do consult one, I never stick to it. I never follow suggested times, either.

    Your veggie burgers sound very good!

  14. My husband and daughter both cook that way. Me? I have to follow a recipe to the letter!

  15. Your burgers sound wonderful. I remember my sister-in-law sitting with her nana trying to write down a recipe while she watched her make it!


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