Veggie Tales

I have a confession to make.

I’m the worst vegan ever.

I killed an animal.

On purpose.

Actually, I killed two.

See, the thing is, we have a little critter problem in our house.

To date, we have had six mice, three snakes, one squirrel and countless crickets.

I do happen to think that mice are very cute.

But they’re less cute when they’re pooping in my cabinets.

It’s a health issue and I am all about being healthy.

So, for my own health, I had to kill the bastard.

The whole event was very traumatic for me and the mouse so I’ll spare you the details.

I felt so guilty afterwards that I saved a fly that was trapped in a puddle in the shower.

The fly is free and clear and so is my conscience.

With that said, the month-long vegan challenge is coming to a close.

To be honest, the hardest part of this challenge is deciding whether or not I want to continue it come February.

While I’m making up my mind, I thought I would treat myself to the quintessential vegan staple:

the veggie burger.

A quick trip to the freezer revealed a glorious green box of Morningstar Farms veggie burgers.

I first noticed the mile-long ingredient list.

Strike one.

Then I noticed it contains soy protein concentrate.

Strike two.

And milk?

Strike three.

My veggie burgers aren’t even vegan!

I decided to make my own veggie burgers packed with fresh, chopped veggies, fiber-rich beans, and whole grain breadcrumbs.

Save the leftover veggies for a big pot of vegetable soup.

VEGGIN’ BURGER WITH CRISPY KALE CHIPS

Makes 8 burgers (0r 4 extra thick burgers)

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

¼ cup diced carrots

¼ cup diced red onion

¼ cup diced red pepper

¼ cup diced yellow pepper

¼ cup diced green pepper

¼ cup chopped mushrooms

¼ cup chopped green onion

2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Mash kidney beans with a fork or in food processor.

Add breadcrumbs, vegetables, seasoning, and soy sauce.

I used fresh rye bread for the breadcrumbs. You can use the kind that comes in a canister but I have no idea how it will turn out.

Mix thoroughly.

I realize how disgusting this looks, but tell me the last time raw meatloaf looked appetizing. You shouldn't be so focused on appearances anyway. It's shallow.

Scoop ¼ cup mixture onto hot skillet.

Use your hand to carefully press into a patty shape.

Repeat with remaining mixture. Cook for about four minutes on each side.

*Vegan tidbit: Like most veggie patties, these burgers are very delicate. The search is on for burger binder.

To make kale chips:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Place kale on baking sheet and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until crispy.

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Besides the untimely demise of mickey, no animals were harmed during the making of these burgers.

Well, except for the squirrel that the dog killed.

And the snake, well, I’m not going to get into that.

Good thing it’s almost February!

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