Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nut Burger Cutlets & Sautéed Kale

As you can see from the picture, my absolute toughest critic polished off her kale, leaving some of her grated beat and lettuce salad and much of her nut burger. I picked the kale and salad greens about 20 minutes before cooking the kale, lending the dish a special texture not unlike the revelation of eating minutes-old broccoli. Anyway, she really dug it. She was quiet and eating, which means she truly is into whatever she's eating.

Although the kale took center stage, the nut burgers (served without a bun, as a cutlet) are remarkably quick and easy to make if you have a food processor. I don't like to peddle brands, but I will say that our Cuisinart food processor (this is the one we use) is the most valuable tool in the kitchen, next to the chef's knife.

Nut burgers combine oats (I've used quinoa and millet before), nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.), ketchup, onion, 1 egg, salt, pepper and some sort of seasoning (usually chili powder, but once I used curry powder along with cashews and coconut). It's one of Mark Bittman's recipes from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.

I ran across another food blog's entry about Bittman's nut burgers. The writer over at Have a Nosh! does a good job explaining the recipe.

You can get about 5 or 6 patties (I usually make a few miniature patties for the girl), doubling it gives you at least a day of lunches.

But nothing can compare to this vegan nut-burger stand called Sunflower in the old and quirky Sacramento neighborhood of Fair Oaks. Their nut-burgers are indescribably unique and out of this world (Yelp). They have outside tables so you can eat while watching the many feral chickens that roam the neighborhood.

Short of having Sunflower's secret recipe, though, Bittman makes one simple and tasty nut-burger.


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