THE BEST VEGGIE BURGER & WARM BEET SALAD

I do appreciate a good veggie burger. A flavourful patty that stays together when you bite into it, and of course, some corresponding toppings to bring it all together. This burger is by far the best veggie burger I have ever made, and, I think I'm going to go as far as to say the best I've eaten. The ingredients may seem simple, and to be honest I'm not totally sure where all the flavour comes from, but they are perfectly balanced. And they stay together like a patty should!

As for this salad, well it's pretty straight forward. Similar to my kale salad posted last month. But a nice update. I love a warm salad in the winter.

Tofu Burgers (Veg, Vegan, can be GF)
yields about 8-10 (depending on size)
About 45 minutes prep, 35-40 minutes to cook


two 14-16 oz blocks of firm tofu (extra firm if you can!)
2 tbsp veggie oil
2 cups diced onions
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup seeded & diced bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
1 cup coarsely ground toasted walnuts
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dijon
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Okay, so you gotta press your tofu. This is an important step as it gets rid of all that water that will make your burgers fall apart when cooked. I place mine on a cooking sheet, cover with a few sheets of paper towel and place whatever heavy object I have on top of it for half an hour (large cans of food, a stack of plates, etc). 

While the tofu presses get everything else together. Warm the oil on low heat and add diced onions, salt and oregano and cook on low heat for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring here and there.
Add the grated carrots and bell peppers and cook, covered, until veggie's are tender, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.

Discard the liquid from pressed tofu and grate it on a cheese grater (regular grate size). You might see some more water collected after you do this. I just took a few handfulls of the grated tofu and squeezed it over the sink to ensure all water was expelled.

Now throw everything together! The tofu, cooked veggies, walnuts, soy sauce, mustard, sesame oil, tahini, pepper and basil. Mix well!

This is also the step where you can chose to add bread crumbs. I've made these both with and without and they were just a little crumbly without them, but still great. You can definitely use GF bread crumbs if you have them. I added 1/2 cup of crumbs!

Preheat your oven to 375F, line a pan with parchment or oil and start making your patties. About 1 cup per burger.

Cook 30 to 40 minutes until firm and browned! You can flip, but you don't have to.

Voila! These babies freeze really great too. You can take them right out of the freezer and throw them in the oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes.

Top with your favourite toppings. I used smashed avocado, dijon and fresh tomato here. Plain and simple!

Warm Beet Kale Salad
Serves 4-6

1 small bunch of kale, washed and ripped into bite size pieces
4-5 medium beets (red, gold whatever you desire)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic 
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup for vegan-ers)
salt and pepper to taste
Goats cheese (optional)
1/3 cup cashews, roasted and chopped

Peel and wash your beets. Chop up each into 4-6 pieces and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic, and 1/2 tbsp honey. Salt and pepper to taste and throw in the oven on a parchment lined pan at 400F for 20-30 minutes! Until golden and cooked through.

Toss your kale with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic and 1/2 tbsp honey. Salt and pepper. Get your hands in there and really massage that kale! Make sure it's well coated. Toss in the oven at 350F for 7-8 minutes, just until warmed throughout and wilted slightly. If you put it in any longer it will start to crisp up, which isn't the end of the world! 

Top warmed kale with beets, goats cheese and toasted cashews.