Monday, June 4, 2012

Food success and failure, all in one

Today I decided to try to make veggie burgers for the first time.

I've been making Pecan Milk for my son, where you soak pecans for a day or two in about 4 times as much water, then blend it until smooth in a blender.

Soaking pecans look rather nasty, don't they?

Once that's done, you pour it through a mesh sieve a couple times and use the smooth, whitish milk. We usually add a sweetener and a little oil, just like with our rice milk. However, when we make pecan milk, we're left with the pulp.

Soggy, mushy pecan pulp
I hate to throw it away, because it's just the meat of the pecans, only in tiny pieces. It's nutritious, I'm sure. But I never knew quite what to do with it, so I've been reading up. One of the many options I've read was using it in veggie burgers.

Today, the kids were hungry, I had left over plain, white beans and some pecan nut pulp and I thought, why not? I mashed the beans, added in salt and about 2 Tb. of diced fresh herbs (marjoram, thyme, winter savory, and greek oregano), a little diced red bell pepper and grated carrot, and low and behold, mushy dough for a veggie burger!

Looks pretty, anyway. :-)
 It's hot today, so I turned on the grill, put tinfoil over it (these are way too soft to stay together on a grill), and formed these into patties to drop them on the oiled tinfoil. Turned 'em a few times. And then...they were crumbly and over-done. It took just a minute or so to go from 'too soft in the middle still' to 'are you sure you didn't make herb-flavored sand?' Disappointing, to say the least.

Not my best work
 However, the taste was very herby and reminded me of Italian bread crumbs. Realizing that the texture is a bit like dry bread crumbs, too, we've saved these now in the freezer, to use some time just like we would normally use bread crumbs. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll work.

That was the success out of a failure. Sadly, there was still epic failure out of the failure, too.

The white beans were beans we made ourselves, from dried beans. We've bought beans from this company before, but I haven't tried their white ones before. I washed them, like we normally do. I only took one bite of these, because seriously, herby-sand, blech.

And the beans are now on my list of 'this company's beans suck.' :-(  It's not uncommon with beans. They're very often processed with something that makes me sick, so I have to source them very carefully. This time, within a couple minutes I was dizzy with vertigo, nauseated, fuzzy headed.

It was really frustrating, after working so hard to stick with foods that I felt were 'safe,' especially after having success with another bean by the same company. I know that different beans can be from different farms, or even from different processing plants but, well, I guess I got lazy this once and I'm paying for it. Take note, those of you out there who are just starting out with this.

All items from the same company are not necessarily created - or processed - equal.

I'm taking a deep breath right now and reminding myself that there was still good in this. Making this type of bean patties again will hopefully still be awesome for italian herb crustiness later. The kids didn't get sick at all and could definitely enjoy it if I use this later in some food for them.

 I just need to find a different bean next time to make it with. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment