Going Vegetarian- Day 9: Burger Time

The time has come that I’m starting to have some cravings.  Burgers, yes I love burgers on the grill.  Especially since I found out about Akaushi beef.  What in the world is Akaushi beef.  Well, as I am told by my local meat market, it’s a type of Wagu cattle.  This type of beef is higher in monosaturated and lower in saturated fat.  Basically its good for you, right?  This beef has a very distinct flavor (as in: Great) and having some knowledge of the raising and processing process, makes me feel a little better than typical production processed beef.  Not that it makes it right or wrong, supporting local farmers who practice organic and more human processing is something I am really trying to take a hard look at.  This is also part of this challenge.  Wrestling with the whole concept of traditional food processing practices and how that equates to negative impacts on the environment around us.

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, I was still craving a burger.  Maybe not so much the meat, but the process of grilling a patty.  Sandwiching something between a big bun, and putting all the traditional fixings on it.  Setting up for that first big bite when everything starts to push out the back of the bun, and juicy stuff starts running down your arm.  You meat eaters know exactly what I’m talking about.

What’s a guy to do in such a situation?  Find a good alternative for the beef burgers.  Search through a bunch of recipes, but wasn’t feeling the traditional “black bean” burger.  Finally, the SCORE: Something different.  Cauliflower Falafel Veggie Burgers

These are basically cauliflower, quinoa, and chickpeas.  Little parsley, cumin, and dash of cinnamon.  Reading through all the reviews, didn’t look like anyone had grilled these on fire.  Pan fried and baked were the cooking methods of choice.  These are pretty touch and go on getting the correct consistency to hold together through the required “flip”.  SCORE: The challenge.

Now I am stoked to get these bad boys going.  Got me something to grill and the thought of that arm dripping experience was in sight.

Followed the recipe and got the patties in the fridge an hour before fire time.  Then it dawned on me, I forgot to add the oats.  Oh well, now we’re in totally uncharted territory.  I had a total of 7 patties, so I put the first 3 on as is.  I did go back and add the oats to the other 4 (remixing them).  On the grill they went.

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Put them on direct for the first 10 min (flipping after 5 min), then moved them to indirect (raised the grid up) for another 10 min.

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Added some BBQ sauce on 2 of the patties, then some pepper jack cheese on one.  Figured might as well try some different options to see what worked best.  Pro Tip: (really LOL) I used 2 spatula’s on each patty, one on the top and bottom, to keep them from crumbling during the flip)

Finished product looked good.  Patties held together nicely if treated with care during the cooking and transfer (to the plate then bun) process.  Regarding the other 4 patties that I added the oats too.  Not sure if I had the correct ratio, but I had more trouble with them crumbling during the cook.  I really didn’t notice any difference between the 2 batches taste wise either.

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Added all the fixings and dug in.  Pretty darn good.  Got a little drip going (uh, mostly from the BBQ sauce and fresh tomatoes, so that made me happy!  Now, not sure it was Akaushi good, but totally satisfied the “burger” cravings, and got me through another Vegetarian day.

So the question remains.  Is it the meat I’m missing?  Or is it the grilling?  Only time will tell.

I knocked out another consecutive 5K run day, but the body was complaining it needed a break.  I’m pretty familiar with this body vs mind game, and know that if you’re not legitimately injured, it’s just mind over matter.  I said I was going to, so I did.

Reflecting on the days events and drawing inspiration from past experiences, helped me understand that today was the perfect example of why we need to honor our commitments.  There wasn’t anything really preventing me, it was just a momentary lack of focus that almost derailed my intentions.

Stay focused, and enjoy some good healthy eats!

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