My daughter, Stella has been a vegetarian all her 11 years. When I had her I was vegetarian, eating fish on occasion, and that is how I raised her. I knew that when she became 3 or 4 I would give her the option to choose what she put into her body – she chose to keeping eating the way she always had. About 2 years ago, I added meat back into my diet – my body just really needed it. I did not make Stella start eating meat, several times she has said that she wanted to try, but when it was on the plate – that decision to try didn’t seem like such a good idea to her. She does get pestered by her friends to eat meat and that bothers her, but she lets it roll off. This past summer she decided to change from a pescatarian to a vegetarian – and that has made it difficult in the kitchen – to say the least! The big problem is getting enough protein into her diet. I know you are probably saying have her eat beans – yes, that would be great if she liked them! She used to like them and we used to eat them all the time, but her taste buds have changed. She will eat beans in the burritos I make, but she won’t eat the rice and beans otherwise.
I have been on a request to add some new options to our dinners that are high in protein. My first try – nut burgers. This recipe came from Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” with a few changes.
1 medium onion
1 cup crispy almonds (but you could use walnuts, pecans, cashews)
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbl almond butter
1 tsp Garam Masala
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Oil to cook in (olive, coconut, lard)
1. Chop the onion in a food processor.
2. Add the nuts and oats and pulse to chop.
3. Add the almond butter, Garam Masala, egg, salt and pepper – process. You don’t want the mixture to fine.
4. If too dry add a little liquid (water, stock, soy sauce, wine).
5. Let mixture rest for a few minutes and then shape into patties. This will make 4 – 6 patties.
6. Heat oil over medium heat, when hot add the burgers. Cook for about 5 minutes and then turn.
I did not make all the patties – the uncooked ones I wrapped and put in the fridge. When I was ready to make them (2 days later) I let them sit on the counter to get close to room temperature.
I really enjoyed these with some fermented honey mustard – delicious! Stella ate about 3/4 of one and said she liked them, but the next day she confessed that she really didn’t. I had made 3 – we ate two and the other one I put in the fridge – eating it cold the next day for lunch – delicious, again!