Friday, April 10, 2009

Almost Vegetarian

But not quite. As I said, the other night we had black bean burgers and tortilla soup for dinner. Substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock in the soup and you're all the way there though. Be proud of me Amberly.

I do like black bean burgers though. I really like the ones made by Boca (from Madison Wisconsin, Go Badgers!) and the ones made by Morningstar Farms (formerly Worthington Foods from Worthington Ohio, my hometown). I eat two at a time for lunch, with or without a bun. Both Boca and Mornigstar use textured soy protein in their black bean burgers which gives them some body that this recipe doesn't have. The burgers that I made had a quite mushy texture, but once you got past that first bite, it was all good. Besides, I'm not so sure that soy is as healthy as everyone has made it out to be and my wife can't eat it anyway since she's allergic to soy beans. No more Morningstar Farms sausage links, her favorite pancake adjuvant. Sigh.

I have to admit that these burgers are stupid easy and quick to make. I think the longest part of the recipe is to heat up the frying pan. No excuse not to make these. Here's my rewrite.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not really a soup eater. I don't crave it or go out of my way for it. Nor do I have any association of soup with weather. I'll eat it whenever I damn well please. As a general rule of thumb, if it is chunky, a stew, or a bisque, chances are I will eat it. Dinah on the other hand loves soup. She eats it every week at work. Well that's mostly because we are broke and it is simple and quick to fix in the office but she loves it nonetheless. So I make soups mainly for her benefit.

There are numerous versions of tortilla soups out there. The aforementioned Amberly has her own that I remember being quite excellent, even if it was vegetarian. I've never made it before so this was my first attempt. I did take the time to make my own tortilla chips. It's not hard, adds a little special flair, but there's nothing wrong with buying store bought tortilla chips (is that redundant?). I used up all of my turkey stock on this recipe. Time to make more stock. I think because I used real homemade stock Dinah declared the soup to be meaty, even though there was no meat in it. I felt the magazine's recipe was not well written, and doing the tortilla chips first gave the recipe better flow and used one less pan. So here is my rewrite.

Thankfully we do have a Mexican grocery so it was easy for me to find the chiles and I even bought crema instead of sour cream. I foolishly did not buy the cheese there since I assumed the grocery had it, but they didn't. In the future I will look at a crock pot version of this and I like to find a way to simplify recipes that call for toasting chiles for those that don't have the access.

Every time I stop into a Mexican grocery I buy a bottle of Coke because in Mexico it is made with sugar instead of evil high fructose corn syrup. It tastes just the way it did when I was a kid with a crisp aftertaste instead of coating and clinging to your tongue. DAMN IT, they've changed the recipe. Now the label says made with corn syrup or sucrose and damn it if it doesn't taste just like the American crap we have here. I'm hoping Canada still uses sugar. My fingers are crossed.

No comments: