Cookbook Friends, and a great Veggie Burger!

One might say that I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to cookbooks. Over time I have collected many. Although it may sound strange to some of you; I can honestly tell you where, why, and when I got each one. I really enjoy an afternoon or an evening flipping through any one of them. It makes me feel like I am visiting with an old friend. Just some of my cookbooks waiting to be reorganized.

In the last couple weeks I felt that I need to take inventory and stock in my cookbooks and do some reorganizing. Well, to be honest; there was electrical work being done in our apartment that lead us to moving most of our belongings (cookbooks included) temporarily. This sent my beagle Martini into a bit of a panic. You see when you move anything: the couch, the coffee table, the chairs in the dining room…Martini gets all paranoid and trembles at the site of the furniture being moved. We once placed a new table and chair by the front door of our home in Phoenix. She would not walk out the door to go outside for about a week. So none the less this electrical work was a bit jarring to Martini.

Martini helping in the reorganizing.

As I counted all my books and began to reorganize the total came to 138! I know I have some books out on loan that were not included in that number; and also that did not include my reference books. It was just cookbooks and some cooking textbooks I own. Maybe I have too many? Maybe not! Like I said, I have an attachment to all of them. Without a doubt, Martini helped me place them all in a better spot that she felt comfortable with. I was pondering which one to visit with when I received a surprise in the mail. My very best friend Wayne (you may have read about him in the Lithuanian Borscht Recipe) sent me a copy of Marc Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything” and “How To Cook Everything – Vegetarian”.

Two new cookbooks from a great friend.

We have been going back and forth via text about recipes, baking bread, and pots & pans. He mentioned that he loves these books and I admitted to not having them. Opening the box Martini came over to inspect and sniff them. She was settled when she saw me give them a spot on the shelf near my kitchen. I went through each of them carefully and settled on a vegetarian burger recipe to give a try. It was fantastic and easy and led us to a great meal midweek that was no effort. I am a believer that they are phenomenal books. Two new friends; I hope that all the books get along.

Almond Nut Burger

Nut Burgers (makes 4 burgers)

**recipe from “How To Cook Everything – Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman

1 onion, chopped

1 cup of raw nuts (I used almonds, but any kind is fine)

1 cup of rolled oats (you can replace it with white or brown rice)

1 tsp of ground red pepper (or any spice of choice)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

First, I placed my nuts in the bowl of my food processor and chopped finely. I added the oats and onion and chopped all together until it is somewhat evenly ground, while still having texture. Remove all contents from the processor and into a bowl. Season it with the salt and pepper and any other spices of your choice and toss well. Beat your egg and add it to your nut mixture and stir until well combined.

Next, divide your nut mixture into four equal parts, and form into patties. (I find this works better if your hands are damp with water.) Place on a plate and chill until you are ready to cook.

Finally, heat a nonstick frying pan on your stove top over medium heat. Heat about two tablespoons of vegetable oil in your pan before adding in your nut burgers. Let each side of your nut burgers sizzle until they are well browned and remove and let rest on a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve.

NOTE: I served the nut burgers on toasted country bread, a bit of ketchup, lettuce, and a lime yogurt dressing I made. The Lime Yogurt Dressing was ¼ cup of nonfat mayo, ¼ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp of olive oil, zest and juice of 1 lime, one garlic clove minced, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk it all together and serve.