by Cynthia Davis
I never was a big cookbook person. Don’t get me wrong, there are amazing cookbooks for plant-based recipes out there that are must haves like The First Mess by Laura Wright and Eat for the Planet by Nil Zacharias and Gene Stone. The First Mess is my reference for making plant-based milks and creamy dressings. And I’ve only begun to plunge into all the amazing ideas in Eat for The Planet.
As an artist, I cook like I paint. I throw a bunch of ingredients on the table and start exploring. When people ask me for a recipe, it is honestly hard for me to tell them what I actually did. When creating plant-based meals I find I want to remember what I did because I want to be able to recreate when I have a success. So I’ve started to change my style and get out a pen and paper!
One of the most versatile ingredients I use is the almond pulp I end up with after making almond milk. Making almond milk is as simple soaking a cup of almonds overnight and blending them with 5 cups of water the next day. After straining the blended mix you are left with a wonderful moist flour paste that can be used for so many things. Almond pulp leftover from sweetened almond milk can be used for sweet recipes and pulp from simple almond milk can be used for savory meals. Having this paste in the refrigerator always pushes me to make new things!
Here is my “Throw-Together” Bean Burger recipe:
- 2 cooked potatoes (sweet preferred)
- I cup cooked quinoa, steel cut oats, couscous, farrow (or whatever grains you have leftover)
- 1 cup almond pulp
- I can squashed black beans, chick peas, pinto beans or navy beans
- 1/4 cup refined flax seed
- 1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. almond milk
- A lot of “cook’s choice” spices: garlic (fresh or powder), seas salt, onion powder, Indian spices
- 1/8 cup chopped chives
- Take whatever grains/potato you have leftover in your fridge, quinoa, steel cut oats, sweet or white potato. These ingredients do not have an overpowering flavor and act as a binder to hold ingredients together. Use at least two of them.
- Add your almond pulp, refined flax seed, breadcrumbs, almond milk.
- Squash the beans up with your hands or mashing tool and lots of your favorite seasoning.
- Make into patties and bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Pan crisp in a fry pan until brown on each side.
- Top with sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach or braised leeks, avocados or all the above! Yum!
Also once you’ve made your patties you can save a few for dinner and freeze the rest individually for another meal. You’ll never have to feel shameful throwing away your almond pulp again.
Cynthia Davis is a decorative artist offering creativity and mindfulness classes and retreats in Fairfield, Connecticut. Cynthia has an MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership Management and has a professional Certificate Degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation from (SIT), The School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. Cynthia founded Our Woven Community (OWC), a program providing a skill and community integration through small business for refugee women in Bridgeport, CT. She is an Africa Yoga Project certified yoga instructor and a has a plant-based nutrition certificate from the ECornell T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition.