Although an exotic international vacation may not be in your family’s plans, you don’t need a passport to experience some of the best flavors from around the world! A few key ingredients and a bit of experimentation in the kitchen can add intercontinental flair to your next meal. Here are some suggestions for taking your taste buds on a tour of the world in three easy meals. The secret ingredient in all three recipes? Veggie burgers—an under-utilized yet better-for-you alternative to meat.
To learn more about the delicious variety of veggie products available, visit www.gardenburger.com.
Created by chef Ashlie Crouch, owner and chef of Thyme Personal Chef Services in Seattle
Prep time: 30 minutes Time to table: 35 minutes
Yield: 1-1/2 cups; 36 wontons; 18 servings
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Gardenburger Veggie Medley veggie burgers
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
2 to 3 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
36 wonton wrappers
Peanut oil for deep fat frying
In small bowl stir together 1/2 cup soy sauce, vinegar, 1 teaspoon ginger root, ground red pepper and garlic. Set aside. Remove veggie burgers from package. Place on microwave-safe plate. Loosely cover and cook on medium-high (70 percent power) for 1 to 1-1/4 minutes or until partially thawed, rearranging burgers and turning over after 45 seconds.
In medium bowl crumble veggie burgers. Stir in sprouts, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ginger root and crushed red pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Position 1 wonton skin with one point toward you. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the veggie burger mixture just off center of skin. Fold bottom point of wonton skin over filling, tucking point under filling. Roll over from bottom, covering filling and leaving about 1 inch of skin unrolled at top. Moisten bottom right corner with water. Fold bottom corners together below the filling, pressing to secure.
Repeat with remaining filling and wonton wrappers. Place in single layer on wax-paper-lined baking sheet. In wok or heavy Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of oil to 375°F. Add wontons to hot oil, a few at a time. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with soy sauce mixture.
Created by chef Justin Street of Natural Planet Grille in Austin, Texas
Prep time: 20 minutes Time to table: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 cups sauce with burger pieces; 2 servings
1/4 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons golden or tan colored miso (bean paste)
1/4 cup sour cream or reduced-fat sour cream
2 Gardenburger Portabella veggie burgers
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups hot cooked noodles
Chopped fresh chives or chopped fresh parsley (optional)
In small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons water and miso. Stir in sour cream and remaining 2 tablespoons water. Set aside. Cook veggie burgers according to package directions. Cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Set aside. In large nonstick skillet cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in hot oil until mushrooms are tender. Stir in burger pieces. Heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream mixture. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with chives (if desired).
Created by chef Alex Eusebio, executive chef and partner at Restaurant 15 in Los Angeles
Prep time: 45 minutes Time to table: 55 minutes
Yield: 3 cups; 6 peppers, 6 servings
6 medium poblano chile peppers
4 Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle veggie burgers
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup cooked rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cut a lengthwise slit in each pepper. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers blacken. Remove from oven. Wrap hot peppers in foil. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Using spoon, remove seeds from insides of peppers. Gently pull skin off outsides of peppers in strips, leaving peppers in one piece. Set aside.
Meanwhile, remove veggie burgers from package. Place on microwave-safe plate. Loosely cover and cook on medium-high (70 percent power) for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until partially thawed, rearranging veggie burgers and turning over after 1 minute.
In large nonstick skillet cook onions in hot oil over medium heat about 1 minute or until translucent. Crumble veggie burgers into onion mixture. Cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes more or until heated through. Stir in beans and water. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in rice and cilantro. Remove from heat.
Stuff peppers with burger mixture. Place in shallow baking pan, slit side up. Top with queso fresco. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts.