Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spicoli Burgers, Potato Squashers, & Thyme Roasted Tomatoes

Sorry for the gap in posting! Lately, the days seem to be running together... Mondays quickly give way to Fridays, while Saturday AMs covertly turn into Sunday PMs in the blink of an eye. I suppose it doesn't help that my schedule is jam-packed with a disproportionate amount of law school annoyances, but really - where has the time gone?!

Between classes, work, and weekend-long Bar review courses, I'm practically ready to invoke the insanity defense, myself. Not only do I have a major (mock) trial to prepare for my final Trial Advocacy class, but I'm also attempting to plan my graduation festivities, which is turning out to be a bit harder than expected. On top of that, people are failing the Bar and dropping dead left and right in my practice Bar Exam questions, which isn't exactly a morale booster...

Oh well, such is life, I guess. The upshot of all of this is that I've actually been cooking a lot lately. (Although, admittedly, not posting a lot!) It's kinda weird because I fully expected to be eating out a ton, especially since I'm so strapped for time, etc. However, I've found that cooking continues to be one of the few things that relaxes me - even if I don't pick up a fork until midnight.

Hence, let me share with you one of my recent late-night meals. For some reason, I often get the urge to prepare more "elaborate" dishes the closer the clock gets to midnight. I don't know if it's just the procrastinator in me, or if it's because my stomach is screaming after a long day of complete non-sense. Either way, late-night cooking has become my (formerly) secrete vice.

Pictured below (and at the top of this post, of course), you'll find one of my most successful meals. It consists of Dreena's utterly amazing "Spicoli Burgers," as well as her completely delicious "Potato Squashers." The tomatoes are one of my own recipes - if you can even call something so simple a "recipe" - and they are quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

As you can see, I ended up treating the Spicoli Burgers more like cutlets - topping them with flax oil and avocado slices - instead of like burgers. (I ate them, reheated, in pita pockets the following day, but I actually thought they were even more delicious in cutlet form.) They have, quite honestly, become one of my most favorite meals. And I don't even like hemp seeds!

The potatoes, likewise, were fantastic. (Really, who knew that smashing them with a wooden spoon could be so therapeutic?!) And, trust me when I tell you - the scrumptious result of the bake-smash-baking technique makes their lengthy cooking time worth every second!

Recipe: Spicoli Burgers
(recipe from "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan")

2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. onion, diced
1/8 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 c. red bell pepper, diced
2 c. cooked short-grain brown rice (additional rice is called for later)
1 c. shelled hemp seed nuts (Manitoba Harvest brand works great!)
2 medium cloves, garlic, quartered
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. tamari
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 c. cooked short-grain brown rice
1/4 cup flour (any kind will work)
2 Tbsp. olive oil (for frying)

1.) In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil, onions, salt, & black pepper, sautéing for 3-4 mins. until onions start to soften.
2.) Add bell peppers & sauté for another 5-6 mins., until onions are fully softened.
3.) In a food processor, combine 2 c. rice, hemp seeds, garlic, ketchup, tamari, mustard, oregano, thyme, sage, salt, & onion/pepper mixture. Purée until fairly smooth, scraping down sides of bowl if needed.
4.) Transfer to a bowl & stir in remaining rice.
5.) Refrigerate for at least 30 mins. to firm up.
6.) Remove from fridge & form into patties with hands.
7.) Place flour evenly on a plate & lightly dust both sides of each patty, shaking off excess.
8.) In a frying pay on medium-high heat, heat oil.
9.) Add patties, 3-4 at a time, & lightly flatten with a spatula.
10.) Cook for 6-9 mins. on each side, until golden & a crust has formed.

Yield: 8-10 patties

(Print, Email, or Text this Recipe)

Recipe: Thyme Roasted Baby Tomatoes

cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
several sprigs fresh thyme

1.) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.) Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
3.) Place tomatoes on pan, seed-side up, & drizzle with olive oil.
4.) Sprinkle with salt & black pepper, & drop several sprigs of thyme on top of tomatoes.
5.) Cook 10 mins., or until tomatoes have begun to collapse.

(Print, Email, or Text this Recipe)

See Eat, Drink & Be Vegan for the Potato Squashers recipe!


  1. I'm a hemp addict but I haven't tried these burgers yet, what's up with that? I must try them soon though, they've been flagged on my cookbook since I bought it!

  2. I just got ED&BV a week ago and I've been dying to try some of the hemp recipes...I've never cooked with it before.

    Anyhoo, good luck with all of your stuff. I cook a lot when I'm stressed with school stuff too.

  3. that looks absolutely delicious...great idea about the potato squashers!

  4. good luck studying for the bar! I have friends who are majorly stressed right now because of it... keep feeding yourself well!


Thanks for your comment - I love hearing from you!