Chicago Diner: Vegetarian Cooking

If your New Year's resolution includes cutting down on meat, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on favorites like burgers. The Chicago Diner has been serving up vegetarian dishes for 30 years and even earned a Michelin recommendation.
January 11, 2014 7:26:20 AM PST

Now you can make its recipes at home, thanks to The New Chicago Diner Cookbook Co-author Kat Barry came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio to show us how to cook up a few delicious vegetarian dishes.

Links:
www.veggiediner.com
Twitter: @chicagodiner
The Chicago Diner Facebook Page

Kat's Recipe: Buddha's Karma Burger with Realignment Sauce
Ingredients:
For the Realignment Sauce
21/4 cups (405 g) chopped fresh or frozen and thawed mango
1/4 cup (59 mL) coconut milk
1/4 cup (41 g) chopped fresh or frozen and thawed pineapple
21/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
21/2 teaspoons pineapple or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Buddha's Karma Burgers:
2 cups (420 g) cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes (see recipe below)
2 cups (120 g) panko or gluten-free bread crumbs
1 cup (150 g) diced onion
1 cup (190 g) cooked brown rice
1/2 (12-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
1 whole clove garlic
1/2 vegetable or vegan chicken flavored bouillon cube
21/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
6 warmed hamburger buns, for serving
Chopped cilantro and sliced avocado, for garnish

Preparation:
To make the Sauce:
In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal "S" blade, purée all of the ingredients until smooth, but not runny.
It should have a mustard-like consistency.
Pour into a serving pitcher and set aside.

To make the Buddha's Karma Burgers:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal "S" blade, combine all of the ingredients except the buns and the garnish. Process until the mixture forms a paste-like consistency.
3. Using clean hands, form the batter into 2/3-cup (280-g) balls. Flatten each ball into a patty and place the patties on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes to ensure both sides are an even golden brown. Warm the buns in the oven for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Remove from the oven.
5. On a large serving platter, place the patties on the warmed buns and top with the Realignment Sauce. Garnish with the cilantro and avocado. Serve immediately.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients: 1 pound (454 g) whole sweet potatoes 11/2 tablespoons melted vegan margarine or extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon organic granulated cane sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation: 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Pierce them 2 or 3 times with a fork, wrap them in foil, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 1 hour, until an inserted fork glides through easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. 3. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, separate the potato flesh from the skin. Discard the skins. Transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl. 4. Add the margarine to the mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, heavy whisk, or potato masher, mash the potatoes and margarine together until smooth. 5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Black Bean Burgers
Yield: 12 Burgers
Making your own black bean burger at home is easy, rewarding, and fun-not to mention healthier and less costly! This recipe is protein packed with both black beans and the ancient seed quinoa. It has a little kick to it, too, so it's perfect for bringing on the heat!

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (75 g) diced onion
1/2 cup (75 g) diced bell pepper (doesn't matter what color!)
1/3 cup (18 g) sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons (45 g) tomato paste
4 cups (688 g) rinsed and drained black beans, divided
2/3 cup (119 mL) water
1/3 cup (28 g) Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
11/2 cups (278 g) cooked quinoa, divided
Vegan mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and onion, for garnish

Preparation:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and sundried tomatoes and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion and peppers start to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more, until the onion is translucent and the garlic is browning.
2. Add the tomato paste to the skillet, using a whisk to thin it out.
3. Add 3 cups (516 g) of the black beans and the water, egg replacer, cumin, onion powder, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir or whisk vigorously until everything is combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Transfer the mixture in the skillet, along with 11/4 cups (231 g) of the quinoa, to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal "S" blade and process until the mixture has the consistency of a paste.
6. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Using your clean hands, toss the remaining 1 cup (172 g) black beans and the 1/4 cup (46 g) quinoa with the paste.
7. Form the mixture into a series of 2-inch (5-cm) balls. Flatten them a bit into patties. Place the patties on the prepared baking sheet.
8. Bake the patties for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Assemble on a platter, garnished with the vegan mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Serve warm.

Cooks' Note: You can make a bunch of these at once and store them in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months. This will come in handy when you get stuck at work late, or have to run to an impromptu cookout. An ice cream scoop helps keep the size consistent when making burger patties.

The Radical Reuben?
Yield: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:
For the Thousand Island Sauce:
1/4 cup (56 g) vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
3 tablespoons (45 mL) organic ketchup
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles

For the Reubens:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (75 g) sliced yellow onion
1/4 cup (38 g) sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup (38 g) sliced green bell pepper
11/3 cups (303 g) Sauerkraut (see recipe on p. 86)
8 slices marble rye bread
1 pound (454 g) Seitan Corned "Beef" (see recipe on p. 23)
1 cup (112 g) shredded vegan mozzarella cheese

Preparation:
To make the Sauce:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.

To make the Reubens:
1. In a large skillet over medium- high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and peppers and sauté for 7 to 9 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Remove from the heat and transfer the onion and peppers to a medium covered bowl. Set aside.
2. Place the Sauerkraut in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 minutes, until it is warmed through. Remove from the heat and transfer the Sauerkraut to a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside.
3. Toast the bread. Place the Seitan Corned "Beef" in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is warmed through and a little brown on the edges. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place 4 of the toasted bread slices on a serving platter. Divide the Seitan Corned "Beef" evenly among the 4 slices.
5. Atop each pile of Seitan Corned "Beef," layer 1/4 of the Sauerkraut, the pepper-onion mix, the vegan mozzarella cheese, and the Thousand Island Sauce. Top each sandwich half with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Raw Sauerkraut
Ingredients:
1 medium-sized head of green cabbage (red works too!)
11/2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)

Preparation:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, finely shred the cabbage.
2. Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl and dust it with the salt.
3. Using very clean or gloved hands, massage the salt into the cabbage for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you can feel the cabbage's fibers begin to break down. (This is known as a "salt cook" method.) Add the caraway seeds, if using. Drain the cabbage, reserving all the liquid.
4. Place the cabbage in a sterilized canning jar. Press it down very firmly, until it fills only about 3/4 of the jar.
5. Pour the reserved liquid over the cabbage. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and seal its lid. Set the jar on the counter, away from sunlight, for 3 days before using. Store for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Corned "Beef" Marinated Seitan
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1 cup (237 mL) pickle juice
3/4 cup (178 mL) beet juice (juice from a jar of pickled beets works fine)
11/2 teaspoons garlic powder
11/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
Dash dry ground mustard
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
2. Slice the seitan thinly. Place it in a large, shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the seitan and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
3. Pan fry, sauté, bake, or grill the seitan according to your recipe plans.


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