Gluten-Free Lemon-Blueberry Johnnycakes

Rosie eats her share right off the bushes while David collects ours :-)
Its Blueberry time again here in the Blueberry Hills! I sent David and Rosie out to forage and look what they came back with! Nothing better than a sunny Saturday morning for blueberry picking in our own backyard!  I need something gluten-free for breakfast, hmmm what can I through together??

I have some Brown Rice Flour, some polenta, lots of blueberries and bananas, I know! Blueberry Pancakes. But these came out more like what I would call Hoecakes. David had never heard of such a thing so I looked it up. Apparently, hoecakes and johnnycakes are the same -  a cornmeal mush flatbread cooked on an open fire or baked alongside one by everyone from Native Americans to field hands, and found everywhere from England to Australia, Newfoundland to Jamaica. Read more about Johnnycakes HERE.

I wanted to use cornmeal but having only polenta on hand (coarse ground cornmeal) I took a gamble and put the polenta in the vitamix hoping to have a fine-ground cornmeal at the end of a few minutes. No such luck, the cornmeal was still pretty coarse but this might have been the key to the recipe! I think it was the coarse-ness of the cornmeal which gave these an appearance and texture different than your everyday pancake. David said these were hands down "the best pancakes ever - ever!" 


Lemon-Blueberry Johnnycakes
makes about ten 3" cakes
Ingredients:
1 T ground flax meal
1 t chia seed
4 T water
1 cup non-dairy milk
zest and juice of one lemon
1 t vanilla extract
2 T maple syrup
1 very ripe banana
1 cup cornmeal (as I only had polenta, I tried to grind it finer in the vitamix)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 cup blueberries

Method:
1. Combine flax meal, chia and water in a small bowl, mix well and set aside.
2. In a larger bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.
3. In a medium bowl, mash banana well, add non-dairy milk, vanilla, maple syrup, zest & juice of lemon and flax/chia mixture. Mix well.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to just incorporate. Fold in blueberries.
5. I let the batter stand for about 5 minutes hoping to soften the cornmeal a bit.
6. Use 1/4 measure to scoop batter onto non-stick skillet or griddle.
Sláinte!

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Relish your Bun with 4th of July Veggie Burgers!

Bean Cake Combo Burger


As promised, here are some of my favorite veggie & bean burgers for your holiday cookouts. All are low-fat and vegan. Some hold together better for grilling and others require the Funderburke Two Spatula method. We'll start with my new favorite, the Bean Cake Combo Burger


Bean Cake Combo Burger
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked Kidney Beans
2 cups some other type cooked Beans
1 cup old fashioned oats or Barley, uncooked
1 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato or mixture of starches.
1 cup of cooked mixed veggies, I used frozen corn, peas, & carrots in this case
4 T. sauce such as BBQ, Tomato, or Salsa
Seasoning to taste such as Frontier's line of salt free: Blackened Creole, Bombay Veggie, Pizza Flavor, Mexican, etc. depending on what flavor you wish to add, should go along with the sauce product you select.
Method:
1. Mash 1/2 of the Beans with a potato masher or pulse gently in Food Processor
2. Add oats, rice or quinoa and pulse a bit more.
3. Add additional beans and all other ingredients and pulse until just incorporated, do not OVER PROCESS!
4. Form into burgers using molds or form into equally sized patties. I use lids from 1 qt. glass Mason jars for most of my patty molding, they work great! Just be sure you push the mixture into the lid and really pack it in there. OR you can make a ball with the mixture, then form the packed ball into a patty.
5. Cook on a non-stick grill pan or on outdoor grill over med-high heat for a couple minutes each side. Using a lid can really help cook these patties all the way through.

Using Mason jar lids for the molds. These were once lids for some Rose-hips Jam :-)



Here I have used Black Beans and Beets with Corn and Cilantro

If you like a more "Boca" style texture to your burger, use some TVP or Texturized Vegetable Protein in your mixture as I have done in the recipe below. TVP is made from Soy Beans and is a great source of protein which is fat free. It is available in most Natural Foods Markets, and in Maine, you can find it in a funny little discount store called RENY's (a Maine Adventure!).

Boca-Style Burgers with a Southwest Flare
Ingredients:
2 cups TVP
1 3/4 cups H2O, boiling
5 or 6 T flax meal, ground
1 T minced onion
1 T garlic powder or fresh crushed garlic
2 T low sodium soy sauce or tamari
3/4 c. cooked brown rice
1 c. frozen chopped veggies, thawed
2 T. salsa
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
Have some potato flour or oats on hand if needed to dry out the mixture. One thing about me and veggie burger making is I rarely use a recipe, I use what is in the fridge so its hard to keep track. I just go for the right consistency which is usually a bit dry with everything holding together really well.
Method:
1. Pour boiling water over TVP in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Mix all other ingredients in another large bowl using a potato masher OR pulse a bit in the Food Processor, NOT TOO MUCH, OK??
3. Mix TVP with other ingredients, sometimes I put the other ingredients in with the TVP and sometimes I put the TVP in with the other ingredients, I don't keep track.
4. Everything in these burgers is already pre-cooked, even the oats are steamed before dried so you could, in theory eat them as is but letting them sit for a while before pressing into Mason Jar lids or forming with hands will help them stick together. You can cook right away or freeze for later use. Lately I have been cooking on a grill pan and then freezing on sheet pans, then vacuum-sealing them for storage. Then I pop them out of the freezer and into the micro for a couple of minutes before pan-sauteing in non-stick pan.

So, the sky is the limit with the many different types of burgers/patties you can make. Last night's beans and rice are tonight's burgers. Seriously! We had Miso-glazed tofu for dinner last night with Trader Joe's Heritage Blend of Rice and Quinoa which I am about to transform in to burgers for a cookout we have having with Mish and her kids! I'll post some photos on Facebook and we will see how everyone enjoyed the burgers!

It is really difficult to find buns worthy of going into my mouth so I often enjoy my burgers on a salad or crumbled onto a corn tortilla cooked over an open flame. SOMETIMES I use Joseph's mini-pitas as I did for the Sloppy Josephines. I did buy some burger-style buns for tonight's cookout and at least they have 100% whole wheat and NO HFCS but it took a while to source such an animal!
After the burgers and salads, we will be chowing on the lil' cuties Ice Dream Sammiches! YUM!
Have a GREAT 4th of July everyone!

Sláinte!