On Wednesday, the New York Times published The End of Meat is Here an Op-ed by Jonathan Safron Foer. The piece raised many important and problematic points about the current food system in the United States. I recommend you read it to pontificate your own daily food choices and the subsequent social, economic, environmental, and physical impact.
In the early 2000’s after a new diagnosis my mom began cooking more plant based meals for the family, which led me to become both a vegetarian and a Dietitian. In the last few years my approach to eating has been Food Freedom and I’ve since returned to meat, but I haven’t stopped wondering about its ethics. The article prompted a lot of questions and conversations for me in the last couple of days. Why is it so hard for so many to reduce their meat consumption? Why do some people fly into a rage when confronted with the realities of the industrialization of meat and dairy? Why are so many indifferent? Amidst these conversations there were two sentiments that kept getting repeated:
1. Meat tastes so good and I don’t feel satisfied without it.
2. I don’t know how to make plant based food taste good.
This felt like a creative challenge to me as an ex-vegetarian who went to culinary school. The trick to getting satisfaction out of meatless meals is finding your way to Umami, the elusive 5th taste that is naturally present in meat and dairy, but takes much more coaxing from tofu and kale. It’s that thing that separates the nopales from the pork belly, that you can’t put your finger on, but sways your taco order towards the pork.
Enter my Vegan Umami Bean Burgers.
I’m currently quarantining with the perfect taste tester for my self-imposed kitchen challenge, someone who adamantly does not enjoy beans, but enjoys meat in an exceptional way. I’m putting it in writing here, that these little burgers were stamped with approval by the Legume Hater.
There are a number of maneuvers that can make your beans go POW. I tripled down in this recipe. Next week I’ll go through them in more detail so you can properly add it to your cooking repertoire. For this week, I’m giving you the challenge of exploring your pantry and opening your palate. If you’re missing any ingredients feel free to send me a message for guidance on substitutes.
I'm a Registered Dietitian and Personal Chef in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up around the dinner table, and believe that food is intricately woven through all of our stories. It holds memories of home, childhood, and beliefs; it comforts us, nourishes us, and creates a centerpiece to gather around.