Ariel was thoughtful enough to have a birthday recently and give us the much needed excuse to visit California's own Big Sur to celebrate. Being the ever-so organized celebration planner, she assigned all of us eager campers a meal to prepare for the group.
I had on my shoulders the important task of Day one's lunch. Since I had had a crazy work week, I frantically scoped my fridge for ideas the night before and saw that I had a lot of left over produce that I needed to use before we took off. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make kitchen-sink veggie burgers with any and everything ingredient I needed to get rid of. I sauteed onions, garlic, kale, basil, bell pepper, beet stems, apple, and asparagus and spiced and flavored with the usual suspects: salt, pepper, cayenne, curry, cinnamon, paprika, lemon, brags and agave.
I put this saute in the food processor for a few spins (enough to blend but not puree entirely to a mushy paste). I added in some fresh carrots and cashews. I threw in some cooked brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat soba noodles I had as leftovers from several different meals over the previous week. I also used a cup or so of rolled oats to help thicken the texture. I did some additional spicing, formed into patties, and threw in the fridge to set up overnight.
In the morning I ran to the store in a frenzy to buy buns before Ariel and Sam picked me up for the journey, and panicked when they only had whole-wheat hot dog buns! I quickly re-formed my burgers into dogs and cooked them up in in a hot skillet with olive oil for a few minutes on each side until they were cooked through and almost starting to blacken in the outside.
They weren't the most solid, held-together veggie dogs I've made, but I tucked them into the buns for safety and the taste more than made up for any messiness.
I had also whipped up a large batch of fresh garlicy hummus as a dog topper. (Because there is nothing more bonding for a camping group than raging garlic breath...)
It was definitely the perfect nourishment we needed to hike Big Sur all afternoon!