Vegetarian Burgers Worth Giving up Meat for

Many people all over the world are deciding to go vegan or vegetarian. With the immense carbon footprint the meat industry puts on our planet every single day, it’s no wonder that people are deciding to help our environment by changing their diet. But with summer coming to a close and the cooler weather drawing everyone outside for barbecues and bonfires, the vegetarians often have to settle for side dishes or frozen “meat flavored” soy patties which, lets face it, are not particularly great-tasting. Here are some meatless burger recipes that will be perfect and delicious for vegetarian guests at a barbecue, or for your own Meatless Monday!

Tofu Burger

RECIPE HERE

Don’t stop reading!! Starting the list with arguably the most stereotypically bland vegan ingredient there is probably doesn’t look like a good sign, but it is also one of the easiest burgers on this list. Think about it: Tofu absorbs any flavor it’s marinaded in, and all you have to do to form the patties themselves is slice a chunk off of the block! There are TONS of variations on tofu burger recipes on the internet, but here is a basic one that you can follow and tweak as you’d like. The recipe says to marinade for 20 minutes but I would recommend marinading for 1-2 hours to get the flavors really soaked in. Try different kinds of marinades and spices to see what you can create.

There is a high-end assisted living facility in Washington state that is 100% vegetarian and serves the best black bean burger.  Most of its residents have LTC insurance to pay the bill and this can afford the finer things such as the vegan-nursing homes.  The burger itself is packet with of course beans but also the brain boosting omega three fatty acids from organic chia seeds.  These seeds have been shown to help with dementia symptoms so eat up!

Sun-dried Tomato and Quinoa Burger

RECIPE HERE

This is almost like having a pizza inside of a burger. It’s cheesy and tomatoey and delicious, AND while most grains are not complete proteins (the kind of protein found in animal meat) quinoa is!

Portabella Burgers

RECIPE HERE

Now, you could just grill the portabella cap and put it on a bun as an alternative like so many restaurants do, but this recipe gives you more of the burger mouth feel that a meat patty would give you, and the added spices, parmesan, broccoli and beans add flavor and texture that a grilled portabella cap just doesn’t have.

Garbanzo Bean Burgers

RECIPE HERE

This one is my absolute favourite burger alternative. It tastes delicious and feels meaty as you’re eating it; plus it tastes great with any condiment, cheese, etc. and is SO easy to make.

Vegan Big Mac

RECIPE HERE

I haven’t actually had a chance to try this one yet, but just reading through the ingredients convinced me to try to make them tonight. Who doesn’t love a Big Mac?! If you’re not dairy-free you can obviously use regular cheese and buns.

Out of town dining experience? Top 5 restaurants in North Scottsdale

The restaurant scene at North Scottsdale is surely worth the drive. Top restaurants in this area exhibit excellent customer service, expert cuisines and top-notch toppings from some of the Valley’s best-reputed chefs. Ingredients such as Lingonberry relish, Kumamoto oysters, and homemade sausage are common jargon in the area. Most of the top dishes might translate into a deeper plunge into your pocket, but when the food is good, it’s definitely worth it.

1.      Renegade by MOD

This is a new restaurant and the work of chef Michael O’Dowd, whose 10 years at Kai earned it nationwide acclaim. You’ll find an electrifying menu of major re-invented dishes from all parts of the world. The restaurant itself offers an edgy atmosphere where you can enjoy your meal in peace, and O’Dowd’s multi-layered creations are presented in eye-peeling ways. If you’re serious about giving your food curiosity some new love, you’ll certainly be impressed by what you find here.

2.      ShinBay

The dining room is seen at ShinBay in Scottsdale, AZ on April 5, 2012. ..MANDATORY CREDIT IF USED IN PUBLICATION: Michael McNamara photo..IMAGES ARE ON FILE WITH UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT OFFICE

Award-nominated chef Shinji Kurita brought some Japanese cuisine from across the ocean. This is the kind of restaurant that could thrive in any major city. What you find is nothing short of exquisite. Mr. Kurita’s omakase (chef’s choice dinners) are elegant, meticulously-prepared works of art. They include Santa Barbara prawn, whole blue crab, and an awesome selection of sushi. The restaurant will certainly not disappoint – you get the unforgettable food experience that you came looking for.

3.      Karaikudi Palace

If you have a preference or curiosity of South Indian dishes, this is the place to be. Karaikudi Palace serves up vibrant, bold works of art that are packed with top ingredients such as tamarind, cumin, chiles, ginger, and cardamom. Make sure you don’t miss out on the spicy and smoky curry of baby eggplants that come stuffed with spices and onions. There’s also the fish cooked in coconut sauce with green chilies and red onions, as well as the crispy stuffed dosas. Basically, the menu is laden with a lot of South Indian delicacies, so don’t hold back your appetite.

4.      Lamp Wood Oven Pizzeria

This North Scottsdale restaurant is a creation by chef Matt Pilato, who combines his own style with long-standing Neapolitan techniques. The restaurant churns out almost 20 variety of red and white artisan pies (12”) and a casual pizzeria. You may have the bready crusts a variety of ingredients including Sam Marzano tomatoes, heady sausages, hand-stretched mozzarella and more. You get delicious meals with a classic Italian touch.

5.      Andreoli Italian Grocer

Chef Giovanni Scorzo is the mind behind the works here, and he practically knows everything he needs to know to make super-delicious dishes. This is an Italian restaurant, with a fine selection of Old World eats such as Sicilian-style rice ball, luscious housemade pasta dishes, classic sandwiches and fantastic seafood. You’ll also get a tempting selection of scratch-made Italian desserts and other mouth-watering menu picks. If you have a keen appetite for Italian delicacies, Andreoli Italian Grocer (market and restaurant) might be just what you need.

Looking for a truly out-of-town classic dining experience in North Scottsdale? Try these 5 restaurants!

Blu Burger Grille – Here’s What We Thought About It

Blu Burger Grille – Here’s What We Thought About It

What do you consider a great burger? Everyone has different tastes and preferences; however, chances are if you love a great burger, you are willing to try something new from time to time, as well. The Blu Burger Grille offers an interesting and unique menu, which makes the drive out to the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area well-worth it.

Located in North Scottsdale, close to the Keirland Commons, Blu Burger Grille is nestled in a rather fancy looking strip mall you will find at the northeast corner of Greenway and Scottsdale Roads. Chances are you will see quite a few people heading into this burger joint, which is always a good indication of something tasty ahead. If you are unsure to go; however, you will find this Burger restaurant just a few doors down from the well-known Chipotle restaurant.

It seems like this place stays pretty busy, so be sure you have at least a few minutes to wait if you are planning on eating there. There is no lobby area, so you may have to wait outside. If you are by yourself or just a party of two, you will likely be able to find a spot at the bar, since it seems like this is a family-favorite restaurant.

The decor is a bit retro, featuring 70s style “hand” chairs covered in red velvet. This added a bit of fun to the atmosphere and made it clear why families with younger children loved to dine here. The 70s decor is eclectic and entertaining for those who didn’t actually live in the decade.

The menu offers a number of different options, including several different burgers, such as Turkey, Angus, Kobe and more. You can also choose the size burger you prefer with the biggest option being eight ounces. After the burgers you will find a list of all the extras you can pile on top of your burger. Some of these options include various types of cheeses, vegetables, sauces, relishes and other options. You can even add caramelized onions, Applewood smoked bacon or additional cheese for an extra fee. The remainder of the menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches.

The actual space inside the restaurant is small and the table area is in a sort of question mark design. The walls were blue and there is art splattered here and there throughout the restaurant. Your table is marked with a small plastic spatula that holds a number, nothing fancy, but this is just another burger spot, so the food typically makes up the lackluster design aesthetic.

The food is good, but a bit higher priced than other burger joints in the area. Also, the wait staff seems to have a hard time keeping all the sides and toppings straight. It may be a good idea for the owners to cut back on the options that are offered, it would make it easier on everyone. Overall the experience was good, but the price was a bit high for a single burger and fries.