by Bridget O’Donnell
Early in the month, summer temperatures intermittently interrupted the 2023 fall season in the Hudson Valley. Drought, fires, flooding, warmer waters, and more severe storms remain a constant in the national weather forecast. Daunting research and a considerable amount of literature suggest global warming is the cause.
Corrective measures need to be made by nothing less than a nation to mitigate the effects of climate change. Ideally, we all have to learn to incorporate more sustainable habits into our lifestyles that positively contribute to the environment, regardless of social or economic standing.
Fortunately, each person truly does make a difference. Small changes aren’t dismissed, they’re cumulative.
…Thinking more plant-forward, I planned to grill portobello burgers on one of the unseasonably warm nights. However, while I was shopping for the necessary ingredients I happened to come across grass fed sliders that looked like they’d be a fun addition to dinner. To be honest, this was more of an impulse buy then premeditated meal planning but it worked out in our f[L]avor.
Title of Cookbook: Super Easy Burgers: 69 Really Simple Recipes
Author of Cookbook: Orathay Souksisavanh
What prompted you to check out this cookbook?
Burgers aren’t something I prepare often so I took out a few cookbooks to preview how I might engineer ours, gleaning ideas for: ingredients, condiments, and toppings…
What did you like about this cookbook?
I like the simplicity, accessibility, and versatility of the ingredients, which just happen to be listed in the universal language of photographs(!).
What didn’t you like about this cookbook?
There’s no introduction or narrative throughout the cookbook. After the table of contents, the author jumps right into a succession of “69 Really Simple Recipes.” This might be considered humble and isn’t necessarily a deterrent but note, the ingredients you source, whether store bought or homemade, may increase the estimated prep time provided by the author as well as the cost.
Favorite recipes (that you tried from the cookbook/website):
“American Style Cheeseburger” (pg. 7)
The “Mushroom Spinach Burger” (pg. 111) was fairly close to the rendition I made of my brother’s recipe for grilled portobello burgers.
Did you alter the recipe or make any substitutions?
This cookbook didn’t include sliders so I referenced one of their more classic recipes and applied it to smaller portions. I diced up vinegary refrigerator pickles until they resembled relish. The relish was layered on toasted buns over thinly spread vegan aioli topped with a slider, sliced mozzarella, and tomato (optional).
Because the portobello shrank on the grill, I used two mushrooms on one standard size kaiser roll and we split the “burger.” Ingredients included olive oil, and salt and pepper, topped with a slice of mozzarella cheese to hold grilled red onion on the burger. If I actually followed a recipe it may have had more spices and/or condiments but the simplified version had enough umami to satisfy our tastes.
Would you recommend this cookbook/recipe?
Yes, whether you prefer vegetarian, vegan meat substitutes or meat, a good burger is timeless.
Books (listed alphabetically by title) –
America’s Test Kitchen. Cooking With Plant-Based Meat: 75 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes For All Your Meaty Cravings / America’s Test Kitchen.
Take a look at the “Classic Pub Sliders on pg. 27 or flip through the chapter called “Burgers, Sandwiches, Tacos, and More” beginning on pg. 39.
A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals / by Christopher Kronner; with Paolo Lucchesi.
Informative introduction that outlines the history behind the beef industry and reasons to advocate for grass fed beef. In a candid voice, the author suggests six levels of burger making instructions for the extremely lazy to fervent acolyte and shares his secret to making a really great burger.
Good Housekeeping Burgers: 125 Mouthwatering Recipes & Tips.
Classic Sliders, pg. 25.
Meat Me Halfway: How Changing the Way We Eat Can Improve Our Lives and Save Our Planet / Brian Kateman.
This title is also available as an eAudiobook through Hoopla.
Plant Based Cooking For Everyone / Reader’s Digest.
Advocates for a plant based approach to cooking, defines types, and includes a food arsenal chart that lists nutrient – ailment – foods. Chapter 6 is devoted to “Burgers, Sandwiches & Wraps.”
Super Easy Burgers: 69 Really Simple Recipes / Orathay Souksisavanh.
Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers / Lukas Volger; photography by Evi Abeler.
Best Portabella Burger pg. 62; Rutabaga Fries pg. 144.
Bond, Sarah. “How to Make Portobello Mushroom Burgers.” Liveeatlearn.com, updated 8/18/2023.
Cody, Bob. “Portobello Mushroom Burgers.” Allrecipes.com, updated on July 14, 2022.
Donofrio, Jeanine. “Portobello Mushroom Burgers.” Loveandlemons.com, last accessed 10/8/2023.
(FYI, kind of scary…)
Adams, Vivian. “Meat Consumption and Climate Change: Western Countries Must Cut by 75%.” Earth.org, June 15, 2022.
Graham, Rachel. “Why is Eating Meat Bad for the Environment and Climate Change?” sentientmedia.org, December 21, 2022.
Nawaz, Amna. “UN Scientists Warn Drastic Steps Needed to Prevent Climate Change Catastrophe.” Pbs.org, March 20, 2023.
United Nations. “Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a Healthier Planet.” Un.org, last accessed 10/8/2023.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply.” Epa.gov, last accessed 10/8/2023.
Waite, Richard, et. al. “6 Pressing Questions About Beef and Climate Change, Answered.” Wri.org, March 7, 2022.
Quick Subject links to the Library catalog:
Vega, New Catalog – take a look at the Concepts to narrow your results and go down a more granular rabbit hole.
Meat animals Moral and ethical aspects.
Meat Environmental aspects.
Meat Health aspects.
Quick and easy cooking.
October 10th, 2023