Saturday, September 4, 2010

Real Food Daily Burgers & Homemade Ketchup

Real Food Daily Burger
Serves 6

Happy Labor Day! I hope all you guys had a great day with your family and friends. I saw today as the perfect opportunity to fire up the grill and barbecue some burgers and corn. I think poor Taffy got scared of the fire though and he ran inside. How was your holiday? Anything exciting happen?

The recipes that I will be sharing are from Real Food Daily's cookbook. Since most of you aren't from California, you might not know that Real Food Daily is a really popular restaurant out here in Southern California. It was started in the early 1990s and was one of the first vegetarian restaurants to serve organic and seasonal meals. With that being said, you can see why it is one of my favorite places to eat at.

After looking through their cookbook, I decided to make their famous burger for Labor Day. All I gotta say about the burger is WOW! No joke, it tasted like beef! I don't know what it was, the smoky taste the barbecue left or just it's ingredients. It was so good and now this will be the burger I make whenever I am invited to an outdoor grilling party.

As for the ketchup, that's just been something I've wanted to make at home for a long time. And since their cookbook also had a ketchup recipe, I figured I'd make it as well. It was a little more watery than bottled ketchup but that's okay. Just knowing it was homemade and fresh, made up for that. I only made half the recipe, since I have two weeks to finish it and I really don't think I'll go through that much ketchup in that time period.

Ingredients - Tempeh Patties

* 6 Tb canola oil
* 1 1/2 pound tempeh
* 1/4 cup water
* 3 Tb tamari
* 2 Tb yellow miso
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup gluten flour
* 1 portobello mushroom, stemmed and finely chopped
* 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
* 3/4 shredded peeled beet
* 3/4 cup shredded peeled carrots
* 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
* 1/3 finely chopped red bell pepper
* 1 tsp minced garlic
* 3 Tb olive oil
* 2 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rings
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup Homemade Ketchup
* 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
* 6 hamburger buns, split and toasted
* 6 romaine lettuce leaves
* 2 tomatoes, sliced

1. To make the patties : Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush 1 Tb of the oil over a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Shred the tempeh using a food processor fitted with the shredding disk or a hand grater.

2. Stir the water, tamari, miso, salt, pepper, and 3 Tb of the oil in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the tempeh. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the tempeh mixture in the center of the prepared baking sheet. This will help to warm the tempeh mixture without browning or drying it out. Cover with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tb of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom, onion, corn, beet, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Add the hot sauteed vegetables to the hot baked tempeh mixture and stir to blend.

4. Working in batches, transfer the tempeh mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Pulse just until blended. Form the tempeh mixture into six 1/2 inch thick patties. Wrap the patties with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days for the flavors to blend.

To cook and assemble the burgers :
1. Heat 1 Tb of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 12 minutes, or until tender and beginning to brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tb olive oil on a large, heavy griddle. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper and grill for 4 minutes on each side, or until heated through and browned.

3. Spread the ketchup and vegan mayonnaise over the bottom halves of the toasted buns. Top each with a patty. Top with sauteed onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. Place the bun tops on the burgers and serve.

Homemade Ketchup
Makes 2 1/2 Cups


* 1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
* 1 ( 28 ounce can ) of diced tomatoes
* 3 Tb agave nectar
* 1/2 onion, chopped
* 5 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 2 Tb red wine vinegar
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
* Pinch of ground allspice
* Pinch of ground nutmeg
* Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Blend the roasted red bell pepper with the tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth, then set aside. Cook the agave nectar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until it becomes a dark amber color.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the onion and garlic, then let stand off the heat until the foam subsides. Stir in the tomato-pepper puree, then the balsamic vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until it thickens.

3. Using a handheld immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the ketchup until smooth. Cool to room temperature, transfer to jars, then seal and refrigerate until cold.

The ketchup will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Information
Ketchup ( 1 Tb )
13.8 calories, 0g fat, 84.55mg sodium, 2.9g carbohydrates, 9.8g sugar, 0.4g protein

Tempeh Patty
341 calories, 38g fat, 719.54mg sodium, 17.79g carbohydrates, 4g sugar, 26.57g protein


  1. Whoa, awesome post, Jacklyn. I love the photos of your ingredients in the kitchen by the way. And the burgers sound great. Since I can't eat at 'Real Food Daily', I'll just have to make these. Or at least the ketchup-it sounds so good...

  2. Thank you Stella. I am trying to add more pictures to my posts..I've been a little lazy and haven't wanted to but I know it adds a lot to the post. Yes, try the ketchup. Fresh ketchup is much better than store bought!

  3. Man those burgers look yummy. How on earth did you get them in your mouth? They're huge! :o)

  4. Happy Labour Day.

    It is such a shame that the U.K does not celebrate Labour day. A real shame really.

    I just love how your burger sits happy on the BBQ. Its not a tile. Its real and home-made and its not falling apart. They look sooooo goooood!

  5. Let me echo the above by saying awesome job. Love the look of the burgers. Putting them on my menu for next week.

  6. Yes! A homemade vegan burger you can actually stick on the grill? Totally on this weekend's grillmenu. Excited.

  7. Julialikesred - If you do make them, know that they are still a little fragile. I had to use two spatulas to flip them over. Just take extra care when handling them and they'll turn out fine! : ]