This versatile vegan option tastes so good, it might just become Dad’s new favourite. By roasting black beans in advance, your burgers will be infused with a ton of extra flavour and a firmness that plant-based burgers often lack. High in fibre and protein, this burger packs a nutrient-dense punch without compromising on flavour.
Use this black bean patty to make a traditional-style burger, or break it up and use it as a topping for tasty nachos. You can also serve it with a soft poached egg nestled on top for a delicious (non-vegan) savoury breakfast with a kick.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). On baking sheet, spread black beans and bake for 15 minutes. Mash beans while on baking sheet with the back of a fork.
While beans are baking, boil sweet potato until soft and fork tender. Drain and mash. Set aside 1/3 cup (80 mL) and let cool.
Into bowl with sweet potato mash, add baked beans, chilies, red bell pepper, cilantro, spices, garlic, flour, green onions, lime zest, and salt (if using). Mix to combine.
Divide mixture into 4 portions and, with your hands, form 4 patties approximately 3/4 in (2 cm) thick. Place in fridge or freezer for approximately 15 to 30 minutes (optional).
In nonstick or lightly oiled pan or barbecue plate, on medium-high heat, cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes. The burgers should be warmed through and form a nice crust along the outside.
Divide shredded lettuce, tomato, avocado, and red onion into 4 bowls. Place a burger on top of each. For additional heat, add chopped jalapenos or your favourite hot sauce and crumble tortilla chips (store-bought or homemade) overtop for a touch of crunch. Finish with a squeeze of lime.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.