Dutch Crunch Rolls: #202 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Dutch crunch is a popular sandwich bread here in the San Francisco Bay Area. In Europe, it’s called Tiger Bread because of the striped pattern on top. It’s a soft bread on the inside with a crispy rice flour topping that bakes into a crunchy crust. Many thanks to Aparna for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4.50 total for 6 large buns)

Dough :
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.03
1/4 cup hottest tap water – free
3 tsp coconut oil – $1.65
1 cup soy milk – $0.37
1/2 cup whole wheat flour – $0.09
2 1/2 cups white flour – $0.40
1 1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Crunch topping:
3/4 cup rice flour – $0.24
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.03
1/2 cup hottest tap water – free
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1/2 tsp salt – $0.01

Directions

1. Make the bread dough: in a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top – this is how you know the yeast is active and ready to go.

In a large metal bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, 2 cups white flour, and salt. When the yeast is ready, add it to the flour mixture along with the coconut oil and soy milk. Stir until it comes together into a ball of dough, then knead with your hands for 10 minutes, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if it’s really sticking to your fingers. The dough should be nice and smooth and elastic.

Cover with cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours to double in size.

2. Punch the risen dough down to remove the air, then cut it into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

While this is rising, in a separate bowl, mix all the crunch topping ingredients together and stir to combine. Let this sit to puff up a bit while the buns are rising.

3. Brush a thick layer of crunch topping over the top and sides of each bun. Let it rise, uncovered, for another 20 minutes, then bake at 375 for 25 minutes. The top of the buns will be a deep golden brown and there should be cracks on the surface.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with your favorite sandwich fillings, like balsamic maple glazed tempeh.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = 3+ hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 13/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Balsamic Maple Glazed Tempeh: #201 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Tempeh is a wonderful, meat-like patty that takes on whatever flavor marinade you give it. Popular in Indonesia, it’s made of fermented soybeans and is high in both protein and probiotics. This recipe is a slow marinating, slow cooking feast, with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, soy sauce, and olive oil blending to delight the senses. Try something new this week! Many thanks to Oh She Glows for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 3 tempeh patties + sauce)

1 8 oz package of tempeh – $3.49

Marinade:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – $1.62
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
1 tbsp maple syrup – $0.24
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10

Sandwich sauce (optional):
1 tbsp mayonnaise – $0.10
2 tbsp ketchup – $0.13
1/2 tsp chili powder – $0.14
3 leaves basil, chopped up – $0.41

Directions

1. Rinse and pat the tempeh dry, then break it up into 3 chunks and put it in a coverable Pyrex dish. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients to make the marinade, then pour it over the tempeh. Turn the tempeh over a couple of times to coat it, then cover and put in the fridge overnight.

2. In the morning, turn the tempeh over again. When you’re about an hour away from lunch/dinner, take the tempeh dish out of the fridge and put it on the stove on medium low. The marinade will start to bubble and reduce. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so until the liquid is mostly dry and the tempeh smells amazing.

In a small dish, mix the sandwich sauce ingredients together to serve with the tempeh, if desired.

3. Serve the tempeh patties hot on dutch crunch rolls with tomato, kale, avocado, and the sandwich sauce. Or any burger toppings you like. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Garbanzo Broccoli Fritters: #200 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

You could make these veggie burgers with any kind of beans and greens, like lentils and zucchini, kidney beans and collard greens, etc. We made them with garbanzo beans and baby broccoli because that’s what we had on hand. The dill and basil give it a nice zing. Plus it’s recipe #200 today, so that’s a reason to celebrate! Hope you enjoy this savory lunchtime delicacy.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 10 fritters)

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas – $1.00
1 bunch baby broccoli – $2.79
1/2 onion, diced – $0.25
1 tbsp basil, chopped – $0.55
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced – $0.10
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
1/2 cup flour – $0.08
2 eggs – $0.58
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil for frying – $0.40

Directions

1. Make the fritter dough: mash up the cooked garbanzo beans in a bowl with a fork, then add the broccoli, onion, basil, dill, lemon juice/zest, mustard, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to make it into a thick batter – add a bit more flour if it’s too wet to hold together into patties.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Shape the patties with your hands and place them into the hot pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until they’re nice and crispy and golden brown. You’ll probably need to cook it in two batches.

3. Remove the cooked fritters from the pan with a spatula and let rest on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the oil. Keep the first batch warm in a low temperature oven while you’re cooking the second batch, then serve hot for a yummy and nourishing lunch. They keep well in a sealed container in the fridge if you have leftovers for the next day.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact (eggs)
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish (fried)
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Baked Olive Mushroom Lentil Burgers: #186 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

What happens when you mix mushrooms, lentils, kalamata olives, and some delicious spices? A nourishing and delicious veggie burger, much like our hearty meatless burgers and experimental garbanzo burgers. This recipe comes from the legendary post-punk kitchen. Check it out!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 total for 12 burger patties)

1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, diced – $0.50
1 package brown beech or other mushrooms – $2.69
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
2 celery stalks, chopped – $0.10
1 tsp thyme – $0.28
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives – $0.60
1 1/4 cups cooked lentils – $0.65
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1-2 cups Hawaiian sweet roll breadcrumbs – free leftovers

Directions

1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, mushroom, celery, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and smell wonderful.

In a blender, grind up leftover bread into fine breadcrumbs, then pour the breadcrumbs out of the blender and set aside.

2. In the empty blender, add the stir-fried veggies, kalamata olives, lentil, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar. Process until mostly smooth – a few chunks are ok. Remove from the blender and stir in the breadcrumbs, as much of it as you need to get a nice burger patty consistency.

3. Form the mixture with your hands into 6 or 12 burgers, depending on how thick you like them. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, flip over, and bake for 12-15 more minutes until they’re nice and toasty brown. Serve on a bun like any other burger or overtop some tasty leftovers like quinoa and stew.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dilly Salmon Cakes: #164 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When fresh fish is hard to find, or when you have some leftover fish to use up, salmon cakes are a tasty way to get your omega-3’s. These are a bright lemon-dilly treat to serve up for lunch that’s also good for your mental health and wellbeing.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 total for 16 little salmon cakes)

14 oz can of salmon – $5.49
1 cup bread crumbs (I blended up some leftover soda bread) – free
2 eggs – $0.58
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1 tbsp Dijon mustard – $0.21
Juice from 1 small lemon – $0.20
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
1 tsp salt – $0.05
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil for cooking – $0.20

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients except the cooking oil. Mix together well. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 small balls or 8 larger patties.

2. In a large pan, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, turning carefully with two spoons or forks to make sure all the sides are nicely browned.

3. Serve hot and fresh with your lunch. We had them with salad overtop some cauliflower mashed potatoes with mushrooms!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Quick Homemade Burger Buns: #155 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We decided to make our hearty meatless burgers the other day (using beets instead of carrots since that’s what we had on hand). With only one hour until dinner, how could we possibly have fresh homemade buns to go with the burgers? Fortunately, this recipe had our backs.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2.50 total for 12 buns)

2 tbsp active dry yeast – $1.00
1 cup + 2 tbsp hottest tap water – free
1/3 cup olive oil – $0.48
1/4 cup + 1 tsp brown sugar – $0.15
1 egg – $0.29
1 tsp salt – $0.05
3 cups flour, plus 1/2 cup extra if it’s too sticky – $0.56

Directions

1. In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the yeast, hot water, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom, then mix in the olive oil, remaining sugar, and egg. Stir to combine. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix it into a nice soft ball of dough.

2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it’s smooth and stretchy, then immediately cut it into 12 balls WITHOUT letting the entire dough rise. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. Bake at 425F for 8-10 minutes until they start to get golden on top and smell delicious. Cool for a few minutes, then slice in half to fill with your burger and toppings.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Garbanzo Burgers with Mango Salsa: #140 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I’m always up for trying a new veggie burger. Our hearty meatless burger is still a favorite, but we decided to explore ground up garbanzo beans and zucchini for this one. The mango-pepper-basil salsa definitely steals the show! 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 6 patties)

1 mango, diced – $1.19
1/4 red pepper, diced – $0.25
4 large fresh basil leaves, sliced – $1.09
1/2 tsp cumin – $0.14
1 lemon, squeezed for juice – $0.20
1 3/4 cups cooked garbanzo beans – $1.19
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I ground up some extra tortillas we had in the freezer) – free
1 egg – $0.29
1 zucchini, grated and dried on paper towel – $0.58
2 carrots, grated and dried on paper towel – $0.23
1 tsp cumin – $0.28
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.50
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread, kale, and any toppings you like for burgers, optional

Directions

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and add salt to taste. Salsa is DONE!

2. Add the next 8 ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Scoop into 4-6 thick burgers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. 

3. Bake at 425F for 8 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake for 8 more minutes or until browned and crisped up. Serve hot with bread, kale, burger toppings, and the mango salsa. 

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal – burgers were very moist/sloppy since I forgot to dry the zucchini out or refrigerate the patties. But the mango salsa was AMAZING!
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Hearty Meatless Burgers: #34 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I was vegan and gluten-free for 2 years, way back when. This is one of the treasured recipes I kept from that time. So healthy and delicious, and very satisfying even for the meatiest of meat eaters. It’s better to cook them gently in a pan or griddle than on the BBQ because they need a flat surface. Other than that, treat them as you would a normal burger!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2.50 total for 9 burgers)

2/3 cup rolled oats – $0.08
2/3 cup almond meal – $0.84
1/2 onion, chopped – $0.25
3/4 cup grated carrots – $0.46
1 cup finely chopped spinach/baby kale – $0.50
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.04
1/4 cup water – free
1 tsp soy sauce – $0.03
Salt and pepper to taste
2 x 2 tbsp olive oil – $0.40

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and somewhat sticky.

2. Use your freshly washed hands to shape the mixture into 8-10 patties. They will need to be a bit thicker than meat burgers in order to hold together well over the heat.

3. Heat the olive oil (2 tbsp per batch) in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 4 minutes each side or until nice and toasty and brown, then let them sit on a paper towel while the rest are cooking. I like to serve these with homemade slider buns and chili sauce (mayo, ketchup, and chili powder mixed together). Feel free to top with your favorite burger toppings. So good! 

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!