Friday, September 12, 2008

Grilled Pepper Relish

The suggestion for this easy home-made relish was to serve it over turkey burgers. On a whim, I bought the vegan Chik'n Grill patties from Gardenburger, figuring that was the closest vegan approximation of a turkey burger. I actually do not normally eat imitation meats, steering clear of imitation chickens/meat loafs etc. when I eat out at vegan restaurants. I'm vegan to save the animals, not to pretend to eat them still! However, tonight I was intrigued, and figured I would do something a little different. Not all Gardenburger products are vegan, but most are:

For the relish, heat a grill or a grill pan over the stove to medium-high heat. Place 4 bell peppers on the grill and grill for 7 minutes until blistered (I found that this took a bit longer in the stovetop version, closer to 14 minutes). Place in a zip-lock bag and let stand for 15 minutes before peeling and chopping into 1/2 inch pieces. Try using a variety of different colored peppers for a prettier relish - I used 2 red, one orange, and one yellow.

Place the peppers in a bowl, along with 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, two tablespoons chopped and pitted kalamata olives, a tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or one teaspoon fresh if you prefer), one and a half teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Toss to combine.

1/4 cup of relish is 40 calories. The verdict of my "chicken" patty experiment is that it tasted waaaay too much like the real thing for me to be comfortable with the idea, no matter how many times I read the ingredient list (although, my taste buds can't be reliable since I haven't eaten real chicken in 13 years). Still, if you do still crave real meat, these would be a great alternative.

Here's my "chicken" pita sandwich with relish.

red bell pepper $1.34
orange bell pepper $1.85
yellow bell pepper $1.65
basil $2.99
kalamata olives $4.99
(prices may still be wrong, since my receipt didn't print out fully...)

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance