I was surprised to see so many comments from fellow calorie counters in my last post! I just kinda figured I was some rare OCD crazy person since most all of my friends tease me about my obsessive calorie counting. But so many of you do it too (or have done it in the past)!
There were a few questions from commenters about how I handle restaurant food calories or tabulating recipes, as well as how many calories I'm allotted daily. So before we get to the BEST TOFU BURGER EVER, I'll address those questions.
According to my Lose It app, I can have 1,659 calories each day to maintain my current weight. You just put your current weight, ideal weight (mine is the same as current), and height into the app, and it gives a calorie count. Other counting programs have similar systems. I always go over on the weekends (sometimes by a whole lot!), and that's okay since I generally stay a few calories under each day on week days. I figure it balances out. When I do go over on week days, I don't stress about it. I just try to do better the next day. And I never count calories while I'm on vacation or on eating holidays (like Thanksgiving, Xmas, or my birthday ... yes, my birthday counts as an eating holiday).
I do the math for every recipe I make and program it into my app. It only takes a few seconds since I know most calories in common ingredients by heart. I measure everything I put on my plate. But if I'm dining out, I just estimate. The app has lots of programmed meals, including many vegan specialty items, so it's fairly easy to guess. And I can eyeball a measurement on my plate like a pro.
I hope that answers all your questions 'cause now it's time for the most important part of this post: THE BEST TOFU BURGER EVER! Yes, all caps are needed to show just how good this is. It's the Tofu Chard Burger from Vegan's Daily Companion:
I knew the recipe sounded good when I saw it, but I had no idea it would turn out this ridiculously amazing. I prefer tofu burgers over other ingredients bases because I love that firm-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside texture. These had that, plus hearty Asian flavors since they're seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. The mashed tofu is mixed with sauteed Swiss chard, and it's held together with ground walnuts and breadcrumbs. I served these with sriracha-mayo (that's the orange stuff) and homemade sweet pickles.
On the side, I made Food Network Chef Mario Batali's Roasted Turnips:
I found the recipe while googling for fresh ideas on how to cook turnips. Although the name says they're "roasted," they're actually sauteed in Earth Balance on the stovetop until soft. Then they're seasoned with poppy seeds, paprika, and red wine vinegar. I had to cook them way longer than the recipe suggested to get them soft enough. But once they were cooked through, they were delicious. I dipped mine in ketchup and pretended like they were roasted potatoes ... just for fun.
On a final note, I've been asked my friends at VegNews to pimp their Holiday Cookie Contest. They're currently taking submissions of holiday cookie recipes, and their staff will be baking their favorites to determine a winner. The grand prize is a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, second prize is a vegan cupcake kit, and the third place winner will receive a dozen Allison's Gourmet cookies. Submissions are due by December 10th. Click here for more information.