In the age of Twitpics and Facebook photos, we’re often bombarded with shots of half-finished or on-the-verge-of-being-consumed meals from all kinds of places, some appetizing (yum! quinoa-battered onion rings!) and some not (pork belly pastrami, for instance…). In this case, an artful pic of a veggie burger in Japan posted on Facebook inspired us to create our own version, complete with sweet potato fries and a ciabatta bun. Recipe should feed 3 or 4.

1 yam
1 zucchini
1 red pepper
1 eggplant
3 tomatoes
4 yellow onions
olive oil
salt to taste
2 or 3 tbsp vegan tzatziki
ciabatta buns*

Preheat oven to 350º.

To caramelize the onions, slice them thinly and pull the layers apart. Heat a few glugs of olive oil over medium-low heat in a large sauté or frying pan. Add the onions and stir until coated with oil, tossing in a few pinches of salt. Stir, keeping the heat medium-low, until the onions are soft and honey-brown, roughly 15 or 20 minutes. If your onions stick to the pan, deglaze them with a small amount of water or broth (the liquid will evaporate almost immediately but will release the onions).

Slice the yam, zucchini, red pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes into large pieces and put into roasting dish. Add a few glugs of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Slide into oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Prepare sweet potato fries and bake the two together.

To assemble, spread vegan tzatziki on both sides of a toasted ciabatta bun. Pile with roasted veggies.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries:
3 or 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch strips
olive oil to coat
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt, pepper

In a large bowl, coat potato strips with olive oil and add seasonings, mixing well. Spread onto baking sheet and bake at 350º until golden (about half an hour).

* Check the ingredients on your ciabatta buns. Some contain milk.


vegan tzatziki

Vegan Tzatziki

October 21, 2011Print this recipe Print this recipe

Tzatziki is traditionally made with Greek yogurt, but we quickly discovered that it’s equally tasty with soy yogurt (the difference in flavor is barely perceptible, believe it or not). Serve chilled with raw or roasted veggies or toasted pita bread for a quick and easy starter.

1 cup soy yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3/4 of a long English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tsp dried or chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Combine soy yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and lemon in a bowl and mix until well combined. Add cucumber and dill; season to taste with salt and pepper.


I’m a serious sweet tooth, so it’s no accident that our inaugural recipe on Garden Gastronome is for one of my all-time favorite foods: cookies! These are the perfect (un)guilty pleasures: they’re vegan and refined-sugar free and tasty and super easy to make.

1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown rice syrup*
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
just under 1/4 cup canola oil
just under 1/4 cup almond milk**
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet mix to dry. Spray baking sheets and drop dough by teaspoonfuls, flattening cookies with a fork if desired. Bake approximately 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 30 cookies.

* Brown rice syrup can be substituted with maple syrup, although your cookies will be much sweeter.
** Use soy milk or hemp milk if preferred.