I was very excited to find a package of giant pearl couscous (little couscous is no fun), which I cooked according to the package directions (saute couscous on medium in a saucepan with a tablespoon of oil for about five minutes; slowly stir in two cups of boiling water; simmer for 12 minutes).
*Note, be careful when pouring bowling water into a super hot, oiled pan. The steam burned my thumb. Owie.
Mixed in about 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin. Then I threw it in the fridge to cool. Once cool, I tossed in a handful or two of pumpkin seeds (or pepitas as they are apparently also called), a drizzle of olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice, and a very generous palmful of dried parsley. Make that a couple squirts of lemon juice - probably about a tablespoon-plus. Then... the goat cheese. Yum. I crumbled in about a 1/4 of a small block of goat cheese and stirred it all around. Nibble nibble, then back in the fridge.
Next up, I made the burger sauce, based on Goose Island's chipotle aioli. I combined 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip (would be better with regular mayo); 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard; sprinkles of cayenne pepper, paprika, and pepper; and a few squirts of lemon juice. Whisk whisk whisk. Tastes pretty close... It's thicker but I wasn't sure what to add to thin it out but keep the taste (other than another squirt of lemon juice). The Miracle Whip is definitely what you taste most here, but that's not all bad. This sauce will definitely do. In the fridge to chill.
Now it's time to make black bean burgers, copied from here. I'll keep ya posted....
Black bean burgers made and eaten. But let me backtrack. I followed the burger recipe as instructed, adding some hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper for taste.
Time to get mashy...
Screw the fork. I got my potato masher out.
Then it was onto the skillet.
The recipe called for 1/3 cup of beans per burger. I must say, this made for some teeny tiny burgers. I would use at least 1/2 a cup, if not more, per burger next time. As the burgers finished up, I melted some cheese on top, then got to assembling.
Bun, sauce, lettuce (hydroponic!), spicy salsa, burger, cheddar. Put the burger and the salad together, and how do you think I did??
Well, I think I did pretty darn good re-creating my Goose Island meal. And Brad seemed pretty enthused, too. The burger was near identical in taste. The pasta, despite looking a little oranger (due to canned pumpkin puree vs. chunks of fresh pumpkin), tasted nearly identical, too. I'm pretty pleased with myself. Pretty pleased indeed.