Most people think of baseball history when they hear my name, since I have been associated with this field for 65 years and recognized as the first woman baseball historian. But I have other writing interests.
A couple of weeks ago I made a presentation of my three-volume series of historical novels called the Katya Becker series, about a woman who becomes a spy during the years between the two world wars. These books, published from 1998-2005, are still thrilling readers with their adventures of a young Austrian woman who gets into international predicaments when she uncovers plots of the Austrian Nazis. The response of readers who attended the literary luncheon at Chez Boet in Naples was wonderful.
On Feb. 12, to celebrate a month when lots of people celebrate love by wearing red, I autographed 90 copies of my best-selling children’s book, Ann Likes Red, which is now delighting the third generation of young readers. The autographing took place at a children’s boutique here in Naples called Cottontails but known locally as “Grandma’s Paradise” because Naples women love to shop there for their small grandchildren.
Today I turned to still another of my interests: devising vegetarian and vegan recipes for meat substitutes. Cooking and baking are favorite avocations of mine, and while playing in the kitchen I created what I consider to be my best beanburger.
Some vegetarians scorn the effort to prepare foods that resemble meat, but I find that it helps people like me who ate meat for about 50 years and missed it greatly when I discovered that I had to become a vegetarian. That’s why in 2001 I published Meatless Meat, a book of meat substitutes that resemble meat entrees. This book recently took on a new life when Thinker Media republished it as an ebook.
Publishing Meatless Meat was not the end of my search for tasty vegetarian food that looks and tastes like meat. I’m always creating new recipes, and today I prepared one that I plan to repeat often. Even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, you may like the following recipe, which is a lot better for you than the original meat version.
Wedding Anniversary Beanburgers
These turn out amazingly like beef burgers: same appearance, color, and texture. The flavor, too, is delightfully similar.
Wash and drain 1 C canned black beans.
Put in blender with ½ C salsa (I used salsa verde), ½ t bouillon extract, and ¼ C eggbeaters. Blend till fairly smooth.
Combine with about 1 C leftover cooked brown rice and ¼ C buckwheat flour. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season with cumin, turmeric, and garlic powder. Optional: 1/8 C nutritional yeast and 1 t Bragg’s soy or 1 t Worcestershire sauce.
If you can’t pick up this batter with your hands, add a little more buckwheat flour.
With wet hands, form the batter into patties. Dip each patty into more buckwheat flour — both sides. Oil a pizza pan, then place patties on pan and turn them, thus oiling both sides. Broil for 10 or 15 minutes, then turn and broil for 5 more.
Serve with guacamole, red salsa, or chili sauce.
And bite into this great burger.