Eat to the Beat: Black Bean Burger with Onion Rings & Kansas

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

 

The song: “Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Black Bean Burger with Onion Rings from Vegan Junk Food (and actual onion rings from the frozen foods section!)

The connection: The Monster at the End of This Book

 

** Danger, danger! Minor spoilers ahead! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. **

For the longest time (try seven years!) I resisted watching Supernatural, reports of its sheer epic awesomeness be damned. A show about two dudebros (literally! they’re dudes who just happen to be brothers!) doing dudely things while searching for their equally dudely absent father? Ugh, thanks but no thanks. The last thing I need on my TV are more men. More Buffys and Xenas and Nikitas, yes. John/Joan Watson 2.0? Fuck yeah! (I vote Lucy Liu for everything!) But white guys? We’ve got enough of those, don’t you think?

Alas, I caught a few SPN reruns on TNT and fell in love with it in spite of myself. (The widely acknowledged homoerotic subtext being a ginormous bonus. Gay angels are MY FAVORITE!) Fast-forward four months and the husband and I have already blown through six seasons; Season 7 just became available through Netflix, and we’re eight episodes in. (So no spoilers, okay!) We’d better get a move on, seeing as Season 8 launches on the CW tonight. I predict an SPN marathon this weekend!

 

Black Bean Burger with Onion Rings from Vegan Junk Food (0023)

Saving animals, eating things. The family business!
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In honor of the occasion: a little Kansas and a Black Bean Veggie Burger!

As per Dean – the obedient older son, the “good soldier” who embraces his father’s way of thinking, right down to his style (car: Impala; clothing: black leather jacket) – the SPN soundtrack is super-heavy on the ’70s and ’80s classic rock. Think: AC/DC. Zeppelin. Metallica. Bob Seeger. And Kansas, of course.

For obvious reasons (see, e.g. THE PLOT), “Carry on My Wayward Son” made its appearance in Season 1, and was used with some frequency in the “previously on Supernatural” opening montages. In later seasons it was replaced by other classic rock standards, but it’s never failed to return for the season finales. If there’s one song I’ve come to associate with the show, this is it – and, judging from the fan vid above, I’m not alone!

So there are the tunes. What about the food?

While pie is the obvious – and tempting – choice (shipping Dean with pie is a cult fave in the fandom), I chose the road less traveled with a veggie burger.

In Season 4, Episode 18, “The Monster at the End of This Book,” Chuck (author of The Book of Winchester – known topside as Supernatural) has a prophecy that Sam will enjoy some sexy time with demon Lilith. This is unequivocally NOT A GOOD THING, as she’s on a quest to break the 66 Seals to spring Lucifer from his cage in Hell. Plus Sam has demon blood pulsing through his veins, and Team Free Will lives in constant fear that he’ll go Dark Side.

Anyway, in order to prevent Chuck’s vision from coming to fruition, Dean proposes an opposite day: whenever they’re presented with a choice, do exactly the opposite of what they’d normally do. A series of small, seemingly insignificant steps might lead them down a different path. And so, ordering lunch in a diner, Dean forgoes the bacon cheeseburger (world famous: “Oprah’s girlfriend said we have the best bacon cheeseburgers in the country”) in lieu of a “veggie tofu burger.”

Oh great, I’m thinking. He’s going to get a round disc that resembles cardboard and Dean will take one bite before spitting it across the table and onto Sam because EW TOFU!

Much to my surprise, Dead is pleasantly surprised by his lunch: “Oh, my god. This is delicious. Tofu is amazing!”

Score for Team Vegan!

Except, not so much: ten seconds later the waiter returns to the table. Turns out she gave him the bacon cheeseburger by mistake. You know, Gail’s bacon cheeseburger.

Dickballs!

I want to show Dean that a veggie burger need not be a slab of slimy, tasteless tofu. (In fact they never are! It’s an urban legend circulated by defensive omnivores!) Really, vegan burgers aren’t all that diff from non-vegan burgers: some are meh, others are just alright slathered in mustard and mayo and bbq sauce and relish – and others are like tiny little orgasms in your mouth. Ship that!

So I went searching through all the vegan cookbooks at my disposal and came up with this: the Black Bean Burger with Onion Rings (served with a side of onion rings, natch!) from Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food. Black beans, bread crumbs, french fried onions, mayo (it’s vegan too!), BBQ sauce, ketchup, chili powder – this baby’s got it all! Unhealthy (though still better for your ticker than an animal meat burger!), decadent, and deliciously trashy, this is the kind of veggie burger non-vegan joints ought to have on their menus!

(More below the fold…)