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charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messchive blossoms // the first messingredients for charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messmarinating some tofu // the first messto be grilled // the first mess
I took a little holiday from here and I really hope you don’t mind. Two weeks away from this space in the middle of spring-to-summer felt a bit indulgent and lazy until I realized that hey, I was never aiming for an endless conveyer belt of super-pretty-health-fun-wow-tasty-vibes with this site anyway. Almost three years of creating and sharing here, and I think I finally just grasped what the point of it really is.

I’ve always firmly believed that each person, each entity, is enough as is. We’re all pretty miraculous as lives living right here. It might be our work in life to wake up and just realize that one truth, to get to that state of pure feeling and experience–no words or actions necessary, nobody remembers those anyway. Moving forward from that accepted self means not being reduced by some of the more challenging episodes of the everyday, but instead just being and becoming. You do what you can with what knowledge is available to you, and next time? You’ll do it better just by virtue of having walked in that beautiful and probably messy path.

It’s easy to admire the beauty of something that smacks of completeness, but I’ve always been more interested in growth and how we get to there as a community, even if the “there” changes and moves along. How we work together and relate to pull ourselves out of a difficult spot or a challenge, I’m into that. I love reading and watching interviews with chefs, master carpenters, explorers, makers of all stripes, and people who just DO THINGS because their stories inevitably weave a rich-as-fuck tapestry of experience and lessons from their surroundings. They took their sense of selves, realized the might, made themselves a student of their community/environment, and in turn uplifted some portion of humanity. The mind that shifts and is able to see differently is something to behold.

So we’re always growing together over here. Maybe it’s a new kale salad technique, a new spice, some all-too-human recounts of events and feelings felt. I love that we can all interact over something so simple as a possible bite to eat between hello and goodbye, and on the internet to boot. Just great. Today I grilled an avocado and my sense of time and place went a little wild. So delicious! Its natural shape is perfect for a little stuffing of sorts, so I went to work on charring a few more things for that component. Some marinated tofu, pungent broccoli and a sweet lemon and mildly curry-ish sauce for smothering. The curry part was an accident too, the little bag of it selected when I intended to reach for ground cumin. No need to cope with the error because man, it’s good. Bright, warming, and lightly sweet. I found the whole dish a little strong/rich in terms of mouthfeel, so the sauce is in there to help along with some diced apricots that weren’t quite ripe. Just a touch of pucker to make it work and go pop.

I always feel compelled to dream up some kind of wholesome, feel-good grilled main for y’all this time of year. I know full well that the inclination is just rooted in what I want to eat since we’re creeping up on summer, but it’s also a bit of a counter to the sauced meat-laden magazine covers everywhere right about now. Surely this can’t STILL be feeling like a new thing, right? Eat your vegetables and show ‘em what you’re made of :) xo

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messgrillinpre-plate (charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce) // the first messassembling charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messcharred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messcharred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first mess

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet curry lemon sauce
serves: 6
notes: Some cooked grain in this mix would be yummy if you’ve got some around. Also, swapping tempeh for tofu could be delicious. If you don’t want to bother with making the sauce, I think some super classic/classy barbecue sauce would be so, so proper.

charred broccoli, tofu + avocados:
1/4 cup olive oil + extra
1 tbsp dijon or grainy mustard
1 clove of garlic, peeled + sliced (optional!)
2 tbsp chopped chives + blossoms if you’ve got ‘em
big pinch chili flakes
5-6 sprigs of thyme, leaves rough chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice + zest
salt + pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 stalks of broccoli, stems removed
3 firm, but ripe avocados
1-2 barely ripe apricots

sweet curry lemon sauce:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 strip of lemon zest
1/2 tbsp dijon OR grainy mustard
1-2 tbsp maple syrup OR agave nectar
1/4 cup diced red onion
fat pinch of mild curry powder
small pinch of ground cumin
splash of filtered water (more or less depending on desired consistency)
salt + pepper
1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
3 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, chives, chili flakes, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.

Lay the tofu slices in a large dish and cut the broccoli into florets. Add the broccoli to the dish with the tofu slices. Pour the marinade mix over the tofu and broccoli. Cover and refrigerate, allowing to marinate for at least 1/2 and hour.

While the tofu and broccoli is marinating, make the sweet lemon curry sauce. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, curry powder, cumin powder, water, salt, pepper, tamari, and oil in a blender and blend on high until you have a completely smooth mixture. Check the sauce for seasoning and place in the fridge while you grill

Preheat your grill to high. Cut the avocados in half, and remove all pits. brush the exposed surfaces with oil and season with salt + pepper. Set aside.

Start laying the tofu and broccoli on the grill. Cook until char marks appear on all surfaces, carefully flipping pieces of tofu and broccoli over here and there for even cooking. Remove all tofu and broccoli once it’s sufficiently cooked/charred. Place avocado halves on the grill and cook until char marks appear. Remove and place on a serving platter.

Chop up the tofu and broccoli into small pieces and toss together in a medium bowl. Dice up the apricots and add to the bowl as well. Toss with some more chopped chives or chive flowers if you want and spoon into the grilled avocado halves. Finish with drizzles of the sweet lemon curry sauce.

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Emily @ Cortado Chronicles05/06/2014 - 6:14 am

Um, yes. Yum. What a great recipe to come back with.
Being a vegetarian, BBQs in the summer months have been lingering in the back of my mind – how will others cope with my dietary requirements?!
I might throw my own ‘veggie’ BBQ party. Show non-veggies that BBQs sans meat can be exciting and fun too.

Valentina05/06/2014 - 7:10 am

Your photos make me really hungry!!! :D I’ll try this recipe, my boyfriend ate grilled avocado some years ago in Spain and sometimes it asked to make it for him – I’ve never tried it yet!

Magda05/06/2014 - 7:23 am

Indeed, if your blog was a conveyer-belt of recipes and photos, it would be a bad thing. Spontaneity and people writing after they have lived something in the real world, it’s what it’s all about.
Thanks for your words and for a great recipe.

anoushe05/06/2014 - 7:53 am

This looks amahzing!! :)

Millie l Add A Little05/06/2014 - 8:59 am

Gorgeous post as usual and those charred avocados look super tasty!

Sini | my blue&white kitchen05/06/2014 - 9:06 am

Grilled avocado? And if that’s not enough, filling that damn delicious looking grilled avocado? Girl, you’re a genius! Can’t wait to get into some summer grilling at our summer cottage. Will definitely make this recipe. Also, that second photo just blew my mind. Nature’s beauty which you’ve captured so perfectly.

The Naked FIg05/06/2014 - 9:21 am

This looks out of this world! I don’t even have words. Just WOW.

Monica05/06/2014 - 9:21 am

These photos are gorgeous, this recipe looks amazing, and I have those same flats! :) Therefore, this post is awesome.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth05/06/2014 - 9:35 am

Wow! Wherever you went for two weeks, can I go there?? Profound writing. Out of the box recipe. You go girl! Total awesomeness.

Kierstan05/06/2014 - 9:38 am

Well deserved time away from this beautiful blog.

Your photos and recipe are deliciously amazing. A perfect meal for a summertime BBQ, enjoyed with friends.

cynthia05/06/2014 - 10:21 am

Holy wow. This looks and sounds so phenomenal, Laura. If this isn’t super-pretty-health-fun-wow-tasty, I don’t know what is.

Also, it was so crazy awesome to meet you last week! You are every bit as chilled-out rad and fabulous that I imagined you to be.

Erica C. Barnett05/06/2014 - 12:36 pm

Wow. That photo of the tofu and garlic chives looks like a flower garden. Lovely (and I can’t wait to make this!)

Sophie05/06/2014 - 6:27 pm

Yum, this looks amazing! Thank you so much for your honest words, Laura. Sometimes I need to be remined that trying my hardest and learning along the way is the best accomplishment of all.

kristie @ birchandwild.com05/06/2014 - 8:24 pm

This looks so delicious and summer perfect! I can’t wait to try it. And beautiful photos, as usual!

Sophie05/06/2014 - 8:28 pm

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen tofu looking so beautiful! It must have been difficult to remove it from the marinade.. beautiful blog and photos.

Dick Punch05/06/2014 - 11:30 pm

I thought doze purdy purple flowers were fireworks in the dark picture. Mad decent.
Laura: Hi Nicole!

Légumes | Pearltrees06/06/2014 - 4:03 am

[…] charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

[…] Linked from: […]

This just looks SOOOOO gooood!!!!!! I’m in love with tofu and have recently started cooking a lot with this magic ingredient! I love the charred look on the broccoli and that curry sauce is like the best thing ever!!!!!!!

sarah06/06/2014 - 3:20 pm

‘but I’ve always been more interested in growth and how we get to there as a community, even if the “there” changes and moves along. How we work together and relate to pull ourselves out of a difficult spot or a challenge, I’m into that.’ Yes. Most my life I focused on end points and was always trying to arrive at some perfect place, or state. But it’s just all about the process, and one I figured that out, life became a much more beautiful place.

I appreciate your musings and thoughtfulness so much. And I never got to hug you goodbye! But that just means we have to see each other soon, right?xx

ps. grilled avocados? amazing.

[…] stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry. i can get behind this […]

jade08/06/2014 - 7:00 am

These photos are simply stunning – I am completely blown away.
You are a very talented lady, Laura.

la domestique08/06/2014 - 7:33 am

I love everything about this post. The sun is shining and I’m off to fire up the grill!

[…] permanent auf der Suche nach vegetarischen Grill-Rezepten – und bin fündig geworden: bei The First Mess sah ich gegrillte Avocados, mit einer Tofu-Brokkoli-Füllung, dazu gibt es eine süße […]

Jeanee09/06/2014 - 10:18 am

This loos SO GOOD! The photo of the seasoned tofu needs to be hung on the wall as a piece of framed art.

Lindsay10/06/2014 - 8:13 am

Thanks for this timely post. Love all of your images and recipes. Keep up the good work!

Grace from The Big Reveal10/06/2014 - 11:51 am

These look so delicious! I can’t wait to try it out. You have never steered me wrong, so I know it will be fabulous. And, your photography is always so stunning it makes me gasp out my desk. (I’m sure my coworkers think I’m nuts, but it’s worth it!)

Thanks for being a continued source of inspiration.

Kate10/06/2014 - 5:57 pm

This meal is absolutely stunning, improvised or not. I hear you—I’ve been feeling like a recipe factory lately and took a much-needed weekend break from my phone and my computer and cooking. I want to hang that sliced tofu photo on my wall. :)

[…] seen a recipe calling for warm or cooked avocado, I throw up in my mouth a little…until THIS. Another lovely vegan meal on The First Mess, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to […]

Danny Farrington14/06/2014 - 8:37 am

This all looks scrumptious – may I ask you where you got your lovely tableware from? I’ve been searching for weeks for bowls and plates like that!

[…] Asparagus Salad with Sweet Curry Sauce Serves 2. Adapted from The First Mess. You could cook the tofu more, or even fry it for more crispiness – same goes with the […]

Laura Wright15/06/2014 - 11:29 am

Hi Danny, I picked up the enamelware plates from a local antique shop.

Hungry? | Wilderness & Gold17/06/2014 - 1:42 pm

[…] Image of Charred Broccoli + Tofu Stuffed Avocados with Sweet Lemon Curry Sauce. […]

Links We Love | Roost Books20/06/2014 - 12:43 pm

[…] * A new take on avocados, transitioning into summer, and seeing everything as just right, as it is—effortless. […]

Laetitia24/06/2014 - 9:32 am

Wow, this looks amazingly delicious.

[…] * Charred broccoli & tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Shea26/06/2014 - 1:32 pm

This is the first of your recipes that I’ve made and I just had to comment to say it is so good! Particularly the sweet lemon curry sauce, YUM. A perfect dressing for other salads, too, if you’re like me and tired of the same old balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t have a grill, so I ended up roasting the marinated broccoli and tofu, and it came out great. I’ll definitely be trying more of your recipes!

[…] Thursday – charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Recettes | Pearltrees12/07/2014 - 11:03 am

[…] charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Stephanie14/07/2014 - 1:29 pm

Holy moly! This recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing – adding this to my BBQ bucket list!

[…] Charred broccoli and tofu stuffed avocado with sweet lemon curry sauce. (via The Kitchn) […]

jacqueline30/07/2014 - 10:42 pm

This was seriously good. Had to make a couple modifications as I had some treats from my CSA to use but the dressing and marinade I kept the same. The smokiness of the veg/tofu meeting the creaminess of the avocado was delicious. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

[…] ‘Charred Broccoli + Tofu Stuffed Avocados‘ — Well, anything with avocado is a given obviously. And anything […]

Catie03/08/2014 - 5:53 pm

These pictures are so gorgeous! Making food into art (and delicious! definitely going to try the next time avocados go on sale) Thanks!

Julia10/10/2014 - 12:15 am

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was incredibly delicious, and so creative!!!

But I think there’s a direction/ingredient error. Is there supposed to be avocado in the lemon curry sauce? I had assumed that was the case, looking at the photos, and noting that it lists the avocados twice in the ingredient list, but the directions don’t say to add avocado to the sauce. I added it anyway, and it was yummy …

Thanks for an amazing site – I discovered it about two weeks ago, and I’ve already made five of your recipes!

Laura Wright10/10/2014 - 3:07 pm

Hi Julia, I triple checked the recipe, and I’m pretty certain I only specified avocados once in the ingredients list. Although on a first pass, I saw “apricots” and mistook that for the avocados, so maybe that was it? Regardless, the lemon curry sauce doesn’t require avocado blended in it, but I can imagine that would be delicious. Glad you enjoyed it!

[…] 3. Loaded Baked Potatoes by Namely Marly 4. Veggie Meat Balls by Diethood 5. Broccoli Tofu Stuffed Avocados by The First Mess 6. Veggie Sliders by Minimalist Baker 7. Olive Garden Slow Cooker […]

chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ vegan cashew lemon mayo

chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burger ingredients // the first messdrying chickpeas // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first mess
My little neighbourhood is small and chatty. I was pulling out dandelions in my front yard when an older man that lives a few houses down came right over in his bare feet and joked that I was wasting my time before he introduced himself. It is pretty hard to keep up with those little suckers, but! John reminded me that they are edible, because he’s seen some of the “little old Italian ladies” cooking them up with garlic and whatnot. “What do they call it again…?” he asked. “Cicoria!” I said, recalling the waxed boxes of bitter greens that sometimes popped up at my dad’s store

So I finished up the little weeding session and poured myself an ice cold glass of water with a squeeze of lime, perched at my living room window for a minute. And what did I see next? John was digging the dandelions out of his front yard too. Didn’t he just say I was wasting my time?

I think makin’ it better is almost always contagious if approached with warmth and casual grace. Whether it’s the front lawn, the state of your home in general, the everyday food and drink choices, considerations of the whole world when you buy shampoo. That’s why people love healthy living-focused Instagram accounts, DIY blogs, them Oprah quote-graced cup sleeves at Starbucks, and the natural beauty products section of any given Target store.

It’s those shiny bits of the everyday that make some of the more elusive, heavy-with-life things seem within reach. Will those tiny actions stop the west Antarctic ice sheet from collapsing? Well no, and I don’t think I’ll be bringing that topic up with the neighbours anytime soon either. They always tell you to think big when you’re coming up, but focusing small has shown plenty of merit in my time here.

So as usual, plant-heavy meal preparation is the small focus strategy that reigns supreme. It keeps us feeling stronger in our immediate space, with a simultaneous awareness of how that choice can make an impact out there. Small and mighty. Except this burger is kinda huge. We enjoyed these one night with big piles of greens, and then I scarfed one in the more traditional way on some sourdough bread for breakfast the next morning. I had been thinking about Old Bay as the dominant flavour in a veggie burger. It’s generally more of a seafood kind of spice, but I knew that it would mingle nicely with a chickpea-based patty and a creamy, lemony mayo-like accompaniment. I was rather satisfied with how these came together. They punch all of the flavour and texture buttons for me, especially with a few slices of avocado in the mix. Maybe my neighbours will start asking for veggie burger recipes soon?

mix // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first mess
chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ cashew lemon mayo
serves: 4
notes: If you don’t vibe to oats/can’t be bothered making oat flour, feel free to use all chickpea flour for the total amount (1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons). I just did a mix because I was finding the chickpea flavour a bit strong. Also, I just make chickpea flour by grinding dry/non-cooked chickpeas in my blender. I feel like this could be possible in a food processor or coffee grinder as well. If you don’t have Old Bay in your nook of the world, you can make it yourself (link)!

burger mix ingredients:
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
salt + pepper (be mindful that Old Bay has hella salt already)
1/4 cup chickpea flour
3 tbsp oat flour
1/3 cup chopped chives

cashew lemon mayo ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 tbsp lemon juice
splash of white wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp-1/3 cup filtered water
salt to taste

assembly etc.!
buns, bread, boston/butter lettuce wraps, whatever you’re feeling
oil for sautéeing the burgers
avocado slices
red onion slices

Set a large pot with an inch or two of water over medium heat. Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket. Once the water in the pot is simmering, place the steamer basket in and put a lid on top. Steam the cauliflower until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and run some cold water over it to prevent further cooking. Towel the florets lightly and then place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.

To the food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice, salt + pepper. Pulse the mixture until you have a meal that clumps together when you squeeze it. You should still see little bits of chickpeas. Dump the chickpea and cauliflower mixture into a large bowl and stir in the flours and chopped chives until your mix is fully combined and the flour is absorbed. Taste the mixture for seasoning (hooray for no raw egg scares!) and adjust accordingly.

Divide the mix into 4 equal portions and form patties with your hands. Place the patties on a plate and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let these set up in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Make the cashew lemon mayo. In a blender pitcher, combine the cashews, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water to start. Blend the mixture on high, adding more water and scraping the sides as necessary. Keep going until you have a creamy/smooth mayo-like consistency. Scrape the mayo into a container, cover, and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Heat a good slick  of oil in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Place the burgers in the pan, maybe two at a time maximum. Fry until one side is golden and then gently flip them over. Keep moving them around the pan to acvhieve maximal browning on the sides. Remove from the pan when the other side is golden. Keep warm on a parchment lined baking sheet in a low oven. Repeat with remaining burgers. Serve hot with lettuce wraps/buns, cashew lemon mayo, avocado, red onion etc.!

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Rosie @The Porridge Pot15/05/2014 - 5:43 am

I love old neighbors sharing their wisdom!

Lauren15/05/2014 - 5:48 am

these burgers look so yummy, i will definitely be making these !
Lauren x

Deena kakaya15/05/2014 - 5:56 am

Whenever I think of making bean or pulse burgers I always wonder if they will feel too dense. Your recipe looks light and crisp and your pictures are beautiful. X

Jo from yummyvege15/05/2014 - 6:41 am

These look great and I’ll definitely be trying the cashew mayo as I don’t like soya mayo.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar15/05/2014 - 7:35 am

This sounds so yummy!! Love that burger recipe – it looks so easy!

lynsey //lynseylovesfood15/05/2014 - 7:46 am

I love this story and I love the sounds of this burger. Makin’ it better! xo

Anne @AVeganAdventure15/05/2014 - 8:27 am

Old Bay seasoning is a great idea! The burgers look delish!

I love trying new veggie burger recipes! Pinning this to make it later. :)

Kate15/05/2014 - 9:02 am

Amen, Laura. I’d rather focus on small, tangible, good-for-us pleasures like cauliflower veggie burgers than the inevitable collapse of the ice sheet (yikes!). These burgers sound fantastic.

Lisa @ Simple Pairings15/05/2014 - 9:07 am

This looks like such a flavorful veggie burger, especially with that cashew lemon mayo. I think this is something that would be even better than a standard burger – more complex and dynamic! Pinned.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth15/05/2014 - 9:50 am

These sound fantastic. I love the punch you give it with the Old Bay spice!

Mila15/05/2014 - 2:47 pm

Great recipe and beautiful pics as usual!

Grace15/05/2014 - 4:27 pm

Beautiful outlook on life and a beautiful burger to go with it!

Tieghan15/05/2014 - 11:04 pm

These look so amazing. Love that cashew mayo!

links for you | jenneng16/05/2014 - 8:53 am

[…] Something healthy. […]

Ellen16/05/2014 - 10:04 am

Love your recipes and photography! I’m wondering what kind of blender is shown there and how long does the mayo last?

Laura Wright16/05/2014 - 12:59 pm

Hi Ellen! Thanks for your comments. The blender is a 5+ year old Vitamix, which I will add has been worth the investment and then some for myself. And the mayo should be good in the fridge for 5 days if you cover it up. I would recommend a little stir each time you get it out. Side bar: this mayo is really delicious with sweet potato fries if you want to use some up :)

Ellen @ The Perennial Style16/05/2014 - 5:06 pm

Yum! This looks delicious – Cannot wait to try it!

abby - little city adventures16/05/2014 - 5:48 pm

Well this looks amazing! Wish I had seen this recipe before I did my grocery shopping!

Brian @ A Thought For Food17/05/2014 - 8:45 am

So… yeah, I’ve been thinking about these burgers all week. Thank you for that. Seriously, thank you. :-) I think they’re going to have to happen over Memorial Day, since everyone will be eating and dogs and I’ll just be left with pasta salad.

Aren’t neighbors the best? We actually talk to ours now (unlike the meatheads who we lived next to in our apartment). It’s pretty wonderful.

Valerie17/05/2014 - 9:43 am

These absolutely look amazing! I’m definitely giving these a try!

Suzanne17/05/2014 - 11:15 am

Wow, this looks amazing! Did you include a link to the Old Bay recipe? If so, I’m not finding it/able to click on it. Thanks!!

Suzanne17/05/2014 - 11:17 am

gahh! of course, the link worked AFTER my last comment. :) Sorry! and thanks so much for sharing!

Heather | Heather Christo17/05/2014 - 8:11 pm

I love the flavors in this recipe! Your pictures are making my mouth water! Pinned

Kahlin18/05/2014 - 12:58 am

You’re not alone in the weeding. My brother forages dandelions to make dandelion honey (syrup). I’m not too fussed on it but he really likes it. Maybe worth exploring?

[…] Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Old Bay Veggie Burgers with Lemon Mayo. (♥) […]

Colleen18/05/2014 - 6:21 pm

I love the sound of this burger, but like with most veggie burgers, instructions are to saute. I am curious if you would recommend baking this veggie burger as an alternative way to cook it? Or have a suggestion for a baked veggie burger recipe…?

ATasteOfMadness18/05/2014 - 11:14 pm

I seriously JUST ate dinner, and this made my stomach rumble. I have recently become OBSESSED with chickpeas, so this came at the perfect time.

Amy19/05/2014 - 1:23 pm

Anything made with Old Bay is worth trying in my book!

michelle19/05/2014 - 1:47 pm

can i use reg. flour in place of the oat and chickpea flour?

Laura Wright19/05/2014 - 2:28 pm

Hi Colleen, I’ve never baked a veggie burger patty in my life! But I’ll try to help. I think if you bake them on a rack set into a cookie sheet, it would be do-able. Maybe set the oven to 375 degrees F and brush a bit of oil on the tops of the patties before putting them in. I’m guessing these would take 25 minutes or so with a little flip halfway through. If you try it, let me know any feedback. Curious!

Laura Wright19/05/2014 - 2:29 pm

Hi Michelle, I think regular, all purpose flour would be fine. You might even be able to get away with using less of it too.

[…] chickpea old bay veggies burgers. um… […]

elizabeth19/05/2014 - 4:01 pm

If my neighbors asked for a veggie burger recipe, I think I’d faint. But then any little thing can happen. These burgers look delicious. I love the idea of wrapping them up in big lettuce leaves.

[…] chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ vegan cashew lemon mayo […]

abigail20/05/2014 - 8:23 am

o.m.g i’m making these tonight

Adrienne23/05/2014 - 11:53 am

Yes!!! You read my mind lady. I’ve been wanting a new bean burger recipe to try. Thank you!

katie24/05/2014 - 2:27 pm

I just want to thank you for this recipe. My 18 month old son has been diagnosed with many allergies and cant’ eat a whole lot on his elimination diet. I made these into “nugets” and he can not get enough! He just keeps saying “more, more”. We’re enjoying them too.

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[…] Something healthy. […]

Kasey28/05/2014 - 1:12 am

Can I come live with you? Because your little neighborhood (John, included) sounds dreamy. Beautiful storytelling (as always) lady. xo

Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan01/06/2014 - 12:28 pm

YUM… these look ridiculously amazing. And your food photography is seriously impressive. I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog today. You most definitely have a new reader!! I think I am even going to add you directly to my blog roll– I am so impressed!! Xox

Allison02/06/2014 - 9:57 am

What a fantastic recipe! And the neighbour story is so cute! I need to locate some old bay seasoning immediately. I’m a newbie to your blog and am loving it! Gorgeous photos, recipes, and stories. :)

Elena02/06/2014 - 4:50 pm

I love this post. We pull out our dandelions too. But, our neighbor story isn’t as great, once our neighbors took it upon themselves to spread fertilizer/weed killer on our lawn, thinking they were doing us a favor. Super. Awkward. And very upsetting! Saving the world, one dandelion at a time. - 8:35 pm

Hi Laura, I found your blog on Saveurs and what a lovely surprise. I started following you on pinterest and facebook. I can not wait for the next recipes!

Isadora @ she likes food03/06/2014 - 2:18 pm

I LOVE your cashew mayo!! I always use veganaise, but I much prefer the idea of making some myself! I am definitely going to be making it this weekend. I’ve also been on the hunt for a good veggie burger recipe and this one looks great!

Kristen06/06/2014 - 10:30 am

These patties on a bed of sturdy greens seem like an excellent airport/travel meal. :)

The Knotty Dog Walker20/06/2014 - 10:07 am

Going to try these on the grill this weekend! Yummy and healthy :)

[…] 2. Chickpea, Cauliflower + Old Bay Veggie Burgers With Cashew Lemon Mayo from The First Mess […]

sil @ entre jardins03/07/2014 - 10:48 am

Hi Laura, just wanted to thank you for this recipe, we made these burgers, with a couple of modifications, for lunch and they were delicious! I also used whole rolled oats and a bit of almond meal for crunch. Also, we thought dividing the dough in 4 made extremely large patties, so we opted for 6. Cheers *silvia

Claire19/07/2014 - 6:36 pm

Hi, Laura! I am interested if you have ever tried substituting the cauliflower for another vegetable… broccoli, spinach, etc. I impulsively get the LARGE bags of broccoli at Costco every time (once a week!) and so am always looking for ways to use it up!!! Also, cauliflower never seems to make it past the hummus platter in our house ;) Thanks!

Claire19/07/2014 - 6:42 pm

P.S. – Or how about mashed potato?

Laura Wright21/07/2014 - 2:20 pm

Hey Claire, I think between broccoli or mashed potato, the potato would fare better in this recipe. The broccoli kinda lacks the creamy-ness that really helps with this recipe. Of course, you can always try it and report back! ;)

[…] Veggie Patties with Vegan Cashew Lemon Spread. I made some personalizations to the original recipe by adding cayenne and turmeric for added flavor and a healthful […]

Valeria15/09/2014 - 8:17 am

I miss having neighbour exchanges like these sometimes, it was definitely easier to do in the small Italian town I grew up in rather than here in London! Anyhow, I at least have someone in the house with whom I share wisdom and meals, and these burgers look like they would make for the most amazing meal, and somehow I feel they need to be shared. Thanks for posting always such genius recipes! x

mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds

mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first messmango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first messrhubarb // the first messmangoes // the first mess
It is surprisingly hard to make a house feel like a home. I’ve been cooking more and actually using our kitchen, which has been helpful. We inadvertently had our first dinner guest last weekend–a friend of both of ours that I ran into while frantically trying to make it into a Starbucks for the last 10 minutes of Frappuccino happy hour (TM) (I know, I’m bad to the bone). We had plans for curry and there was a fresh case of beer in the fridge, so it was one of those last minute “Why not?” kind of things that feels easy to say yes to in the waning hours of a sunny weekend afternoon. I think setting a pace and mindset to have our people over for meals more often is what’s going to tip this living situation into certified home-dwelling territory.

So with that, my family’s coming by this weekend for a little dinner. I’m excited to make them a bunch of things I know they’ll love. There’ll be chocolate cream pie, some kind of panzanella, lots of vegetables, salt and vinegar grilled potatoes–all the good things really. My mum is here all the time helping me with any given project, so it’ll be nice to see her just sitting and relaxing at my table with a plate of food for once–and most especially on that pie. For a Mother’s Day thing, it’s great in the obvious ways, but I want to be doing this sort of gathering ’round more often. I’ve wrote here about how tough and motivated my mum is before, but in this noticeably busier season of life, her strength and inner drive has been particularly inspiring. Where I tend to get overwhelmed and start wondering what the point of it all really is, she pushes on, reminding me of the good graces in our day-to-day all the while.

So yeah! Looking forward to that lovely meal with my fingers crossed that the sun will shine. I’ve been craving fruit and having it with almost every meal lately. Maybe it’s those warmer temperatures? So this salad sprang to my mind. One of the better crumbles I’ve ever made featured a combination of rhubarb and mango (with coconut in the topping). It was great because the mango is a natural sweet answer to the sour, but it also has a fragrant, nectarous vibe that meshes seamlessly with rhubarb. So I was thinking of that and some other flavours I like with rhubarb–lime, ginger, almond etc–and thought that a mango salad with all of that going on might be just right. A few slices of kale, radish, mint and chives (from a newly transplanted beauty of a plant in my backyard, weee!) push this salad a little bit more into savoury land. Anyway, hoping this bowl full will make you think twice on that old strawberry and rhubarb routine :)

mango // the first messchives, rhubarb ginger dressing, mango peels // the first messat home // the first messmango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first mess
mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds
serves: 4-6
notes: I know mango salads typically call for more of the greener/less ripe fruits, but I find sweetness is preferable on this one because of the sour dressing. So having said that, be careful cutting those slippery, somewhat ripe mangoes :)

rhubarb ginger dressing:
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup chopped rhubarb, pink parts only
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled + chopped
juice of 1 lime (+ a tiny bit of the zest/peel)
1-2 tsp maple syrup/agave nectar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper

chili almonds:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 tsp chili powder (chipotle, ancho, whatever you’re into)

salad ingredients:
4 just-ripe mangos, peeled (I used ataulfo/champagne mangos)
5-6 leaves of kale, shredded/finely sliced
handful of chives, sliced
handful of mint leaves, sliced
1 large or 3 small radishes, thinly sliced

Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the rhubarb to the pan and toss it around a bit. Slowly sauté the rhubarb until it’s quite soft and cooked through. Transfer to a blender pitcher. Throw the ginger, lime juice/zest, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper into the blender as well. Blend the mixture until you have a smooth, thick dressing. Taste it and check for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium heat. Once they have a bit of colour and aroma happening, quickly dump them onto a cutting board and chop them up while they’re still warm. Once chopped, quickly toss them with the chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cut the mangos away from their pits and then proceed to slice them/cut the edible fruit into matchsticks. Toss the cut mango into a large bowl. To the bowl, also add the a sliced kale, chives, mint and sliced radishes. Pour the rhubarb ginger dressing over top and toss it all together. Garnish the salad with the chili almonds and serve.

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Giada08/05/2014 - 4:50 am

This really calls my name! I love mango and I’m all about fruit lately so I’ll give it a try for sure, thanks for sharing! Also, good luck with your family dinner!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment08/05/2014 - 5:40 am

This rhubarb-ginger dressing is a fantastic idea, and I can picture how the mango, chili almond, and rhubarb flavors come together in this salad. Agreed, having friends and family over for dinners makes the house feel more like a loved and lived-in home.

Elizabetheats08/05/2014 - 7:36 am

woah. buying mangos asap!!

Emi Kirschner08/05/2014 - 8:28 am

Wow! This looks just amazing. I can taste it already. Your recipes are wonderfully inspiring.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen08/05/2014 - 8:38 am

It really is a challenge to make a house or an apartment feel like home but like you, I think the answer really is through making food and having friends and family gathering for dinner. Maybe it’s really about filling the home with memories. With moments. Moments of joy and happiness, laughter.

This mango salad is stunning! Never would I have come up with an idea like this myself but, as I imagine the flavors in my head, they make a wonderful, harmonious flavor combination. As soon as I stumble upon perfectly ripe mangos (not always that easy here in Finland), I’ll remember this recipe, whip up a salad, and create lovely memories.

Lauren S08/05/2014 - 8:52 am

this sounds deliciously gorgeous ! will be giving this a try out. love healthy recipes, i have a few on my blog too :)
Lauren x

The naked fig08/05/2014 - 8:59 am

This looks so delicious. Never would have thought to combine mango and rhubarb but I bet they’re perfect together!

Olivia | Olive Oil Sweet Pea08/05/2014 - 9:00 am

This looks like an amazing meal! Loving the way your use rhubarb in the dressing, such a thoughtful recipe! Thanks for keeping the inspiration coming, always a treat to see what you are throwing together.

molly yeh08/05/2014 - 9:01 am

i love how colorful your food always is!!!! and a dinner party with panzanella?! can i come? pleeeeeeze?

Ashley08/05/2014 - 9:12 am

Completely + 100% can relate about “a house becoming a home.” It really didn’t happen for us until we finally had furniture on our main floor. It’s the first time we’ve really gotten furniture that we LOVE and feels like US and it was so worth it. I would say it feels like 85% a home. I think organization is a big key to it as well. My office feels sort of haphazard still with not the best storage/filing system and a giant dog cage. Also, hanging things on the walls! We have yet to do this, I think because like the furniture we want it to be more thought out this time around. Anyway, it’s more than good enough for now and feels all cozy and cute and we love it. Two more things: I want to come hang out with you + your mom. And, rhubarb + mango!!!! Brilliant! xo

lynsey08/05/2014 - 9:13 am

I must have channeled you this week as I was feeling the rhubarb/ginger thing but only in scone form with a hint of orange and lots of oats. Agree with Molly… the colours are amazing. xo

Erika08/05/2014 - 9:21 am

This is just so lovely.. I am in love with that rhubarb ginger dressing:.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth08/05/2014 - 9:34 am

I think the combination of mango, ginger, coconut and rhubarb sounds amazing. Very creative! Can’t wait to give it a try.

Molly O08/05/2014 - 12:14 pm

Wondering if the dressing would work with green rhubarb? It’s all I have at the moment but the flavor combo sounds really intriguing.

Mila08/05/2014 - 12:42 pm

Wow what an awesome combo! I’ve been looking for new ways to use rhubarb- thanks!

Hannah08/05/2014 - 1:15 pm

Mmmm I cannot wait to make this. I’m totally obsessed mango at the moment and in love with ottolenghis (one with red rice, coconut, herbs and peanuts and delicious). Can’t wait to try this, what did you serve it with?

Hope you enjoy some lovely time with your mum, Mother’s Day was in March in the uk and I went to Amsterdam with her for a weekend away and was reminded how much I value her and her steady prescience in times of turmoil.

Rosie @The Porridge Pot08/05/2014 - 2:38 pm

Rhubarb in a dressing sounds incredible, such a good idea!

Laura Wright08/05/2014 - 2:54 pm

Hi Molly, If your green rhubarb has a similar flavour to the pink stalks, I say it’s worth trying. It might be a bit more fibrous, so could benefit from a little bit more cooking time.

Eileen08/05/2014 - 2:55 pm

This salad sounds amazing! I love the idea of making rhubarb into a dressing–so tangy and awesome. And I bet it’s perfect with sweet mango and spicy almonds!

Laura Wright08/05/2014 - 2:56 pm

Hi Hannah! I just made up the big bowl of it and ate it for lunch over a couple days with a green smoothie and a bit of rice. That dish from Ottolenghi sounds amazing! Thanks for your kind note :)

Marcella08/05/2014 - 3:03 pm

This salad looks so elegant! Need to try it.

la domestique08/05/2014 - 6:50 pm

Absolutely gorgeous salad! I can’t wait to make this. Maybe you can’t make a house into a home– it happens naturally over time. I do think gathering with friends and family for meals at the kitchen table helps, though. Enjoy the family time!

Jacqui08/05/2014 - 8:09 pm

Loving the sound of this!!

Heather08/05/2014 - 9:59 pm

I completely agree. A home isn’t a home until you’ve had a good cry and spilt a glass of wine on the carpet. I am so looking forward to those summer bbq’s and late night beer drinking with my peeps, but as it stands, my house looks like a disaster zone. So happy that you’re starting to find your happy place in your sweet home.

What an unusual combo but I love your logic on how you came up with the concept. Your mom is so lucky to have a daughter like you. Great recipe.

What an unusual combo, but I love hearing how you came to that logical conclusion! It looks lovely. I am sure your mother knows how lucky she is to have a daughter like you. What a great idea for a meal. Enjoy!

Laura Dembowski09/05/2014 - 8:32 am

What a beautiful and unique salad! I can’t wait to try it to mix up dinner a litle.

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Liz @ Floating Kitchen10/05/2014 - 9:31 am

Gorgeous salad! Glad you are getting settled in :-).

ami@naivecookcooks10/05/2014 - 5:09 pm

I love love mangoes and this salad looks so good!

abby - little city adventures10/05/2014 - 5:16 pm

This looks like the PERFECT summer side dish! I’ll so have to make this for our next cook-out!

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ATasteOfMadness12/05/2014 - 12:30 am

This is gorgeous! I love mango, this is calling my name!

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Robyn12/05/2014 - 10:44 am

I made this salad last night for our first barbecue of the season. Huge, huge hit, especially among the discerning and (at barbecues) often underserved vegetarian contingent. That rhubarb lime dressing is completely fabulous, and I’ll be making it as long as rhubarbs are around this season.

For my taste–I might leave out the mint next time. I also added a bit of parsley, which did the trick for me.

dederka12/05/2014 - 5:19 pm

I know what you mean with that house to home thing, i’ve lived in my current place for the past 8 months more or less and it still doesn’t always feel right. The first thing to normally put the blame on is a low budget of a student but then a carpet is just a thing, and having friends over and making some happy memories should go further in cosy-fying the place. Something to keep in mind this week.

Thank you for a wonderful, creative recipe, which I’ll give a go as soon as I spot rhubarb. Not such a common good here in Milan.

Have a nice day Laura!

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Ashlae13/05/2014 - 8:10 am

I made a janky ass version of this for breakfast this morning (spinach instead of kale, strawberries instead of rhubarb, etc.) and my belly is hella satisfied and happy. Stoked your house is finally starting to feel like a home – I think you should do a little house update, just sayin’. ;) xx

hannah13/05/2014 - 6:47 pm

Thank you so much for replying Laura! :) Just lettin you know I made this and LOVED it – I had some black rice and asparagus and that worked nicely!
Would you ever consider doing a video or a step-by-step photo guide?I got really nervous about how long to cook the rhubard for and what it should look/taste like and how much maple syrup to add seeing as I knew the dressing would go on sweet mango. I’d love to see you in the kitchen and how you go about assembling these crazy good recipes! Also would love to see how you slice the mango so beautifully!
I follow you on instagram and I’d LOVE to see you write up some of your green smoothie recipes! Seeing as this salad basically IS my green smoothie recipe (mango, kale, lime, almond, ginger) I’m not sure I would eat it alongside one! Would love to know your recipes!

Oh and here’s that salad:

h xxx

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Jessie19/05/2014 - 8:42 am

This looks incredible! I’ve been searching for a great mango salad recipe ever since having been wowed by one at a dinner party a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to make this. Thanks!

Amy19/05/2014 - 1:24 pm

LOVE this idea on how to deal with mangoes…I find them so frustrating to chop up, but with a handy vegetable peeler, this is a great solution!

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