Juicy red Burger

I am listening to smooth jazz and drinking a lovely chilled (14°C) Sangiovese, with a warm wind blowing over my face on this steamy summer evening. 

All my customers are in their rooms and I have a bit of free time to write.   I usually enjoy drinking white wine or rose wines in the summer.  This summer I have been enjoying reds.  I keep my red wines in a wine cooler at 16°C in the summer.  I have an affinity for red wines, and tend to drink more than I probably should.  I now only drink organic wines.  I love to try new wines, or new vintages of old wines even if they are not organic, but I can tell when too many sulfites have been used.  Italy, by law admits a very limited amount of sulfites so they are usually pretty safe to be drank in large quantities (like me.) Sulfur is a natural compound, so our bodies are fully capable of digesting it.  Sulfites are by products of Sulfur and Oxygen combined with other compounds.  There are several different kinds of sulfites and their function is that of a preservative, antioxidant, whitening agent, and slows down the enzymatic aging process (keeps the color instead of browning)


How do you know if a wine you drank had a lot of sulfites? (these are my personal observations and it depends on how much I have had to drink ;))


  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Feeling Swollen
  • diarrea 


So that is why I stick to organic wines.  

The following is a Juicy red burger I served as an appetizer tonight.  Never use the word ‘Vegan’ with anyone older than 30 in Italy.  They will think you are crazy.  So I sell it as a Vegetable appetizer with an eggplant mousse.  


Juicy red burger
Serves 6
A red-in-the-middle burger.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
  1. 1 cup black beans (boiled)
  2. 1 cup red Lentils (boiled)
  3. 2 Tbs Chia seeds
  4. 2/3 cups water
  5. 4 cups loosely packed spinach blanched and chopped
  6. 1 cup cubed boiled red beet root
  7. 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  8. 1tbs minced garlic
  9. salt and pepper
  10. 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  11. 2 tsp dried excellent quality oregano (more if needed)
  12. 4 tbs coconut oil
  1. place 2/3 cup of water and chia seeds together in a small bowl and let rest.
  2. Heat chili flakes, garlic and onion in a pan with 1tbs of coconut oil. Add beans, lentils and a cup of water. Let water absorb, add oregano. Move contents to a stainless steel bowl and break the beans and lentils with a fork. You can use an immersion blender to speed up the process. Add the chia seeds which should have gelified by now. Add the spinach, mix well.
  3. press the burger mixture into a round ring mould. Fill up only about 1" add 2 tbs of chopped beet root, then top off with burger mixture.
  4. Cook on low heat with a little bit of coconut oil on each side.
  1. I have tried it with Vegan cheese, ketchup, guacamole.
has moved to Hawai'i http://tuscanvegan.com/

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