1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced, optional
1/2 cup carrot, shredded, optional
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
12 ounces TVP, reconstituted
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
large pinch oregano
large pinch basil
large pinch dried parsley
large pinch dried thyme
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
8 potatoes, peeled and shredded (I used Russet)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 teaspoons powdered egg substitute
dash salt and pepper canola oil, for frying
1. Prepare the filling first so it can cool a bit; sauté the garlic and onions (with carrots and mushrooms, if using) in the vegan butter until softened. Add the TVP to heat it through. Add the spinach and herbs and cover to wilt the spinach. Mix, and take off the heat, then add the panko and toss to moisten it all thoroughly.
2. Mix together the potato base ingredients. It’s easiest to mix this with your hands. It has to be good and pasty to stick together well. You may need more or less flour, depending on amount of potato moisture. Heat enough oil to make about 1/2" worth in the bottom of a decently heavy skillet, over medium heat.
3. When the oil is good and hot, use a good sized soup spoon, and scoop a hearty, rounded spoonful, of the potato mix into the pan. Flatten it a bit with the spoon, and then go on to drop another two or three beside it, flattening the mixture as you go, in the pan (to make the bottoms of the hash browns).
4. Once the bottoms are in and sizzling, use a similar spoon to scoop a less rounded portion of the filling up, and on each bottom.Drop and squash some filling, though not all the way to the edges of the bottoms. Once the filling is in place, go ahead and get another hearty, rounded spoonful of the potato mix again, and top each hash brown with it, spreading it over the filling to cover and meet the edges of the bottom.
5. Brown the one side, uncovered (very very important! Do NOT cover the pan! They won’t crisp up, they will fall apart in a soupy mess!), and then carefully flip the hash brown patties. I used a spatula to lift underneath and a fork to brace the top so I could flip without splashing.
6. While the reverse side is browning, set up a baking pan with a cookie rack, and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F, if you wish to keep these piping hot while the rest cook. Brown the reverse side nice and golden brown, and then transfer to a paper towel or paper bag lined plate (for soaking up any residual oil) or the hot oven.
I make these about the size of my palm, and I get 10 out of this recipe. For my family, with the exception of some fresh bread on the side, this is a meal altogether, and each of us eats 2 (except the adult male who eats 3). Others argue that this is “10 servings," so you be the judge based on the size and number.
Note: A food processor for the potatoes alone makes this less of a chore. It's a bit of work but SO worth it. Not only are these delish but they freeze beautifully for heating in a toaster oven some other time! I've even melted "cheese" over them while they were in the oven or re-heating for a tasty twist.
Source of recipe: One of my dearest friends made these when my kids were over there and they raved! Of course I had to veganize this so I could enjoy crispy hash brown goodness and the benefit of a "meal in one" concept. I added things she did not, but everyone has told me this goes on our "hit parade" of recipes to repeat endlessly.