There are some thing that the Veg community tries to keep secret. Well, I’m about to let the cat out of the bag: most vegan burgers suck.
I know, because I’ve tried about 10,000 of them. While most are OK and can pass for a decent patty filled with vegetables and beans, none are convincing anyone to give up their favorite hamburger.
At least not in my experience. It’s funny, before giving it up, I was never a big meat person. Chicken was whatever, I never liked pork, and fish was delicious but rare. Beef though, yum, I used to love steaks and burgers.
I went back and forth between being vegetarian and not for a few years before I finally gave it up for good… it was always the burgers that pulled me back. And so my quest was born- a delicious, meaty vegan burger that rivals any un-kind one.
While this isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking it’s beef, it’s pretty damn good. Hearty, full of savory, umami flavors thanks to the addition of roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Yes, this will take a bit longer to make than your usual black bean patties but they are worth it. Just make a bunch and freeze.
You’ll then be ready for cookouts all summer long.
Meaty Vegan Burgers
Adapted from Serious Eats
1 lb. button mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small japanese eggplant, chopped into 2″ pieces.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 cup toasted cashews
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and eggplant with 1/4 cup oil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and pinch salt and pepper. Wrap the mushrooms and eggplant in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and eggplant softened. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the Arborio rice and stir until lightly toasted. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and stir until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add liquid, 1/2 cup at a time until risotto is al-dente. You may not need all the liquid. Let cool and place into a large bowl.
In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup white beans, flour, baking powder, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and eggplant. Process until a paste forms. Add mixture to bowl with risotto.
Add the remaining white beans to the food processor along with the cashews and mushrooms. Pulse into a mixture forms, finely chopped but still course in texture. Add to the risotto mix.
Lastly, add the cooled onion and celery mixture to the food processor and pulse 10 times. Add to the risotto bowl and mix together until completely mixed.
Since you’ve done so much work- you can refrigerate the mixture for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months in a sealed air-tight bag.
Season to taste.
Add breadcrumbs and mix in with your hands. Once you add the breadcrumbs, start to form the patties. You don’t want the breadcrumbs to become soggy.
Bring a skillet or grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray and add the patties. Flip burgers after 4-5 minutes, until bottom is lightly-browned. Cook another 4-5 minutes. Serve!
For an awesome treat, top with caramelized onions.
I’ve proclaimed my love for lentils before: lentil stew, lentil tacos, lentil-walnut loaf, the list could go on for days.
Inexpensive, high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, and almost fat-free. I eat them almost every day. Recently, I’ve been bored with our usual lentil dishes and decided to experiment with some new flavor combinations. Totally hooked.
This is one of those big pot meals you can make and eat throughout the week. Delicious over rice, on naan or by itself, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
What’s your favorite way to eat lentils?
Red Lentil Curry
2 cups red lentils
1 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. red curry paste
2 tbsp. Indian Curry Powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. minced ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato puree
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Brown rice, cooked
Rinse the lentils very well until water runs clear. Add lentils in a pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet or pot. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and cook until reduced and caramelized. Reduce heat to low and stir in the maple syrup.
While the onions are cooking, mix together the curry powder, paste, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, pinch salt, garlic, and ginger. Increase the heat on the onions back to medium and add the spice mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often being sure not to burn.
Add the tomato puree, stir together and cook another 2-3 minutes until warm. Add drained lentils and stir together. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve over rice.
Serve this to your friends and watch their faces.
I recently gave this to BL and really enjoyed his reaction.
No, I am not serving you bugs. It’s chia seed pudding! Delicious and quite weird looking.
Trust me on this when I say it’s the perfect summer dessert. Light, refreshing, and low in fat and calories I created this recipe when I was making my Lemon Chia Cupcakes; as I always do when I am baking, I had quite a few spoonfuls of the raw batter before baking.
It’s somewhat like a tradition. And also the reason I can only get 11 cupcakes out of a recipe that makes a dozen. Another highlight of vegan baking, the batter taste almost as good as the final product (and you can eat it without worrying about Salmonella).
The olive oil and maple syrup might seem like an interesting combination, but they pair perfectly with the lemon juice. If you’ve never had chia seed pudding before, try it! It taste similar to tapioca, rich in amino acids, zinc, fiber, calcium, and B vitamins.
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. maple sugar (can use regular sugar)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup non-dairy milk, I prefer either coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
Blend together the olive oil, maple sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, and almond milk. Add chia seeds, whisk together and let sit for 15 minutes until jelled.
Have you ever tried chia seeds before? What do you think?
At first glance you might be thinking “She brought a dip and bread to a potluck?”
And you would be right, until you taste it. This is so much more than a dip. It’s everything hummus wants to be: spicy, complex & perfect with just about anything.
Dipped into crusty bread? Check.
Poured over pasta? Check.
Spooned onto roasted vegetables? Double check.
I double dog dare you to find something this dip doesn’t go well with.
Ok, I’m sure that this would taste horrible on ice cream, but you get the point.
I’m bringing this delicious dip for two reasons:
1. I know what a winner it is at potlucks
2. We will be in Barcelona by the time this is posted, a happy coincidence to share with you!
Think of this at the Spanish version of bruschetta; a simple appetizer that if done right is really, really, good.
Done wrong, and it’s nothing but stale bread and tomatoes.
The ingredients need to be of quality, I prefer making this in the summer with heirloom tomatoes, but any in-season kind will do.
On a completely unrelated note, I am beyond excited to be apart of this vegan potluck! If this is your first time here, grab a drink and be prepared to hop spend the next few hours drooling over plant-based favorites. The Virtual Vegan Potluck is a collection of 168 blogs with 8 courses! 168 bloggers and 8 categories! Whew. We are going to be full. And Happy. Each blog is linked up to the next so you can hop from one recipe to the next.
Cheers to a fun event and thanks again Annie, Somer, and Jason for hosting this. I look forward to many more events and get-together’s.
Spanish Romesco Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 slice stale french bread, cubed
1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 15oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 jar (8 oz.) roasted red peppers
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan; add the bread and almonds and stir frequently, cooking until they are golden brown. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Place the can of tomatoes in a food processor, with the juice. Drain the jar of roasted red peppers and place in the food processor. Pulse a few times until chunky. Add the salt, paprika, vinegar, and almond-bread mixture. Puree until smooth.
Pour the sauce onto the pre-heated baking pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Remove from oven, cool slightly and pour into a bowl.