grilling · liquid smoke · peanut butter · tvp · vital wheat gluten

All-Pro Veggie Burgs

Week 5 Bills v. Browns

How meaty!
Sorry for the delayed posting.  I made these veggie burgers at an impromptu apartment tailgate before the Thursday night game last week.  Vegan tailgates are known for veggie burgers, but they don’t have to be tasteless and boring like those depicted in the recent Bud Light commercial.  
This recipe comes come from vegan grilling legend (and Clevelander) Tamasin Noyes.  When I met her a few months back, she insisted I try my hand at making this burger.  She said it delighted many meat eaters and vegans alike.  The technique is the same, but as you can see my recipe varies quite a bit.

What sets it apart is its meaty texture.  The TVP gives it a ground beef appearance and the vital wheat gluten holds it together.  Like most veggie burgers, the flavor is really customizable with the spices and the liquid smoke and vegan worcestershire add a great burger taste.  Enjoy!
1 1/3 cups hot water
1 cup texturized vegetable protein
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon Penzey’s Chili 3000, or other spice blend
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons instant tapioca or cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter (I omitted the oil from the original recipe. Why no oil?)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
1. Combine the hot water with the TVP to rehydrate, about 10 minutes. 
2. Add rehydrated TVP to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients (in the order given). Mix well, and knead for about 3 minutes.
3. Divide and shape the burger into 6 patties.  Place each burger in the center of a piece of foil. Fold the foil over each burger to make a packet. (Note: Don’t make the foil too tight in order for the burger to expand.
4. Transfer wrapped burgers to a steamer (or a steamer basket inside a covered pot/pan) and steam 1 hour. 
5. Unwrap and transfer the burgers to a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Throw them on the grill! Make sure you oil your grill grate.  Cook about 5 minutes per side.
The final grilled product
cole slaw · grilling · lentils · peanut butter · vegan · veggie burgers

VB (Veggie Burger) Sneak: Lentil-Mushroom Burgers with Peanut Butter Relish Slaw, Roasted Garlic Aioli, and Whiskey BBQ

Week 6: Browns vs. Bengals

Veggie Burger Cook Off, 2012 edition (Note: There were two other entries into this year’s cook off and I will have one of the other recipes posted later this week).

I wouldn’t sneak a veggie burger or any vegan dish on anyone.  But I think this recipe is so good that meat eaters will have no idea they are eating a burger made entirely of whole, plant-based foods.  It comes from Scott Jurek, a vegan ultramarthoner and author of Eat & Run.  He is role model for all vegan (and non-vegan) athletes who look for an extra edge by eating a plant-based diet.

The most common question I get is “what holds this together?” Scott’s recipe holds up well on the grill, which is key for any homemade veggie burger recipe.  A lot of cooking is trial and error.  Just like athletic events or anything challenging in life, if you fail, dust yourself off and try again.  The Browns winning today after dropping 11 in a row is a testament to that.  Making a veggie burger is similar, and you might fail the first couple of times.  However, if you follow the directions below, it will stick together very well on the grill.

Lentil-Mushroom Burger

  • 1 cup dried green lentils (2 1⁄4 cups cooked)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Dash black pepper
  • A few drops of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (a garlic press is a kitchen must have)
  • One large onion finely chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups fine bread crumbs (I use Ian’s brand)
  • 1⁄2 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal) 
  • 3 cups finely chopped portobello mushrooms (about 2 large caps)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Dash sea salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • Dash paprika
  • Note: for buns I use Ezikiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Burger Buns which pack a whopping 9 grams or protein per bun! 
Bring the lentils, water, parsley, 1/4 of the onion and one of the garlic gloves to a boil.  Simmer for a half hour or until the lentils easily mush.  Add a dash of black pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke then mash together. Set aside to cool.
Lentils, by themselves, don’t look that appetizing!
Meanwhile, sautee the rest of the onions, mushrooms, kale and rest of the garlic.  Cook until soft and fragrant  about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
Sauteed veggies
Add the bread crumbs, flax seed meal, walnuts,  and nutrional yeast to a large bowl.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Mix well and then add the lentils and veggie mix.  Combine well (this gets a little messy!) and put in the fridge to cool.  
Mix with your hands!
Girl, look at that patty
You can leave it as is and make patties at the tailgate or you can make the patties ahead of time.  Throw them on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
Patties on the tailgate
A litte burnt, but it doesn’t matter!
Peanut Butter Relish Slaw (from “Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites,” by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman.  Their book, “The Complete Guide for Vegan Food Substitutions,” is also a good one.)
  • 12 oz shredded coleslaw (I used purple and green cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/3 crunchy peanut butter (any excuse to use peanut butter in a recipe and I’m game)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (What the hell are capers?)
  • 2 tablespoons brine from capers 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon or stone ground mustard
  • Healthy shake of red pepper flakes
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.  It may look a little dry at first but after it chills it gets saucy.  
You’d never think these ingredients go together
Saucy indeed
Roasted Garlic Aioli (You could use standard condiments, but what’s the fun in that?!)
  • 1/2 cup veganaise
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (I do this ALL THE TIME)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Chop off the top of the garlic head so the cloves are just exposed.  Drizzle with a bit of oil, wrap in foil and bake for 45 minutes at 400.  Alternatively, you could peel all the cloves and bake in a rammekin with olive oil for 45 minutes.  Then drain the oil for later use (dipping bread, salad dressing etc.).
Press the garlic through a garlic press and combine with other ingredients.  Chill in the fridge.
Whiskey BBQ (also from “Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites“)
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (god’s gift to mankind)
  • 1/4 cup whiskey (or white vinegar if you don’t have any)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustart
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for a half hour.  Take of the lid a simmer for a few more minutes.  This keeps well in the fridge so you can make ahead of time.  
Here is the final product!

Gimmie a bite. There may or may not be roasted red peppers involved.

Burger photo shoot