Plant-Based Burgers

plant based burger

These plant-based burgers are not meant to mimic a meat-based burger, but they do make a delicious and satisfying alternative between two slices of bread (or lettuce). Plant-based burgers can be made using a variety of ingredients. Below is a template that you can follow to create your own one-of-a-kind burger patty. I think the must-haves include onions, bell peppers, garlic, and mushrooms. But whatever you create, don’t forget the most important part – the seasonings! Your favorite spices can be added for the best flavor to fit your own taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, lightly sautéedThis can be any combination that you choose up to about 1/2 cup of ingredients. I think these three make a great base of flavorings for any combination of burger mix you choose.
  • 1 cup of cooked grains – It’s best that the cooked grains are dry and separate, not mushy.
  • 1 1/2 cup of beans – Any bean of your choice or any mixture of beans up to 1 1/2 cups.
  • 1/4 to 1 cup of additional vegetables, finely chopped – I suggest cooking the harder veggies such as root vegetables, but the remaining (such as leafy greens) can be added when raw.
  • Choose 1 binding ingredient your binding ingredient to help hold the mixture together: 1 flax egg, 1 chia egg, or 1 tsp of psyllium husk powder (or 1 TBS psyllium husks)
  • Additional flavorings: Salt, pepper, and any of your favorite spices. Don’t be afraid of adding flavor!

Directions/Notes:

  1. Lightly sauté the bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms in water to avoid added oils.
  2. If using harder additional veggies such as carrots, or beets, it’s perfectly fine to cook those too.
  3. Puree or mash beans, leaving a bit chunky will be good for the texture.
  4. Remember to finely chop any raw vegetables that you intend to add to the mix.
  5. Adding grains will create a firmer texture, but the grains are not necessary. If you decide to omit grains, you may need to cook the burger a bit longer on lower heat. If your burger is not holding together without the grains, add more beans, or be sure to use psyllium husk/powder.
  6. If using a flax or chia egg, prepare this in a bowl. When the “egg” is ready add all the other ingredients and form it into a patty. If using psyllium husk/powder, add the psyllium along with all the other ingredients and mix well.
  7. You can cook the burger patties on a stovetop (a low heat setting is recommended). Or you can place it in the oven between 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the desired firmness is reached. (The goal is to dry out and firm up the burger patties while they are cooking.)

Create a G-BOMB meal by including these burger ingredients: Leafy greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, flaxseeds/chia seeds. For dessert, add a berry sorbet and you have covered all of the G-BOMB requirements.

Plant-Based Burger Template: Click here to download/print.

Greens, Beans, Onions, and Mushrooms (G-Bombs Part I)

Hi everyone! We have started another “Immunity Series” on the Podcast. For the next few weeks, we will be focusing on G-BOMBS as defined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. ”G-BOMBS” is an acronym that you can use to remember the best anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. G-Bombs are Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. These are the foods that you should eat every day, making up a significant proportion of your diet. They are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease, including cancer, and promoting health and longevity.

Listen to “PODCAST EPISODE 11 – IMMUNITY – ‘G’ IN G-BOMBS“.

Do you like kale? Well, here is a recipe that I think you will enjoy that includes 4 of these foods that you should be eating daily: Greens (kale), beans, onions, and mushrooms.

I chose kale greens for this recipe because they are quick to cook and actually only require wilting. This way you can have a dish prepared in no time.

Servings: About 4 when served as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1-1/2 bunch of Kale greens
  • 15 oz of black beans, rinsed (or your favorite) – That’s about 1 can or use any you already have in the freezer.
  • 1/2 onion (red or yellow, preferably a sweeter onion)
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms of your choice (feel free to mix mushroom varieties)
  • 2 to 4 small garlic cloves
  • Any dried vegetable soup mix that includes vegetables such as onions, herbs, and carrots (see notes below).
  • Water to steam the veggies (or you can use a veggie broth)
  • Salt/Pepper

Directions: (Choose a non-stick pan with a ceramic coating for extra safety. If you want to use a stainless-steel pan, make sure that it has a heavy bottom. A heavy stainless steel wok works well.)

  1. Wash greens thoroughly if not already clean. No need to dry. Set them aside.
  2. Add about 1/4 cup of water/broth to the pan and immediately add the onions and mushrooms. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent, stirring, and adding water/broth (1 to 2 TBS) as necessary. 
  3. When onions are translucent, add the garlic and the vegetable soup mix and cook for about another minute. Again adding water/broth as necessary to rehydrate the dried vegetable soup mix. You may choose to cover the vegetables at this point to allow all the water/broth to soak in, especially if the dry vegetables are still hard. 
  4. Next, add the beans and water/liquid of your choice until the beans are thoroughly heated. (If using a can, it’s especially important to rinse the beans before adding them to this dish.)
  5. Lastly, add the kale to the pan and stir, adding water/broth if necessary until they are wilted to your desired tenderness. You could also cover at this point for a bit to allow the kale to wilt even quicker.
  6. Uncover, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice or quinoa or use to stuff a baked potato! YUMMY!

Notes: The Dried Soup Vegetable Mix is one that I get from my local “Texas” store,  H-E-B. The soup mix doesn’t have many spices added to it other than the dried vegetables and herbs, yet you can definitely use one that has added spices. Just be careful that if your soup mix contains salt, it’s likely that you will not need to add any additional salt.

Greens Beans Onions Mushrooms

 

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

This recipe is an example of how you can quickly assemble a satisfying meal in 15 minutes or less. If you like “Tex-Mex”, you are going to enjoy this vegan, plant-based recipe. (A video for this recipe is below.)

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe:
(Feel free to use other varieties of the ingredients listed below for onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and even the beans)

Pre-prepared:  2 Oven-baked Sweet Potatoes (or use the microwave to cook the sweet potatoes in less than 10 minutes)

Toppings To cook:
1/4 cup of chopped red onions
1/8 cup of chopped yellow bell peppers
3/4 – 1 cup baby Bella mushrooms
1 – 2 cups of black beans (pre-cooked or canned)

Additional Toppings:
Cashew Cilantro Cream Sauce
Chopped avocado
Chopped cilantro
Sriracha sauce  (At home we use this brand that is preservative-free. You can likely find it at your local grocery store.)

Directions:

  1. Add onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms to a pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 TBS of water or broth to begin the cooking process. Continue adding a little water or broth as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking. Cook until slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the black beans to the pan with the veggies and allow them to heat up.

To Serve:

  1. Cut each baked potato in half length-wise.
  2. Add vegetable toppings
  3. Add any additional toppings that you would like.

Note: I have also added wilted Kale to this recipe. If you like Kale, you will like the addition of it in the recipe also.

 

Chickpea Salad Spread (Vegan Chicken and Tuna)

Chickpea Salad Dip Spread

…for Sandwiches, Wraps and Crackers

This chickpea salad spread has two options.  It can be prepared as “chicken” salad or “tuna” salad substitutes.  See “tuna” flavor salad add-in options below under the ingredients section.

Ingredients: Of course substitutions can be made for many of these ingredients, but this list serves as a general guideline.

  • One 15 ounce can of chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup home cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 green onion (or 2 TBS red/white/yellow onion or 1 scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 TBS tahini (or homemade vegan mayo or any dressing of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard of choice
  • 1/4 cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
  • 1 – 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Chickpea salad dip and spreaddash of paprika
  • salt and pepper, to your liking

Add-ins for the “tuna” flavor: One or the other will do just fine

  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, crumbled
  • 4 mini sheets of any nori seaweed snacks
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of kelp powder

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor then mix/chop.  Or mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add remaining ingredients.

SUCCESS!

I offered the chickpea “chicken” version salad to someone who had never tried anything similar to this before. I was informed that he was not a fan of hummus. I put the spread into a tortilla wrap with avocado and jalapenos. After the first bite, the response was, “Not bad.” But when the plate was empty, he asked for the recipe.

More chickpea recipes:

Salad Made Easy

This technique makes creating a mid-day lunch or dinner snack easy.  It also helps with creating a variety in your meals.

What I like to do is put various toppings together into containers and add the salad dressing too. Ideally, choose any ingredients that you would like to marinate in the salad dressing. For me, this is everything other than nuts and soft lettuces, but I will add kale and cabbages because they are tougher lettuces.

Toppings in this photo:  beans – edamame and chickpeas, fresh sweet corn, zucchini, artichokes, bell peppers, and olives.

There are so many vegetable toppings for you to choose from. For more ideas download the “Delicious – ‘No Fail’ Salads” Guide. Also, check out these delicious oil-free salad dressings.

Grilled Eggplant and Hummus Stacks

eggplant and hummus dish

Note: This grilled recipe was inspired by the grilled eggplant as described by https://minimalistbaker.com/smoky-grilled-eggplant/.

Serves 4.

Hummus Recipe:

Mix all of the following ingredients using a food processor.

  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic (2 if you like it spicy!)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 TBS roasted red bell peppers (optional, but adds a nice flavor)
  • salt to taste

Here is the way I served it:

1. First lay a base of sauteed power greens

2. Then layer: (stacked at least twice)

    • Grilled Eggplant
    • Hummus 
    • Grilled Veggies: Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Mushrooms 

3. Serve with a side of quinoa ( or other grain). 

 

Tex-Mex Casserole – No Cheese Needed

Do you think it would be impossible to make a casserole, a Tex-Mex Casserole without cheese? Well, let me show you how I did it for this recipe.

I chose corn tortillas to keep the recipe wheat-free (aka gluten-free).
And guess what? If you have someone that just loves cheese, they can top their serving with the cheese of their choice (…even vegan cheese 🙂

Alternative to cheese, but creamy?  Add avocado, guacamole or this cashew cilantro cream sauce.  

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups freshly diced)
  • 1 15 oz can of pinto beans (or 2 cups home-cooked), rinsed
  • 1 15 oz of black beans (or 2 cups of home-cooked), rinsed *
  • 1/4 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 small onion
  • 8 ounces of your favorite salsa
  • 1 15 oz can (2 cups) of enchilada sauce (or see homemade recipe below)
  • 6 corn tortillas (or flour)
Directions:
  1. Cook onions and bell pepper.  If using ground meat add at this step too.
  2. Add other ingredients except for the enchilada sauce and tortillas, mix together.
  3. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 casserole dish. 
  4. Tear (or cut) the 2 tortillas into smaller sizes and place on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Layer 1/3 of the filling over the tortillas.
  6. Try to repeat steps 4 and 5 twice, but it doesn’t have to be that structured.
  7. Mix the enchilada sauce and thickener of choice together and pour over the casserole.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 20  – 30 minutes, until bubbly and sauce has thickened.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar (really almost any vinegar can be substituted here)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (or 2 Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (or even Italian herb spices)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 – 2 TBS chili powder (or TACO Seasoning works well too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 slices of jalapenos for added flavor
  • 1 TBS of thickener (tapioca, potato starch, gluten free flour or cornstarch -organic/Non-GMO please)
Directions: Place all ingredients into blender and blend well. You can  also add a tablespoon of thickener at this point for easy mix-in.

Served topped with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Black Bean Corn Tortilla Tacos (Plant-Based, Vegan)

I usually cook a large batch of beans and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. So, for this recipe, the only ingredient that I had to make was the “Not-So” Cheese Sauce that I found in the Vitamix recipe book. If you have the opportunity to purchase a Vitamix you should definitely do so. You won’t regret it. I think I’ve owned mine for about 7 years and the only part I have replaced is the rubber top recently because it wasn’t fitting as snugly as it did when I first purchased it (6 years ago).
I pulled these tacos together rather quickly. The corn tortillas are “Tortilla Land” brand that I found in the local grocery store. They are uncooked and I prepare them on the griddle that I keep on the left side of my stove-top mostly for this purpose (and cooking pancakes just as often).
Ingredients:
  • Tortilla Land corn tortillas (or make your own using masa flour, or chickpea flour or cassava flour) Update: Here is a chickpea flour tortilla recipe. I truly enjoy making my own tortillas these days.
  • black beans (red beans or pinto beans would also be good, canned is fine – just rinse them)
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • green onions
  • brown rice (or quinoa)
  • avocado (or guacamole – see recipe below)
  • Not-So Cheese Sauce (this recipe uses potato starch to create a thicker version) or Forks Over Knives No Cheese Sauce   (a bit simpler, much less cashews). My latest favorite is “Cheeze” Sauce Upgraded (really easy).

Vegan Cheese Sauce Comparisons:

Cheese Sauces Compared

Other possible toppings: salsa, cilantro, pico de gallo, your favorite vegetables, etc
Directions:
  1. Cook tortillas according to package directions
  2. Warm the beans on the stovetop – using a bit of water to prevent them from burning
  3. Add your toppings

Guacamole Recipe

Add all of the following ingredients to a food processor and give it a whirl!

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1 green onion stalk (Low FODMAP and I like them because they are milder.)
  • 1/2 – 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 of jalapeno (I usually remove most of the seeds for a milder version.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of “tightly packed” cilantro

Kathmandu Stew

Recipe By Moira Nordholt
I don’t know how I came about this recipe, but it has two of my favorite things in it.  I love sweet potatoes and lentils, so I had to try it.  It has lots of Indian flavors, quite tasty – especially if you are looking for something different.
Serves 4
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pinch of cinnamon
2 cups organic red lentils, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chile paste) or dried red chiles (I used Chiapaspaste.)
4 cups water
Pink Himalayan sea salt
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1.  Toast the cumin seeds and powder, fennel seeds, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon in a cast iron frying pan on high heat until the cumin seeds start to pop.
2. Add the red lentils and stir until the spices are mixed in.  Add a splash of water and continue cooking and stirring.  Add the sweet potato, carrots, onion, sambal oelek, and 4 cups water.
3. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil, then stir again, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes and lentils are cooked.  Add salt to taste, and serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

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