Last week I hosted our bi-weekly “meatless dinner club” party, and wound up preparing an entirely vegan menu. I eat vegetarian quite often, but some of these girls seemed a little more serious than I had initially thought about cutting out ALL animal products, so I set out to please the masses. Besides, I love me a challenge! I always wondered, “what the heck do vegans eat?” I suspect that vegetarians and vegans often eat a lot of starches since healthier options aren’t always available to them at restaurants (although I think this trend is changing). Since healthy cooking is important to me, I wanted something that would appease everyone’s dietary restrictions, but still be light and healthy.
I opted to make a veggie burger and a couple of seasonal salads. I did have a few gluten free guests, and I tried to make gluten free buns, but they were kind of a fail. That recipe I’ll keep testing until I get it right! I also made my own “ketchup” and mustard! I recently got the book Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan where I learned to make both, as well as a million other things in jars (you should see my jar filled kitchen right now), and am thinking I’ll do a whole jar week sometime soon, so I’ll save those recipes for then. In the meantime, please enjoy my menu!
Vegan, Gluten Free Veggie Burgers
- 4 cups cooked quinoa **I prepared mine with vegetable stock instead of water
- 1 can drained, rinsed black beans
- 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 2 T ground flax seeds
- 1 flax seed “egg“
- 4 scallions or green onion, minced
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Prepare a large baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine quinoa, beans, tomatoes, jalapeno, and ground flax in a medium-large bowl. Fold the flax “egg” into the mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in the minced green onion. Sprinkle with half of your flour and fold in. Fold in cilantro, salt and pepper. See if you can create a patty with the mixture. If it is too wet, add in the second half of your flour, a little at a time, until its the right consistency.
On medium-high, heat enough oil in well-seasoned cast iron pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Carefully add enough patties, one at a time, to cover the bottom of the pan and not have them touching each other. You may have to do multiple batches. Fry until each patty has a golden-brown crust on the bottom, 2-3 minutes per side, then carefully turn over. Cook second side until golden brown.
Carefully move patties to your baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your favorite burger fixin’s!
***Note: I put grilled corn in a few patties (there was a corn allergy so I didn’t put it in all of them) and the ones sans corn held together better, so I omitted the corn from this final recipe***
Watermelon Salad with Jalapeno and Lime recipe from Vegetarian Times
- 3 Tbs. lime juice
- 2 Tbs. olive or avocado oil
- ⅛ tsp. lime zest
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup basil or Thai basil, cut into thin strips
- ½ tsp. sea salt
Mix together remaining ingredients. Pour lime juice mixture over watermelon, and gently toss to combine. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 1 cup uncooked bulgur
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
- 1 pound yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour or until bulgur is tender.
- Cook edamame in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Add edamame, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients to bulgur; toss well. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
I’m happy to report that all the herbs, tomatoes, and jalapenos used in these recipes were grown here at my house! I’m also happy to report that one girl said that this was the best veggie burger she has ever eaten and she’s been a vegetarian for 16 years! Yeah! Overall, I think it was a success. I love to try new things, and although I probably won’t be switching to an all vegan diet, I’m now aware that vegans DO have more options than just lettuce and french fries!