Cookbooks are everywhere. We’ve all seen them and they cover every lifestyle, and every approach, imaginable. Happily, the number of vegan cookbooks is steadily increasing and they are a wonderful resource whether you’re a novice or experienced vegan. Recently, we were delighted to receive a copy of Vegan Burgers and Burritos, created by our friend Sophia DeSantis, the founder of the wonderful blog, Veggies Don’t Bite. While we are at the other end of the family raising spectrum from Sophia (a busy mom with young children) we share the goal of creating healthy vegan meals that can feed a family. Knowing this about her, we were excited to see what we would discover in her cookbook and it certainly did not disappoint. Bonus: we have permission to share one of the recipes with you – you’ll find it at the end of this post!
Simple and Delicious
Her recipes are unfussy and use simple whole-food ingredients, which we love. Flipping through the cookbook, I was so pleased to see some really creative and interesting pairings without using exotic or hard to find ingredients. Seriously, you can easily find a recipe in this cookbook that you have everything you need to make on hand. I love that. One of the qualities I really appreciate about her burger recipes is the balance of legumes and vegetables, and minimal fat. It makes for a very satisfying meal without that heavy feeling afterward. This is also an easy way to get picky or busy people to eat their veggies!!
First up: Cauliflower “Fish” Burger
Because Greg and I grew up in a fishing community, we ate our share of seafood before becoming vegan. Since then I have tried many varieties of “fishless” vegan dishes and was eager to try Sophia’s Cauliflower “Fish” Burger.
So, I got to work on the burgers and decided immediately to also make the suggested Creamy Dill with a Tangy Twist sauce to go with it. The name is perfect because it’s cool, creamy, and delightfully tangy. Delish! (The recipe makes a lot of sauce and I was grateful, because I dragged more than a few baby carrots through it while the burgers were cooking.) Consistent with the lower fat aspect of many of Sophia’s recipes, the burgers bake on parchment paper in the oven and it works perfectly. Once they were done, the outside had a delightful little crunch, and the inside was moist. Just right. (I used a coarser grind of cornmeal, which gave it even a little extra crunch, I think.)
I enjoyed my burgers right on my plate, topped with that yummy sauce. It was a treat paired with some of my cole-slaw and some romaine. Greg decided to go for the whole burger experience with pickles, coleslaw, lettuce, lots of that Creamy Dill sauce, all in a toasted english muffin. He loved it!
Next: Ultimate Meatball Burger
The next burger we tried was the Ultimate “Meatball” Burger. I picked this recipe because I happened to already have everything on hand. In particular, the recipe called for two of my go-to ingredients: kale and mushrooms. I NEVER would have thought to put them in a burger, but it worked perfectly. The texture of these burgers totally satisfies the mouth feel of a dense burger and it made for a great sandwich! Once again, we liked that Creamy Dill with a Tangy Twist sauce so much we used it to top these burgers!
One of Sophia’s suggestions is making them into nuggets. Of course, that’s a fabulous idea, so we already decided that the next time we make them, we are going to make meatball subs with them using her pizza sauce and some vegan cheese. Yum! (Maybe that’s the next post.)
In addition to her great burger and burrito recipes, Sophia has an amazing collection of sauces and dressings in the cookbook, vegan versions of some of the classics like Ranch Dressing and Tzatziki that would satisfy and delight even the most skeptical non vegan.
Vegan Burgers and Burritos (Amazon link) is a cookbook that has something for everyone and we’re certain it will be a go-to on our cookbook shelf. Please go check it out and also visit Sophia’s wonderful website, you won’t be disappointed!
- 2 cups (151 g) chopped mushrooms
- 2 cups (260 g) chopped kale, stems removed
- 1 tbsp (10 g) chopped garlic
- Low-sodium veggie broth (about ½ cup [118 ml]) or drizzle of oil, for sautéing
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) cooked brown or green lentils
- ½ cup (30 g) bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed)
- ½ cup (80 g) oats (gluten-free if needed)
- ¼ cup (30 g) chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup (62 g) Quick-and-Easy Pizza Sauce (page 152)
- 1 tbsp (2 g) dried thyme
- 1 tbsp (2 g) dried basil
- 1 tbsp (2 g) dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 to 5 buns
- Quick-and-Easy Pizza Sauce (page 152)
- Chop and sauté kale
- Sauté the mushrooms, kale and garlic with broth or oil over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Set aside.
- Place the the lentils, bread crumbs, oats, walnuts, sauce, thyme, basil, oregano and salt in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. You want a crumblelike texture. Check to make sure the mixture sticks together, and if it doesn’t, pulse some more, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a purée. You can also add a bit more pizza sauce if it doesn’t stick yet, however, you don’t want it to be too wet.
- Place the mushrooms, kale and garlic into the processor, making sure not to add any leftover juices, and pulse a few times until everything is well chopped and incorporated. If the ingredients aren’t mixed after a few pulses, put the mixture in a bowl and mix it with your hands.
- Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
- shape the mixture into patties.
- If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking.
- Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide yourspatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer. You can also bake the patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 375F (191C) for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side.
- Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.
- Make patties into a smaller slider size or into nuggets.
- Serve sauce on the side as a dipper.