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Grilling Goodness
by Andrea Belcham

Meatless burgers have a poor reputation. They’re thought to be a bad substitute for sawdust and people of all ages tend to avoid them. But here are some yummy vegan options that have a great texture and lots of taste. They are from a new book called Food and Fellowship - Projects and Recipes to Feed a Community, which is the second book in Natural Life Magazine's Green Living Series. They are yummy and healthy, and won’t keep you in the kitchen too long either. So flip them onto the grill and enjoy!

vegan burger receipes from Food and Fellowship book by Andrea BelchamSesame Lentil Burgers
(8 burgers)

2 tsp. + 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
½ cup beet greens or spinach, stems removed; finely chopped
A couple of dashes of cloves
¾ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups brown lentils, cooked
2 tbsp. natural ketchup
3 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. rolled oats
1½ tbsp. unhulled sesame seeds
1-2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs, finely ground in food processor

1. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and beet greens, and sauté until garlic is lightly browned. Stir in spices; cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

2. Put mixture in a large bowl and stir in lentils, ketchup, tahini, lemon juice, and rolled oats. Stir until well combined. Reserve 1 cup of the burger mixture. Put the rest in a food processor and mix in spurts until mixture is just beginning to resemble a paste. Return to the bowl and combine with the reserved burger mixture.

3. Stir in the sesame seeds and enough bread crumbs so that you can form a ball of burger mixture that will hold its shape. Form 8 balls.

4. Wipe clean the large skillet and heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Place four balls of burger mixture in the skillet, pressing them flat into patties. Cook until both sides are browned. Before starting the second batch, warm another tbsp. olive oil.

Black Bean Burgers
(6-8 burgers)

2/3 cup almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups black beans, cooked
2½ tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. tamari
½ cup cooked quinoa
1 cup rolled oat flakes
1-2 tbsp. light oil

1. Using a food processor, grind the almonds to a fine consistency. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil and sauté onion and bell pepper until soft; add garlic and sauté until garlic is lightly browned. Stir in cumin, pepper, salt, and parsley, cooking for a few minutes to allow spices be incorporated. Add lemon juice and black beans, cooking until warmed through.

3. Transfer burger mixture to food processor, adding tomato paste, tamari, ground almonds, and quinoa. Process in short spurts, until mixture has a good base of creamy purée, but still has some large chunks for structure and texture.

4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and gently stir in rolled oats. Shape mixture into 6 to 8 large balls.

5. Wipe clean the skillet and heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Flatten the balls in the skillet so that they become patties of desired thickness (thicker patties will hold together better). Fry until medium-brown on each side. If you need to cook the patties in two batches, heat another tbsp. of oil between batches.

These recipes are from the book Food and Fellowship: Projects and Recipes to Feed a Community by Andrea Belcham, just published this fall as the second book in Natural Life Magazine’s Green Living Series. It includes 100 vegan recipes, and instructions for setting up and managing a food buying club and a batch cooking group.

photo © Stockstudios, Shutterstock Images


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