One of the fun new foods you will want to discover if you are experimenting with vegan eating is the bean/grain burger. They are fun on a bun, but also a great way to turn a salad into a meal. Just pop a few on top of a green salad or serve some up next to an alternative type of salad (like a tomato, corn and avocado salad).
There are probably hundreds of variations of this type of vegan burger if you do a search for them on the Internet. Here's my take on one that I found in Experience Life magazine. My big change to the original recipe is that I substituted 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth for 3 tablespoons of olive oil. And I have to say, the finished product didn't miss the olive oil or the added calories that would have come from it. Winning!
Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers
makes about 10-12 burgers
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
3 tbsp vegetable broth
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
3 tbsp diced carrot or red bell pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed, minced, fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Combine the chickpeas and all ingredients down to the lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined, scraping the sides occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the rice, carrot or bell pepper and parsley.
Moisten your hands to keep the mixture from sticking, then shape the mixture into 1/2 inch thick patties about 4 inches in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the patties start to get dry and crisp on the outside. They will firm up as they cool.
The following salad dressing recipe is from The Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn. One of the principles of this way of eating is to eliminate added fat from your diet. But most people are so used to only eating salad dressings made primarily with some form of fat, like olive or canola oil. So what to do when you are following a no-added-fat vegan diet? Try making dressings like this one. It has a lot of ingredients, but at this point, like me, you may have them all in your pantry. And after eating it on my salad with dinner, I'm not missing the oil at all!
E2 Basics Dressing
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon, lime or orange
1 Tbsp agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp wheat germ
Water to desired consistency (I didn't use any)
Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.