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On our first journey to the boreal forest I was only armed with 2 cookbooks. The first was my own self-made book full of recipe clippings from magazines and newspapers and recipes I had gotten from friends and family. The second was Molly Klatzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. How fitting or ironic since I was going to see a lot of moose in those remote woods. Moving out to the fire tower, I knew I was going to have to eat way more vegetarian than I had in a long time.

The Moosewood Cookbook was given to me by my darling sister as my survival guide. It truly was a survival guide. We learned how to make pita bread from scratch, pizza crusts made from zucchinis, incredibly tasty veggies burgers, dips, sauces, pesto and of course some amazing desserts. The best carrot cake I have had to date comes from that very cookbook. I think that cake weighed 8 lbs and was dense and light at the same time. Gorgeous! But enough about cakes, what I really want to share with you is our favorite veggie burger recipe. We loved it because it used green lentils which were very inexpensive and have a very long shelf life, and because the burgers were so good.

Because I do so much with lentils, it was time for something different. I took a look around our pantry to find that there were far too many kidney beans in our house that we never used. I think we all do that from time to time. We dig around our kitchens only to find 2 or 3 packages of multiple items and of things we don’t even eat very often. I’ve never been a huge fan of kidney beans to be honest. They don’t have the best rep as beans go. They are commonly found in chili but we usually opt for black beans instead. So this is my attempt to warm up to kidney beans and find a super delicious way to eat them so they DO find their way into our diet more often. Those of you who may have watched the talk give by Doctor Robert L. Lustig on the Is Sugar Toxic? post may have giggled at the following statement “you can fart or you can be fat”. But there is truth to that statement. Many of the foods that are very good for us and keep our bodies functioning at its best, have a very high percentage of fiber, hence the flatulence.   If you want to know more about this power food, click here.

Before I go on I should mention I cheated from the original recipe. She does everything by hand, so the mushrooms would need to be very finely chopped as well as the onions and the beans would need to be well mashed so no large chunks remained. I used a food processor this time. I do normally make it by hand (rarely even use the food processor) but a sore wrist these days keeps the chopping to a minimum.

Vegan Walnut Burgers
Inspired by Molly Klatzen’s Lentil Walnut Burgers

  • 3/4 dry kidney beans, soaked overnight
    4 cups water
    2 Tbsp cider vinegar
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion finely chopped
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    12 mushrooms sliced
    1/2 cup walnut, finely chopped
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp dijon
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 cup (or more as needed) of wheat germ, fine bread crumbs or rolled oats (gluten free Bob Mills Oats) that have been put through a food processor

In a medium sized pot, bring the kidney beans and water to a boil. Gently boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cook the beans until tender. Drain the beans well and add the cider vinegar. Mash with a fork to allow the cider to soak through the beans.

In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients to the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans and the vegetable mixture to the processor and blend until no large chunks remain but keep some texture. Add the wheat germ or bread crumbs (I like to use quick rolled oats). Refrigerate for 1 hour before making into patties.  If the mixture is still too soft, add another 1/4 cup of bread crumbs or wheat germ. Whether this is necessary will depend on how well the beans were drained and the moisture left in the vegetables. I used an extra heaping 1/4 cup to get the desired consistency.

Broil or fry the patties for 5 to 8 minutes per side.

Makes 10 patties

Serve on a bun or pita and serve with your favorite toppings. If you’re as crazy about Mayo as I am check out this fabulous homemade mayo from The Food Hound.

Raw Veggie Burgers freeze great in a single layer in zip lock baggies

No longer vegan burger with Guiness Cheddar




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