One recipe and two vegan mains that will wow you and your family!
When it comes to feeding families fast, affordably and conveniently at the same time as fulfilling familiar longings for both fun and comforting foods these two ace it! In my youth hamburgers were revered and my mom’s ever comforting meat loaf was a frequent family meal we loved as well. Today it’s no longer meat versions of these classics I create, rather it’s wonderfully yummy, affordable, sustainable and healthful alternatives such as beans, legumes, pulses, nuts/seeds, veggies and ancient grains.
What’s ever so ideal with this recipe is it works wonderfully either way and because it’s a big batch recipe you’ll end up with both a substantial sized loaf as well as 4 burgers or patties and they’ll freeze fabulously. The loaf is actually better if made one day in advance, chilled overnight and reheated so plan for this if possible. Left-overs or meal make-overs will be great either way. See my tips below for more ideas.
- Prep time – 10 minutes, Cooking time – approx 60-70 minutes for the loaf
- Yield: one 5 x 9.5in loaf and 4 burgers
- Grapeseed, avocado or olive oil, to sauté
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic or 1 generous tsp, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 3 generous tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups lentils, cooked
- 1/3 cup flax seed meal mixed w/ ½ cup water or veggie broth or fresh juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp organic gluten-free tamari or 3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 cup almond meal* plus extra to make burgers
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, ground to meal
- 1/3 cup bean or buckwheat flour plus extra for burgers
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp each paprika, coriander, thyme, sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme, parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Brush a little oil onto the bottom of a 4 x 9.5 in loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium high (or two medium size pans); add a splash of oil, then sauté onions, peppers and garlic a few minutes. Next add the mushrooms and tomato paste and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized. Let cool a few minutes.
- Using a food processor or hand held blender, puree the veggies along with the flax mixture and process to roughly chop.
- Measure in the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix careful not to over-process. The mixture will still be slightly chunky for you want some texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Set aside approx. 2 cups for burgers.
- Drop the remaining mixture into the prepared loaf pan, spread evenly and bake in the pre-heated oven for 60-70 minutes or until the top is browned and the loaf sturdy when pressed. Cool on a rack 10 minutes before slicing and serve with a smoky miso sauce, chutney, salsa verde or Sirachi as desired.
TO MAKE THE BURGERS:
- Add additional almond meal or buckwheat flour until the mixture is sturdy enough to shape into patties that stay together. Chill 60 minutes before shaping into 4 round patties.
- Freeze them between sheets of parchment to be sauteed later or bake with the loaf approx. 20 minutes, flip and back another 10 minutes) or until browned and crisped as desired with a bronzed crust.
- The hamburgers are fine in buns or as patties with roasted vegetables or a veggie and grain pilaf yet they’re so impressive stacked over large tamari and garlic basted roasted Portobello mushroom caps nestled in a bed of oven wilted, salted greens and/or a pool of salsa verde, marinara or miso Sunbutter sauce.
- Cut the burgers in half and tuck into pita pockets for a great grab n go lunch.
- Slice leftover lentil loaf into fingers and make wraps or crumble into large chunks and fill tacos topping with any fixins you love.
- Want to ante up your nutrient intake? Add 3-4 servings of Liquid Light and another tbsp flax seeds to the flax mixture.