Recipes: Summer Veggie Burgers with Faring Well

VeggieBurgerKeeper4One of the greatest parts of food blogging is being able to connect with incredible artisans, makers and culinary creators  from around the world.  And if there’s one thing I’ve seen in this community – there are some seriously talented women out there shaping the way we eat, think, and feel about food!  This year, I decided to launch a new series on the Vidya blog to highlight some of the kitchen goddesses out there who inspire me each day with their ingenuity of ingredients and artful presentation of nourishing cuisine.  This monthly “Seasonal Recipe Share” series will give us a peek inside each bloggers home recipe box and the many ways they each connect with their health through seasonal eating and living.

Without further adieu, I am so pleased to introduce you to Jessie Snyder, the brilliant babe below who serves up entertaining prose and ingenious plant-based recipes over on her blog Faring Well. From travel adventures, to trial and error stories in the kitchen, she has the most beautifully honest and real way of sharing life and her approach to living this lifestyle that it makes it accessible for all. In fact, her amazing work just won Best New Voice in the Saveur Food Blog Awards! So grateful to welcome Jessie to the blog with her mouthwatering Summer Veggie Burger recipe…

ProfileEver since going vegan about three and a half yeas ago, my relationship with the food I eat has grown exponentially. I went from an ideology about food that was very restricting, to one based on exploring. The more intentional and creative I am with the foods I eat, the more I seem to enjoy them. Along with this shift in how I viewed food came with a sense of empowerment to learn where my food came from, how it effected me, and how it effected others. That is when I made the conscious decision to aim for not only a plant based diet, but one without wheat, processed foods, and limited amounts of refined sugar.

VeggieBurgerKeeper6With this also came my desire to buy local, organic produce – and get to know my farmers. Sustainability has always been a big part of my life as an inherent passion within me that really gets a chance to shine with my new lifestyle. I am so grateful to have discovered this path, and even more grateful to get to share it with others on my blog. It feels like a dream come true, every day. VeggieBurgerDUOA little victory that also felt like a dream come true was when I finally nailed down my go-to veggie burger recipe a few years back. I was tired of mushy, bean-y veggie burgers – and after several months of testing – finally came up with this gem of a recipe! It is a veggie burger in the truest sense – ALL veggies. Plus it’s gluten free with the use of oat flour and ground sunflower seeds to help hold it together. The flavor (to me) is spot on, but you can easily spice up the burger with any favorite seasonings you have on hand to make it something extra special. Two of my favorites to add are cayenne and dried thyme.VeggieBurgerKeeper3Here I kept it simple because of all the yummy toppings and sauces I knew I would be pairing with the burger. And since we are already making the burger and toppings from scratch, why not the buns too, right? Spelt is easily one of my favorite flours. It is wheat free and low in gluten. Plus, the gluten it does contain is far more easily digestible than the gluten found in wheat. Spelt is also loaded with lots of good protein and fiber. Sandwich a veggie-loaded burger patty between it with a sweet and tangy mustard sauce, few slices of avocado, and a cool and creamy radicchio slaw – and you’ve got one heck of a burger! Go plants!VeggieBurgerKeeper5


Veggie Burgers
1 cup sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
3 cups chopped white (or brown) mushrooms
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (for cooking)
salt + pepper to taste
1/4 cup low sodium tamari (non-GMO)
1 cup oat flour
1 cup sunflower seeds (shelled and ground)

Heat a large skillet to medium/low heat and add the refined coconut oil. Toss in the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Now add the grated carrot and zucchini. Let cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir to combine. Let sit and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all of the mushrooms get cooked evenly. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly while you prepare the dry ingredients.

In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, combine the oat flour and ground sunflower seeds (I usually grind my seeds, and sometimes oats too, in the food processor until they resemble a flour). At this point I tend to add a good pinch of salt and few dashes of pepper to the dry mixture. Add the cooked veggies to the bowl using tongs, leaving any excess water/juices in the pan, and mix well with the flours. Add the tamari and mix well again. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Divide the mixture into 6 balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If the dough is too sticky to handle, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to set. Once shaped, you can either flatten the veggie burger balls and go straight to baking them (instructions below) or place in the freezer. Once frozen I transfer them to a freezer-safe bag, making sure to squeeze out all of the air before sealing tightly and keeping in the freezer until ready to cook (they will keep for one month when frozen). Thaw the veggie burger in the refrigerator overnight (or during the day) before proceeding to cook.

You can either cook the veggie burgers in a skillet with a little refined coconut oil until crisp on both sides (on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side), or bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes, flipping the patties half-way through the cooking time.
Makes 6 burgers

Spelt Buns
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons water
3 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
pepitas and/or sesame seeds for topping (optional)

Add the yeast to the warm water in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flax meal to the water (preferable warm water) and set aside for 5 minutes to set also.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the yeast (including the flax mixture), then add in the dry ingredients. Mix well and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about a minute until it forms into a smooth elastic ball. Shape into a log and cut into six equal parts. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slightly press down on each ball of dough, cover with a cloth towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

During this time, preheat the oven to 425F. Before placing the buns in the oven, sprinkle with water and seeds (if desired). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to the counter to cool. Slice and use right away, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days (or freeze and defrost as needed).
Makes 6 buns

Sweet & Tangy Mustard Sauce
3/4 cup organic yellow mustard
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw honey (or more maple)
2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste (from a BPA free container)
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce

Mix the ingredients together in a jar, seal tightly, and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors mingle before serving. Should keep for two weeks (or longer).

Cool Radicchio Slaw
1/2 cup cashews (soaked 4 hours or longer)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt + pepper to taste
1 medium radicchio, shredded (about 5 to 6 cups)

Blend all of the above ingredients (minus the shredded radicchio) in your blender. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Toss with shredded radicchio in a mixing bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour before serving.
Serves 6

Slice and toast a spelt bun (if desired). Spoon a few tablespoons of the mustard sauce on the bottom bun, top with the cooked veggie burger, a few slices of avocado, and a scoop of the radicchio slaw – now take a little trip to veggie burger heaven. Happy summer!

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