No meat, No wheat

Archive for the ‘Packed with protein and costs pennies to make these burgers’ Category

Stuck in on a Snow Day gave me plenty of time to cook!

amaranth veggie burgers plated


Stuck inside like everyone else, I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted. Not only did I have time to use my new bentonite face mask, catch up on laundry and read, but time left over to focus on a recipe I’ve been wanting to investigate for some time.

This recipe, for vegetable burgers, is one I’d seen by Emily Segal on her honest cooking website. Finally, I had both time to try making these, and all the necessary ingredients. I’ve wanted to use the wonderful tahini given to us by our friend Julie, the marketing coordinator for Soom Foods, in something new and unusual. It says on the Soom website that you could use their tahini for hummus AND carrot cake, so I was encouraged to incorporate its creamy texture and full bodied taste in today’s creation.


amaranth and tahini

Amaranth (left), and Soom Tahini (right)

I’ve also been very curious about amaranth, but todays recipe was my first attempt using this tiny seed. I was perplexed when the recipe I was adapting said that after cooking the amaranth to fluff it. My amaranth was beyond fluffing. It was downright gelatinous. Not quite as bad as a pot of chia, but not far off! Despite this discrepancy,  the vegetable burgers came out tasting great, which is why I’m not waiting until I get a pot of amaranth that fluffs to post this and am sharing with you now. I only made a few changes to this recipe. I used an extra zucchini and added garlic powder. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of spelt flour, but I substituted 1/2 cup of coconut flour.  Also, the original recipe asked for fresh herbs, but mine were dried. It was supposed to make about 10 patties, but I wound up with 16. Must be from that extra zucchini. Anyway, we really liked these burgers. The tahini and lemon really complimented one another. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did. Betayavon!


  • 1 cup dry amaranth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, or more, and maybe some lemon zest if you like
  • no stick spray


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large pan and spoon for stirring veggies
  • shredder or box grater
  • small pot and lid for amaranth
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • spatula


Place amaranth and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until amaranth is soft and water is absorbed. Remove lid, fluff (if you can!), and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with no-stick spray.

amaranth veggie burgers

Cooked Amaranth (left), Vegetables (right)

In a pan, sauté the onion in oil. Add grated zucchini and carrots. Sauté until everything is soft. Add the spinach. Cook just until it wilts. Remove pot from the heat. Slowly add your cooked amaranth to the vegetables, stirring after each addition. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Mix with spoon or your hands until everything is uniformly combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you prefer. Shape patties and place them onto the baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes and then turn over and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden and a bit crunchy on top.


veggie:amaranth burgers



Shepherd’s Pie


Shepherd's pie


This is a dish my children really enjoy. The original with meat and potatoes, that is. They’d be happy to eat mashed potatoes any day!  Who wouldn’t?!  As I was preparing the family’s meal before our recent Yom Kippur fast, my husband asked his usual question: “what are you going to eat?” I blurted out the answer-Shepherd’s Pie before I even stopped to consider that I had no idea how to make a vegan version nor had I ever seen or eaten one. I just imagined it would be hearty and satisfying. Turns out I was right. Searching online, I found several varieties, but nothing I wanted to make.  Rather than rely on lentils-which seemed to be fairly standard in the recipes I surveyed, I decided to use mashed beans-a variety of them-to form the typical meat layer. I also combined the beans with veggie broth, seasonings, chopped sautéed portobello mushrooms, and a bag of thawed mixed veggies, making the bottom layer especially hearty.  You only need one can of beans per pie, but since I decided to use a mixture of beans, I wound up with enough filling for three delicious shepherd’s pies. The top layer, the mashed potatoes are made all the more yummy with the addition of sautéed onions and thinly sliced garlic cloves, but if you’re not a fan of these, feel free to leave them out. Your pie will be delicious anyway. My kids loved this dish. I’m very glad I made and froze extra for Sukkot. I made it happily through 25 hours of fasting, and credit the fact that I ate half of one of these very delicious, very filling and nutritious shepherd’s pies for not being starved.  Looking forward to eating this again for Sukkot! Have a good Yuntif! Betayavon!


  • canned beans, drained, rinsed and mashed -I used a can of pinto beans, a can of light red kidney beans, and a can of black eyed peas, which is why I wound up with three of these beauties!
  • mushrooms, portobello or regular button mushrooms, chopped small
  • olive oil, 1 teaspoon
  • veggie broth, 1/8 to 1/4 cup, depending on how thick the mixture is
  • no stick spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bag of frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • other seasonings of your choice-a dash of thyme, chili powder, whatever you like
  • potatoes-five medium, peeled, cubed, boiled, drained, and mashed
  • Smart Balance Margarine, 1 Tablespoon, optional
  • Coconut, almond, or cashew milk, 1-2 Tablespoons, optional
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped fine

Shepherd's pie


  • pie plate, square, or oval glass or ceramic pan
  • potato peeler
  • pot and lid for boiling potatoes
  • pan for sautéing mushrooms, beans, and veggie combo
  • knife and cutting board
  • colander for draining and rinsing beans and for draining boiled potatoes
  • measuring cup
  • potato masher for beans and potatoes
  • spoon for stirring
  • bowls for potatoes and beans


Peel potatoes, cube and place in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover potatoes halfway with water, cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower light and simmer until fork pierces the potatoes easily. Remove from heat and drain in colander. Mash them immediately, adding salt and pepper to taste. You may add some vegan margarine-I used a tablespoon of Smart Balance to make them a little creamier. You can opt to add some coconut, almond, or cashew milk if you want, but I didn’t bother. If you like mashed potatoes with something extra, try sautéing onions and garlic and adding them to the potatoes as you mash them.                                                                                                                                     Time now to spray your glass or ceramic pie plates, open the can of beans, drain and rinse beans with cold water. Mash the beans, mixing them all together with any seasonings you’d like, whether using one type or using multiple varieties of beans, as I did. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir. Add the bag of thawed mixed vegetables. Finally, when the mushrooms have released their liquid, add the mashed beans into the pan with the mushrooms and mixed veggies. Add the veggie broth. If this mixture seems too stiff to stir, thin with a bit more veggie broth, but add that slowly, so you don’t thin the bean layer too much. No need for cooking here, as you will place in the oven later, you just want to combine the mushrooms, veggies, beans, seasonings you want, and veggie broth. Time to press the bean mixture into the bottom of your sprayed pie plate or pan. Top with the mashed potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven 25-35 mins, just until potatoes start to brown. Looks and smells wonderful

shep pie bean veggie layer

Press the beans, veggies, and mushrooms into the pie plate

shep pie, mashed pot

Top with mashed potatoes

shep pie

A real winner

sheps pie


Veggie Burgers

Chick Pea and Green Pea Veggie Burgers

Green Pea Burgers in Cast Iron Pan.For a vegetarian, I sure am fixated on burgers. Creating them, eating them, inventing new and unusual burgers that are vegan and gluten free.  I like to grill or barbecue extras because they’re easy to reheat and eat, and are wonderful crumbled on salad or inside a potato,  make a complete meal.

It’s really funny, because I never really liked burgers before I was a vegan. Shows how little I liked meat.  After becoming a vegan, I became obsessed about making a burger that was juicy inside, crispy outside, not difficult to make, and tasty. Tasty being key!

My mushroom walnut burgers are the best tasting burgers I ever ate. But then again, I love mushrooms. I’m proud to have invented that recipe, and so happy when I make them. They froze and defrosted well, I should add. That makes it easier to recommend doubling the recipe.

Today, I’m sharing another burger recipe which incorporates seasoning, gluten free breading, green peas (I used frozen green peas that I first thawed), and canned chick peas. I started with a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine, and made it gluten free. I kept on tweaking the recipe to get it perfect. They’re not only nutritious and gluten free, but vegan, delicious, not difficult, and the huge batch disappeared quickly. Not as good as the mushroom burgers I love so much, but really really good. Betayavon-Good Appetite!

Veggie Burgers made from Chickpeas and Green Peas


  • 2 c frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 1/2 cups canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 T parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 T basil or oregano chopped fine
  • 2 flax eggs (2T ground flax seed meal dissolved in 6 T water. Allow to set in bowl for 15 mins)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs (I used a combination of brown rice flour,oat flour, and cornmeal. Potato flakes would work just as well to keep the mixture light and hold it together, but has added sodium
  • 1/8 cup Cornmeal plus 1/8 cup brown rice flour for lightly coating burgers before sautéing
  • 1/4 cup olive or sunflower oil
  • 2-4 T barbecue sauce or spicy sauce for dipping, depending on if you like things more sweet or spicy, or combine them for your desired result!
  • Gluten free buns, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes and onions, pickles, and lettuce


  • Food Processor
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cast iron pan or baking sheet and parchment paper if baking instead of frying
  • Spatula


In Food Processor:
1 medium onion, add 2 cup frozen peas, thawed, 31/2 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained. Pulse til combined and pureed. Mixture should be thick. To this, add 2 flax eggs (Sprinkle 2 T. ground flax seed meal into 6 T. water and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until it appears gelled), the spices, 1/2 cup corn meal, either 1/2 cup mashed potato flakes, or gluten free flour, or 1/2 cup oat flour. Add 1/2 cup brown rice flour. Pulse until everything is thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Green Pea Burgers in Food Processor
Form patties by pressing the mixture firmly between your palms. If impossible to get them to stick together, add water a tablespoon at a time, making sure not to add too much water. Sprinkle each burger with corn meal. You can add any seasoning you like to the cornmeal for additional taste: cumin, cayenne, garlic or onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, etc.

Green Pea Burger MixtureGreen Pea Burger Coating

Heat 2 T. olive oil or coconut oil in a large cast iron pan. You’ll know the pan is hot enough if it sizzles and hisses when you shpritz it with a few droplets of water. Add the firm burgers, and allow them to cook throughly on the first side before attempting to turn them gently with a spatula. These are very dense burgers and not all that moist-as I’m sure you can tell from the list of ingredients, so they will take a while to cook, and you will need to treat them gently.

Green Pea Burgers in Cast Iron Pan.

Flip and finish cooking on the second side. As an alternative, you can cook them in a hot over (400 degrees) on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper, and turn them midway-about 20 minutes-and finish cooking on the second side.

These burgers did not get the kind of crispy crunch I usually crave when I fry something, but were delicious and filling, and I was happy to have made them.
I opted not to add spices to the cornmeal breading, and used spicy barbecue sauce to top them instead.

Great on a gluten free bun topped with anything you like: pesto, barbecue sauce, cole slaw, pickle, salsa, pickles, onion and tomato slices, sprouts, or lettuce leaves.

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