Makes 4 servings
1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh, soft whole-grain bread crumbs (see note)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari or 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender and process in pulses until they resemble coarsely ground flour. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate. Put the mushrooms, onion, and tamari in a blender and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut/bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate.
Place a 3-inch cookie cutter ring on the parchment. Pack one-quarter of the mushroom/bread crumb mixture into the ring and press it firmly and evenly into the ring to form a “burger.” Gently remove the ring. Repeat with the remaining mushroom/bread crumb mixture.
Flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula. Bake for 18 minutes. Flip each burger, and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden.
Serve on toasted whole-grain buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, mustard, and catsup. These burgers are delightful served with Confetti Oven Fries and Jazzy Purple Coleslaw on the side. Or serve the burgers plain with a crisp green salad.
NOTE: To make fresh bread crumbs, put 3 to 4 large slices of whole-grain bread in a blender or food processor and process into coarse crumbs. To make gluten-free bread crumbs, use your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the whole-grain bread.
Confetti Oven Fries
Makes 2 to 4 servings
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 to 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the potatoes into matchsticks or shoestrings; the thinner they are, the crispier the fries will be. Put the potatoes, olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle with the sea salt and stir gently to coat. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until soft inside, slightly crisp outside, and browned along the edges. Serve immediately.
Pretty Purple Coleslaw
Makes 4 servings
4 cups grated purple cabbage
1 cup grated carrots
3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon gomasio or toasted sesame seeds
Put the cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, and sea salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Season with pepper. Cover and chill 2 to 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle the top of the salad with gomasio or sesame seeds.
Banana Milk-less Shake
Makes 2 to 3 servings
3 very large (or 4 small) frozen bananas (see note)
1 1/2 cups chilled vanilla-flavored nondairy milk, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more nondairy milk or maple syrup, if desired. Pour the mixture into pretty dessert dishes or glasses.
NOTE: To freeze a banana, peel and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces, and put them in a resealable freezer bag. Seal and freeze for at least 12 hours before using.