Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Our Favorite Veggie Burger

Like many foods, veggie burgers vary wildly based on tastes.  This happens to be our favorite recipe, adapted from one that was shared with me by Katie at Shamrock Vegan.

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.  Odds are the only two things that you don’t have in your kitchen are TVP and Vital Wheat Gluten for binding (optional).

We combine the dry team in Ziploc baggies (except the gluten) then just add the wet ingredients later on when we’re ready to make them.  My (omnivore) husband and our foster baby (12 months) both love the hell out of these burgers.  Oh, and if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, they just make a really cheap substitute, they’re worth trying!

veggie burger

In a bowl (or Ziploc bag if you’re wanting to save this for later), round up the dry team:
1 cup TVP
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 flour (any kind)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)

If you’re going to make these now, go ahead and add the wet team:
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp peanut butter, rounded (the spoon, not the peanut butter)
3/4 cup boiling water

Mix all the ingredients together and let set for 15-20 minutes while the TVP soaks up the water and seasoning.

Then kneed in
2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten

Yes, kneed.  Just like you would have with meatloaf.  Only you’ll wanna do this a few minutes.  And you want it about the consistency of ground beef, so if it’s dry add a few Tablespoons of water.  Keep mixing this until the gluten is activated and starts pulling apart in strands.  There isn’t a ton of gluten, so don’t expect a lot, you just want to see it sticking together rather than crumbling apart.

Anyway, make patties and cook these bitches up!  You don’t want them too thick because you want them to cook all the way through and for the gluten to ‘set.’  But brown them up nicely, I cooked them on medium in the tiniest bit of oil for about 10-15 minutes per side.


Omnomnomagon and Chickpea Salad Sandwich Filling


The Omnomnomagon is after my Chickpea Salad Sandwich Filling.  Unfortunately, he was too late.  There may or may not have been some casualties. 

So I must say, I have to thank Postmarked Heart for the inspiration to finally try this, but I didn’t follow her recipe.  I wasn’t exactly trying to mimic tuna salad as much as just enjoy something on it’s own…

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about this – thinking that it would just taste like hummus with mayo and other things mixed in.  But, I was instantly sold.  Not only is it incredibly inexpensive to make, it’s super tasty and healthy to boot.  Yes, I said “to boot.”  Got a problem with it?

I found myself eating it right out of the bowl I made it in, but you could use in however you’d use chicken or tuna salad.  On crackers, in a pita pocket (my favorite), or stuffed in a tomato.  If you want to put in on a sandwich, I highly suggest mashing up the chickpeas a lot more than I did.  Otherwise, you will be picking chickpeas off your boobs.  Yep, I did.

In a bowl, bucket or hat, smoosh to your desired smooshiness
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained (don’t suggest rinsing)

Then mix in
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, minced
1 Tbsp Veganaise, or your favorite mayo
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste


It really does taste even better after it’s chilled and marinaded for a while, but I nommed on it right away…

While this did pass the test of 3 male omnivore coworkers, the husband figure needed a little more convincing.  We shall try again, I think we’ll try the old bay next time. 🙂


White Vegan Pizza

Have I mentioned that I sincerely believe that Pizza is a food group?

Don’t let the broccoli scare you away.   Don’t believe me?   Just listen to my husband, he’ll tell you it was good!  Just gotta find him first… hmm, where’d he go?

No seriously, this was NOT another Ranch Dressing Failure.

white pizza

As I posted before, we were brain washed at a very young age by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  And no, I’m not going to link to them.  If you don’t know who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, you are dead to me.

Seriously though, who was the genius that brainwashed kids, that were already scarfing down sugary cereal while sitting in front of a TV, to be forever completely in romantic love with a dense layer of carbs topped with tons of bubbly shredded milkfat and chopped unidentifiable animal parts.

Le sigh… yep, I still miss it.  No way around it.

Anyway, after making the Tofu Ricotta O’ Doom recipe,  I came up with the idea for this pizza which is LOADED which vegetables and contains no faux cheese other than the Ricotta recipe.  I contemplated adding tempeh but realized it’s already loaded with tofu, so it seemed kind of redundant.

Since pizza is almost always simply made to taste, this is an approximation of the ingredients we used to give you an idea of how to get this super filling, scrum-dilly-umptious pizza in your own home.

Oh, before I start – we use Mama Mary’s  Ultra Thin Crust.  It crisps up, and isn’t 93234234526623 carbs per serving.  But, a downside is that we do need to pre-cook many of the ingredients prior to topping, because it cooks in about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven according to preferred crust instructions.  *If using a thicker crust but still like a bit of a crisp, try putting the pizza pan or upside down cookie sheet in the oven to preheat while preparing the rest, then simply slide the pizza onto it.

Heat a frying pan to medium and add
     2 Tsp Earth Balance
     1 medium onion, chopped (we always use red)
     pinch of salt , being careful to put on the oven and not in the pan itself

Cook until onion until slightly translucent and add
     5-7 mushrooms, sliced (we used baby bellas)

and Continue cooking until slightly browned

Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine
     1/2 Riccotta O’ Doom recipe
     1/2 bag cooked frozen broccoli, chopped into desired size (or fresh of course)
     4-5 cloves garlic, minced
     2-3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
     Salt or Herbamare (preferred) to taste (about 1-2 tsp)
     Fresh Ground pepper to taste
     pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
     drizzle of olive oil

When mushroom and onion mixture is finished cooking, add to Ricotta and Broccoli Mixture and top pizza.   Cook following crust package instructions, but keep in mind that due to the large number of toppings it may take a bit longer to cook.  The Ricotta mixture will start to brown just a little, but won’t turn golden brown.

Just use your crust as a guide.

white pizza


Chickpea Cutlets – Guest Hubby Post

Hello! My names Sam. I am the hubby you have heard mention of, and apparently i now have a weekly post on my wifes blog.

This recipe sounds disgusting, but it is actually pretty good. It was also fun to make – of course I do so enjoy getting messy in the kitchen. I have to say that of all the recipes that I have  tested so far this is easily in my top 5.

(Yes, that’s a paper plate.  Don’t judge me!)

To all the spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends,best friends, life partners, business partners, housemates and life mates out there that are trying to get someone to try vegan recipes, or the vegan lifestyle; I say use this as a gateway food. It’s a sneaky way to get them into healthier eating.  It worked on me, after all.

You’ll find the recipe in the Veganomicon or at The Post Punk Kitchen, website of the author of the Veganomicon.  If nothing else, visit her website to see a prettier picture. 🙂


Portobello Sandwiches

These turned out pretty darned good if I do say so myself.  My husband says to be sure not to call them Portobello “burgers” because they most decidedly do not remind him of burgers.  Even if it DOES look like one.

Instead, “sandwich” is a more pro-husbandly correct term.  And by sandwich, we mean drippy and juicy and sink your teeth into the meatiness of the fungus.  One sandwich was more than enough for each of us.  I was really surprised by how filling they were!

The first trial produced soggy buns.  More tests will continue, including reheating the leftover mushroom to see if reheating in the oven will dry the shroom out a bit, and produce considerably less soggy buns.

Nobody likes soggy buns.

This recipe was inspired by the Roasted Portobello recipe in the VEGANOMICON.  I’m not kidding, get the book!  (NO, I have no affiliation).  On her website, she has a grilled version on her website that I believe I will have to try.  I used red wine and recommend it, she used white.  I rarely keep white wine, but may have to give it a try in the future.  Visit her website to see the GRILLED PORTOBELLO RECIPE. Hubby and I believe that longer marinading and grilling will probably be the key to the awesomeness in this recipe.

2 Large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Dry mustard powder to emulsify* (optional)

Mix all liquid ingredients in a oven safe baking dish, large enough for the mushrooms to sit side by side.

Remove stems and clean mushrooms with a damp papertowel.

Place caps upside down in the baking dish.  Spoon mix over mushrooms, creating a pool of marinade in each one.  Let all the juicy goodness soak in for 30 – 45 minutes.

Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from liquid and place on baking sheet, gills down.  (I used non-stick aluminum foil to make this go easier)

Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Flip.  Bake for 7-10 more minutes.

We enjoyed this with your usual: Veganaise (or Mayo for you non-vegans), lettuce, tomato and onion on a toasted whole wheat bun.  Twas muy yum!

*Dry mustard powder can be used to emulsify any oil and vinegar concoction.  A little goes a long way, and using a small amount will not change the flavor, just keep you from having puddles of oil in your vinegar.


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