Post preamble: My father passed away when I was young (I talked about it in this post), so Father’s Day is very meaningful for me. My children are blessed to have a father that is most loving and selflessly devoted – and I am equally blessed to have him as my husband. So, celebrate the good dads in your lives, give them a hug and a good meal.
A couple of years ago hubby and I visited a local raw restaurant for our anniversary. Before leaving the house, I cooked some oven-roasted potatoes and veggie dogs for our babysitter to give the girls. Once at dinner, we realized this restaurant epitomized how vegan food is perceived: light, airy, “crunchy-granola”, hippity-dippity. The meals had decent flavor – but there wasn’t much to be eaten! The portions were small, and because it was primarily raw courses, the burgers had lettuce leaves to sandwich the patties, and the pizza crusts were dehydrated crackers of sort with a scattering of toppings. I actually enjoy these kinds of meals, because my digestive system does better with moderate portions rather than larger, heavier meals. [I'm the classic Ayurvedic "vata". My husband, Paul, on the other hand, is a pitta/kapha blend, and his digestive fire burns strong at lunch and dinner. While I don't subscribe to all of the dietary tenets of Ayurveda, elements of this ancient form of alternative medicine are fascinating and insightful.] But these portions were small (even for me). After we ate this raw
meal snack, we returned headed home and Paul dug into the kids’ potatoes! *sigh*
So, I “get” those men in your life that want hearty meals. My husband is not the sprouts-’n-wild greens, wheat-grass-shooting type. He’ll eat salads and veg, but they had better be next to – or part of – some kind of substantial meal! So, for Father’s Day I always make one of his favorite manly-man vegan meals. And, “veggie burger” night is in his top ten recipe ranking. I rotate the variety of burger, and always serve with some kind of baked spud – either sweet potato fries, chunky yukon gold taters, red potato “chippers”… if it’s a spud, it wins!
In Let Them Eat Vegan there is a whole chapter on veggie burgers. I wanted to show people that homemade burgers are far better than storebought, and hearty and delicious enough to satisfy any manly appetite (and can hold their own on any burger bun)! These Nutty Veggie Burgers are one of our favorites. They are dense and toothsome, and usually one larger burger (or two smaller) is more than satiating. So, for the special dad or “hegan” in your life, why not make these burgers for Father’s Day?
Nutty Veggie Burgers (gluten-free option, soy-free option, oil-free)
I came up with these burgers after realizing how fussy children can be with veggie burgers. Many recipes (mine included) are too savory for them, or have onions and other veggies that they feel the need to pick out. Also, sometimes the patties are too delicate for kids eating them on a hamburger bun. I got to work and made this recipe, which is very nutritious and delicious without being too heavy in herbs or spices. Perfect for kids and adults, and, yes, you can serve it with confidence on a burger bun! And, if you have LTEV, be sure to try the “Almonnaise” and “Sunshine Fries with Rosemary and Coarse Sea Salt” to go with them!
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pecans (or more walnuts)
1 small clove garlic, cut in quarters
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ketchup (can substitute tomato paste)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (add it! Even my nooch-averse hubby doesn’t know it’s in there!)
1 tbsp tamari (substitute coconut aminos for soy-free version)
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning or 1/8 tsp each of dried thyme and ground sage
1/2 cup finely grated carrot, packed
1/2 cup finely grated zucchini, packed
1/2 – 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free for gf option)
wipe of oil (for pan-frying, optional – can pan-fry dry or bake, see notes)
In a food processor, combine the almonds, walnuts, pecans, garlic, and salt. Puree until the nuts are finely ground. Then add the ketchup, nutritional yeast, tamari, poultry seasoning or sage/thyme, carrot, and zucchini, and pulse until the mixture becomes dense and is starting to hold together. Pulse in the oats. Remove the blade and shape the mixture into patties. To cook, wipe a nonstick skillet with a smidgen of oil (or omit) over medium heat (see note for oven-baking). Cook the patties for 5 to 7 minutes on the first side, and then another 3 to 5 minutes on second side until golden brown, working in batches, if necessary. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, and fixings of choice. Makes 5-6 larger patties, or 9-10 ‘sliders’. (RECIpage link to print or share).
If This Apron Could Talk: If you’d like to make this into a loaf, it works pretty well (will be slightly more crumbly than the patties). Press into a lightly oiled and lined (with a strip of parchment paper, for easy removal) loaf pan. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes, uncovering for the last 5 to 10 minutes, just to lightly brown the top. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, and then use the parchment to lift the loaf out of the pan to slice.
Ingredients 411: Using 1⁄2 cup of oats will firm the patties up nicely enough, and you can use up to 1 full cup of oats for even firmer patties.
Oven-baking: If you use a non-stick skillet, you can pan-fry these without any oil and get a nice golden sear on each side. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, you can oven-bake. To do so, place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then flip sides, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Other burger suggestions: Hubby also really loves the Mediterranean Bean Burgers and Mushroom Pecan Burgers Take II from LTEV – definitely try them! And, for dessert, what about some brownies or cookies? – Or, hit the “Dreena Dazs” chapter in LTEV!
p.s. This might be my last post for a couple of weeks. I am speaking at Vegetarian Summerfest this year, and have a ton to sort before I leave, so ‘momputer’ needs to reboot! Check out some other great recipe finds on Ricki Heller’s Weekend Wellness!
What are you making for Father’s Day? Do you have any special Father’s Day memories to share? I’d love to hear them!