Sum.. Sum... Summertime, the Vegan Way!

I’ve heard a saying that goes like this“ the days go by slowly but the years go by quickly” and it makes me wish my days would slow down because lately time has sped up and I feel like I’m hanging on for dear life!  Fortunately the days have been filled with clay making time (which is never enough) and I’ve been churning out pieces for my upcoming wedding in the midst of teaching classes, workshops and running the studio. Summertime is such a busy time for lots of folks and my favorite part of it is when I get some down time, to enjoy the weather and good food with friends and family. Fortunately for vegans, most all of the cherished summertime favorites can be adapted for plant based lifestyles. My next few posts will highlight some of my favorites!  Let’s start with vegan burgers and homemade burger buns!

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Makes 10-12 burgers (these can be frozen for easy meals !)

1 cup cooked brown lentils

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 cans black beans rinsed and drained

3 Flax seed eggs (1/2 cup warm water mixed with 3 Tbl ground flax seeds)

½ cup whole oats, processed into flour in a food processor

4 cloves garlic minced

½ red onion diced small

1 red pepper diced small

1 Tbl  ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp cayenne (optional)

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

1 tsp kosher salt

black pepper to taste

½ cup sunflower seeds (optional)

Puree lentils and 1 canof black beans in a food processor. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of black beans, quinoa, oat flour, garlic, onion, pepper, nuts, flax egg and spices. Mix well and taste to adjust spices to your liking. Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour. (this mixture will keep for up to a week in the fridge if you want to make ongoing fresh burgers!)

When you’re ready to cook the burgers, heat a bit of canola oil or safflower oil in a frying pan and make patties by hand with the burger mixture. Pan fry each patty to crisp both sides until heated through. If you prefer you can bake the patties on a cookie sheet in the oven at 375 for 15 min on each side.

Vegan Burger Buns

Makes 10-12 buns

3 ¼  cups Bobs Red Mill Bread Flour (or all purpose)

2 tsp ground flax seeds

¼ cup almond milk unsweetened

1 packet Yeast (2 ¼ tsp)

1 tbsp sugar

salt

2 tbl oil

Melted vegan butter for brushing the tops

1Tbl almond milk for brushing tops

1-2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

In a small bowl mix, ¼ cup lukewarm almond milk, sugar, yeast mix well, cover and set aside for8-10min or until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl add bread flour, salt, ground flax seed and mix well. Add oil to the yeast mixture then add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and drizzle with lukewarm water as needed to form a sticky smooth dough.

Dust a countertop with flour and turn the dough out on the counter and knead for 5 min or until smooth and elastic. Cover and set aside for 45 min to rise. Once it has risen, knead it again for 3 min and then divide into 10-12 equal size portions and shape into balls. Grease a baking tray or use parchment paper and place the balls on the tray. Cover the tray with a cloth and set aside for 1hr or until the balls double in size.

Preheat the oven to 425.  In a small bowl at the tbl of milk, 1-2 tsp melted vegan butter and mix well, brush the dough balls with the melted mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 12-15 min or until golden brown. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack.