One of my favorite recipes is my “Chicken-Fried Steak/Buffalo Wings” edition which is a double-dipped hot sauce battered seitan cutlet served over a carrot and celery salad and topped with Vegan Bleu Cheese http://thevword.net/2009/11/extreme-vegan-makeover-chicken-fried/
But I’ve been gluten-free for two months (today) and so I’ve had to renounce seitan. It’s not that I’m gluten-intolerant. Not according to the blood tests anyway but I’m trying to be healthier and so I’ve (practically) eliminated gluten, sugar and processed foods from my diet. That means I’m eating a lot more whole foods and a lot less bread.
It also means I’ve undergone a re-education of ingredients, carefully reading those labels to make sure products are both vegan and gluten-free, and I’ve had to switch up a lot of ingredients when I cook. At some point, I plan to rewrite all my recipes so that they have gluten-free variations.
Another thing I miss since giving up gluten and processed foods is the convenience of frozen vegan burgers. So I’ve come up with my own recipes for various gluten-free burgers. While I was making these lentil burgers, I thought why not make them buffalo lentil burgers? So I recreated my “Chicken-Fried Steak/Buffalo Wings” dish in a gluten-free and healthier version. These burgers are so delicious, I may never buy frozen burgers again.
Note: If you don’t want the buffalo flavor of the burgers, simply leave out the hot sauce, cumin and chili powder.
2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray or oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup gf tortilla crumbs (or bread crumbs)
2 tbs. ground flax seed
2 Tbs. chickpea flour
2 Tbs. gf tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbs. gf Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. each paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
1 tsp. each chili powder and cumin (if making buffalo burgers)
1 – 2 Tbs. hot sauce (if making buffalo burgers)
Salad or Slaw of your choice
Vegan Bleu Cheese
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the lentils and a pinch of salt and return to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let cool and move the lentils to a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a fork, potato masher or your hands.
Heat a large skillet and add the oil or cooking spray. Sauté the onions for about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Add the hot veggies to the lentils in the bowl. The heat will help soften the lentils. Add the parsley, tortilla crumbs, flaxseed, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast and spices. In a separate little bowl or cup, add 2 Tbs. of chickpea flour and 2 Tbs. of water and mix into a loose paste. This will act as a binder. Add the flour and water mixture to the bowl.
Mix everything well. Hands work best. If the mixture seems too loose, add more tortilla crumbs. If it feels too dry and tight, add water.
Heat the large skillet again with a tablespoon of oil. While it’s heating, form the lentil mixture into burger patties. Wet your hands to make it easier to work with the lentil mixture. Form the patties and press the middle in with your thumb.
Put the patties into the skillet and fry for about 5 minutes. Then flip them carefully with a spatula so that they brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and serve however you choose.
I sat the burger over a raw salad with broccoli, purple cabbage, celery, carrots and bell peppers dressed with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce.
Then I topped the burger with crumbled vegan bleu cheese (the brand is vegancuisine.net which is a line of Sunergia. The vegcuisine site is under construction at this time so go to the Sunergia site instead).
Note: this recipe makes about 10 good size burger patties. They can be frozen for later. When making a frozen burger, add the patty directly from the freezer to the skillet. They will hold together better if you don’t thaw them first.