Life is full of unexpected twist and turns, and if you’ve been around long enough, you’ll know it doesn’t always go as planned. Your friend bags on you for coffee. Your flight is cancelled. Your job is downsized. You don’t get in to your dream school. You were supposed to be married by now. You weren’t supposed to be divorced by now. You’re unexpectedly diagnosed with a disease, or living with un-diagnosed pain. Our minds may stray to the negative scenarios first (at least, mine does), but there are positives too of course. And sometimes they sneak up on us. You find a person you want to spend your life with (always a miracle, in my mind). You find joy in a long-lost creative outlet. You give birth to a baby, or adopt a baby (again, major miracle!). A broken relationship if your life is healed. You come to peace with a past trauma.
Such a crazy roller coaster, this life. Creating recipes and taking photographs of food is the last thing I thought I’d be doing with mine. Collaborating creatively with my husband, starting a podcast — all fairly unexpected. And the food? I never dreamed I would have a passion for healthy eating and down foods like vegan gluten-free veggie burgers with gusto. I’d imagine many of you reading may have similar thoughts about where your road has taken you? We’d love to hear – let us know in the comments below.
Speaking of vegan gluten-free veggie burgers, have we got a recipe for you. We’ve developed it especially for our friends at Bob’s Red Mill using their gluten-free oats product and it is one of my favorites to date. The key to vegan gluten-free veggie burgers is to use some sort of glue-like substance that avoids the eggs or bread crumbs used in many typical veggie burgers. Here we’ve used sweet potato, a fantastic glue-like substance, along with oats for some texture. And for flavor, we took some cues from a recent visit to a fantastic Japanese restaurant in Santa Fe. We’ve used soy sauce and mirin to simulate a teriyaki flavor in the burger, and a few sauteed shiitake mushrooms are the perfect topping. Along with some sriracha mayo, it makes a killer combination. (If you can, try not to substitute because the combined effect makes it; the elements separately aren’t quite the same.) If you’re gluten-free, feel free to serve on a gluten-free English muffin, and if you’re vegan, use vegan mayo. and if you’re like us and just love to experiment with many diets but aren’t a stickler in any category, use the traditional versions!
These veggie burgers are baked (probably not grillable, sadly) and take about 1 hour to prepare, but to us the effort was worth it. We made them on the weekend when we had a bit more time and they made great leftovers. Feel free to double the recipe and freeze leftovers for quick meals as well. Let us know if you try them out–as well as whether you have any life twists and turns to share.
- 1 small sweet potato (½ pound)
- ¾ cupBob's Red Mill gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 green onions
- 15-ounce can red kidney beans
- ½ cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons mirin
- 4 shiitake mushrooms
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (vegan if desired)
- 2 teaspoons sriracha (or less to taste)
- 4 English muffins (gluten-free if desired, or omit)
- Alfalfa sprouts, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Wash the sweet potato and prick it with a fork. Microwave until cooked through, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Slice open and allow to cool until the steam dissipates and it is cool to the touch.
- Place oats on cutting board and roughly chop with a knife to obtain a mixed texture. Thinly slice green onions. Drain and rinse the beans.
- In a bowl, combine onions, oats, beans, sunflower seeds, kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika, soy sauce and mirin. Mix with your hands and lightly mash the beans with your fingers. Add ½ cup sweet potato and mix to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form into 4 patties and place on the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes on one side, then flip and bake 20 minutes on the other side. Cool slightly before serving.
- Remove the stems and slice 4 shiitake mushroom caps. In a small skillet, add a splash of olive oil, mirin, and soy sauce, then saute the mushrooms until soft, about 1 minute.
- Mix ¼ cup mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons sriracha.
- To serve, place the burgers on toasted English muffins and top with mushrooms, spicy mayo, and alfalfa sprouts.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are our own; we’re huge fans of their products and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action!