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‘Packed with Plants’ Vegan Burgers

If you check the Recipe Index for this site, you’ll see that I have several vegan burger recipes. This ‘Packed with Plants’ Vegan Burger is a little different, due to the addition of mushrooms, cooked quinoa, and garbanzo bean flour. It’s literally packed with plants, and so flavorful! (Hint: get started now by cooking your quinoa!)

This recipe is great because it makes 10 good-sized patties that will be ‘ready and waiting’ in the fridge (or the freezer). You don’t cook them until you’re ready to eat. It takes no time at all to fry one (or more) of them up at the end of a busy day.

The recipe is also quite forgiving, so feel free to make substitutions depending on your food preferences and/or what you have in your house. Just make sure the quantities are the same (i.e., celery instead of carrot; pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds). Experimenting is part of the fun!

1/2 C cooked quinoa or Herbed Quinoa
2 T dehydrated onion + 2 T water (or 1/2 C chopped onion)
1.5 C chopped mushrooms
1 T Earth Balance or vegan butter
1/2 t liquid smoke
1 ‘huge’ clove garlic, minced (~1/2 T)
1/2 C ground oats or oat flour
1/2 C garbanzo bean flour
1/2 C sunflower seeds, ground (measure before grinding into powder)
1/2 t Mansmith’s Original Grilling Spice (or dashes of each of its component spices noted below)
1 T dried parsley
2 T nutritional yeast
1/3 C corn (= 1/2 cob if freshly cooked)
1/2 C chopped carrot
1/2 C chopped yellow pepper
1 can (15 oz) light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 T tamari
2 T ketchup
1 T tahini
1-2 T oil for coating your hands while forming patties (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)
Oil for cooking the burgers (vegan butter/Earth Balance, coconut oil, etc.)

**Mansmith’s Grilling Spice contains: Kosher Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Sage, Oregano And Basil.

I’ll break it down into steps…

STEP 1: Cook up the quinoa ahead of time. [I make batches of Herbed Quinoa and freeze the 1/2 C portions in canning jars.]

STEP 2: Soak the dehydrated onions in the water. I used dehydrated onion in this recipe because I ran out of onion. If you prefer, you can skip this step and add 1/2 C chopped onion to the mixture in step 4.

STEP 2: Saute the chopped mushrooms in the vegan butter/Earth Balance. Toward the end of cooking, add 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, the dehydrated onion, and the minced garlic. Set aside.

Mushroom, onion & garlic blend on the stove

STEP 3: If you need to grind your oats or sunflower seeds, do it now in the food processor that you’ll be using in step 4. In a large bowl, combine the ground oats/oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, ground sunflower seeds, Mansmith’s Original Grilling Spice (or other spices), parsley and nutritional yeast.

STEP 4: In a food processor, pulse the cooked quinoa, corn, carrot, and yellow pepper. Add it to the bowl.

Herbed Quinoa

STEP 5: In the food processor, puree the kidney beans with the tamari, ketchup, and tahini. Add the puree to the bowl.

Pureed kidney beans, ketchup, tamari, and tahini

STEP 6: Add the mushroom/onion/garlic to the bowl. Now stir everything together. Spread the mix evenly in the bowl and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. This will allow the dry ingredients to soak up the moisture, which helps to bind the burgers.

STEP 7: When ready to form patties, divide the burger “dough” into 10 balls. I pour about a tablespoon of avocado oil on my hands to keep the dough from sticking to my hands while I form the patties. The burger dough will be sticky! Set the patties on parchment paper until you’re ready to cook them. At this point you can put them in the fridge or the freezer (keep them on the parchment either way).

Raw burger patties on parchment paper

STEP 8: Heat a coating of vegan butter (or other oil of your choosing) in a saute pan on medium heat. Cook the patties until each side is lightly browned. Serve on a bun or in a wrap with all the fixings. Enjoy!

Vegan burger on a pretzel bun, with ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and Chao cheese

Cabbage Roll Casserole with Vegan Sour Cream on Toast

Cabbage Roll Casserole with Vegan Sour Cream on Toast


I call this recipe Cabbage Roll Casserole because I don’t make actual cabbage rolls.  I think it’s simpler this way, and I’m all about making things as simple as possible!

Please note that this recipe is designed to give you a freezer supply of Cabbage Roll Casserole fixings for several meals (i.e. 5+).  The idea is that you make the Cabbage Roll Sauce and the Cabbage Roll Filling ahead of time, then freeze portions until you’re ready to buy some cabbage and put it all together.

Don’t let the initial work scare you off because this is super yummy and it makes a lot!

Once you have your first batch of sauce and filling made, you’ll find that you won’t run out of both at the same time.  That’s because the sauce recipe makes enough for 8 portions and the filling recipe makes enough for 5 portions.  So, in the future, you’ll only have to make one or the other to keep your freezer stocked.  (Each portion serves 2 adults in my house.)

I do recommend that you have a basic coffee grinder for grinding the fennel.  My Mr. Coffee grinder is dedicated to grinding spices.  To clean the grinder, I use a dry brush to clean the base/around the blade and I wash the lid with soap and dish detergent.

I combine all the spices in the grinder, not just the fennel (for the filling).  I think it helps the uniformity of the grind when you have more volume.  The aroma of the fennel-sage-oregano-thyme combination is incredible!

Ok, let’s make this recipe happen!

Cabbage Roll Sauce portions in the freezer

Cabbage Roll Sauce portions in the freezer



1 T oil (olive or coconut)
28 oz can crushed tomato with basil
15 oz can tomato sauce (no salt added)
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 T lemon juice
1/2 C brown sugar (or 1 T agave + 1 T molasses)
1/2 C non-dairy milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t dill weed
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
2 t chili powder


  1. Simmer all ingredients in a large saucepan for about 30 minutes.
  2. Portion into 1/2 pint freezer jars.
  3. Freeze until needed.

Makes about 8 portions.  (This sauce is good over pasta as a basic sauce recipe).

Cabbage Roll Filling (this batch made with tempeh)

Cabbage Roll Filling (this batch made with tempeh)



1 batch cooked long or medium grain brown rice (about 2 3/4 cups)
(1 batch = 1 cup dry rice & 1 1/4 C water in a rice cooker for 55 minutes)

2 T fennel seeds (measure, then grind as noted above)
1 T dried sage
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

1 pkg (12 oz) Yves Meatless Ground Round OR 1 block crumbled tempeh OR 2 cups cooked lentils

2 T oil (I use coconut oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
18-20 small or 10 large white or crimini mushrooms, chopped

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T organic soy sauce or tamari
2 T vegan Worcestershire sauce
3 T water


  1. Cook the batch of rice while you work on the rest of the filling.
  2. Grind the spices and set aside.
  3. Use a soup pot.  Heat the oil on medium.  Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic to the pot.  Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and spices and saute for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, soy sauce/tamari, Worcestershire sauce, water, and the meatless ground/tempeh/lentils and continue to cook on medium for ~10-15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice.
  7. Portion into 1-pint freezer jars.
  8. Freeze until needed.

Makes about 5 portions.

Yves Meatless Ground

Yves Meatless Ground



1/4 to 1/3 of a green cabbage (depends on size)
1/2 pint portion of Cabbage Roll Sauce (above)
1 pint portion of Cabbage Roll Filling (above)

Vegan sour cream (optional, as a topping)


  1. Cut up the cabbage into ~1 inch size pieces.  (I remove the thick stems first.)
  2. Thaw and warm the sauce and the filling (I use the microwave).
  3. Coat the bottom of a square (8-9″) glass pan with a little bit of sauce.
  4. Layer cabbage and filling in the pan.
  5. Evenly distribute the rest of the sauce on top.
  6. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes (until bubbly and the cabbage is soft).
  7. Top with vegan sour cream or have a side of sour cream on toast (optional but good!).


"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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