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VeganMoFo #6: Vegan Dad’s Tempeh Burgers

I read Vegan Dad every day. I love that his recipes usually quick and kid friendly yet still imaginative. I appreciate a good fancy dish with twelve different steps that I have to start the night before, but those recipes don’t help me on a Wednesday night when I got home late from work and just want to eat something tasty as soon as possible before watching Project Runway. That’s one of the reasons I am completely in love with these tempeh burgers—they take fifteen or twenty minutes to make, start to finish. And they freeze well for even faster meals. But the real reason this is going into regular rotation? They’re freaking incredible. I’m so sick of making veggie burgers that fall apart in the skillet or on the plate. These hold together wonderfully, even if you make them really thin. In fact, the thinner you go, the better they get. Nice and crispy, and there’s more room for toppings! I know from experience that it’s a little difficult to cram half an avocado on a typical veggie burger. And what’s a burger without half an avocado and a smear of Veganaise?
I’ve changed up the spices in these based on what I’ve had around (and also because fennel seed is the work of the devil) and they’ve always come out tasty. Vegan Dad has changed the recipe since publishing this version, but as it includes homemade sausages that I’m ulikely to have around, these will remain the winner. Oh, and another plus? With one package of tempeh, a bit of wheat gluten, bread crumbs from the heels of a loaf of bread, and a bunch of spices, I can get six burgers, enough for two family meals. With a cheap meal like that as part of my grocery list, I might not cry the next time I have to pay nine dollars for maple syrup.

Two of My Favorite Quick Meals


Sometimes I get jealous when I hear people say that everything they know about cooking they learned from their mother. I sure didn’t. Everything I know about cooking–and pretty much everything else–I learned from Martha Stewart. It infuriates me to watch her current show, because she just kisses minor celebrity ass while throwing a few things in a pot, and it’s impossible to actually learn anything. But once upon a time Martha took me from Minute Rice to risotto. And half of the recipes I turn to again and again come from Martha, one of my favorites being soy-glazed tofu and carrots. It’s simple, it’s sweet and salty and crunchy and mushy, and it always makes my husband, Dan, happy. Sometimes I add other vegetables (like the asparagus here) or serve it over rice, but most of the time the tofu and carrots are enough to totally satisfy. If only I could keep the broiler from turning the cookie sheets all burnt and nasty.


The open-faced seitan sandwiches from Table for Two by Joanne Stepaniak is another winner. I must make this once a week. It takes maybe twenty minutes and is super comforting, especially when it’s cold outside. And the saltiness goes perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes (which I love so much, I’ve been known to eat nothing but for dinner when I’m home alone).

And because the tofu and carrots pics turned out so well, here are a couple more.


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