• You have to admit – IT LOOKS LIKE A BEEF BURGER, RIGHT? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss eating beef burgers at all. But it’s kind of hard. I mean, I do fondly remember eating them. But it’s not the meat that I miss, no, not at all. It’s all the memories around eating the burgers. Summer bbq’s, family gatherings, stories, etc. All that stuff. So, I guess it’s with those memories in mind that I’ve been trying to create a burger that will replicate those times.

    I love reading cookbooks – one of my favorite pastimes. Over the years, as I browse through my own library of cookbooks (still and always growing), I’ve looked for a recipe for a vegetarian burger that would replicate the burgers of yesteryear. I’ve experimented, I’ve tried different recipes, but haven’t ever found one I’ve loved. Tonight, I decided to venture into unknown territory. I combined two recipes from two of my favorite cookbooks (the Bold Vegetarian Chef by Ken Charney and The Real Food Daily cookbook by Ann Gentry) and also added my own signature ingredients. I think I finally have a winner. This is the result. And it was good. And it did the trick. Only thing missing was the marshmallows!

    Tempeh Buckwheat Burgers
    Adapted by Ellen Allard

    8 dried shitake (or porcini) mushrooms
    2 cups hot water
    ¼ cup toasted buckwheat
    1 tbsp wheat-free tamari
    2/3 cup water (plus extra as needed)
    ½ medium onion, minced
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium portobello mushroom, cubed
    ½ cup grated beet
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
    4 oz. tempeh, grated
    ½ tsp sea salt
    ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    3 tbsp sunflower seeds
    ¼ cup shredded soy cheese
    1 tsp liquid smoke, optional
    1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
    Coarsely ground cornmeal or dried GF bread crumbs, for coating.

    Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from water and squeeze excess liquid back into the bowl. If using shitakes, remove and toss the stems. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Strain and reserve the soaking water.

    Meanwhile, cook the buckwheat in 2/3 cup water and tamari for about 10 minutes, until just tender. It cooks very quickly, so watch it carefully. Add more water if necessary. When cooked, place the buckwheat in a large bowl and set aside.

    In a large skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the portobello mushroom, shitake or porcini mushrooms, beet, garlic, and crushed hot pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the portobello is soft. Add the tempeh and season with the salt and pepper.

    As soon as the ingredients in the pan begin to stick slightly, stir in the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the reserved mushroom soaking water. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

    Remove from the heat and add to the buckwheat. Add the sunflower seeds, soy cheese, liquid smoke, and dill. Mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Let cool, then form into 6 patties, about 3 inches in diameter. If time allows, chill in the refrigerater before forming into patties.

    Spread out the cornmeal or breadcrumbs on a plate. Dredge the burgers until coated on both sides.

    Works great on an outdoor bbq, though I’m sure you can grill them indoors as well.

    Now, let’s go into the woods and find sticks so that next time we’ll have the proper cooking utensils for roasting marshmallows.

    Do you have a favorite recipe for a vegetarian or vegan burger?
    • Emily

      Hi Ellen, This sounds like a great recipe! We’re having a “Build the Best Burger” recipe contest and I’d love to have you enter this! The prize is a $100 gift certificate to MarxFoods.com (or 10lbs. of burgers, but I think you would be more interested in the gift certificate!). Thanks for sharing your recipe. ~ Emily

    • Ellen

      Hi Emily,

      Sounds like fun – I will give it a try! Thanks for letting me know.


    • Jon

      Just looking at those ingredients makes my mouth water. Portabellos AND shitakes..and tempeh.. gosh that’s 3 primary vegan burger ingredients all in one burger! Seriously packed burger :)

      It’s been awhile since I have visited, but I am glad to see you’re still having fun blogging. Good recipes, good reads. I came over from our Visit a Random Gluten Free Blogger Widget, which you’re free to use here if you’d like.

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