Fireworks, swimming pools, vegan fare, and 95 degree heat—Happy Birthday America! It’s officially time to go meatless with today's recipe. If you’re planning a backyard cookout, think grilled veggie burgers, vegetable kabobs, and coleslaw. Marinades are usually made up of oil, some sort of acid (such as vinegar, wine, or juice from a citrus fruit), and fresh or dried herbs and spices. There is a wide variety of pre-made vegetarian marinades available in stores, but making your own can be fun too. Try adding spicy dried chilies or chipotle peppers for a smoky flavor, or sweeten things up a bit with maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar (available in most health-food stores).
Grilling is one of my favorite cooking methods. In addition to providing the smoky flavor that floats off the coals, grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and makes them taste extra sweet. Just about anything that sprouts from the ground or grows on a tree can be suspended over coals, including corn on the cob, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, pineapples, mangoes, and asparagus. Meat alternatives, such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy chicken, as well as tofu are other yummy grilling options.
I've provided the second perfect burger (the first was the Mushroom-Nut Burger for Your July 4th BBQ) for you to try out this 4th of July: The Big Ben Lentil Burger. Creator Sarah Cramer assures me this will tempt even the heartiest of appetites, "My Mum used to make this recipe. We called them Big Ben’s Burgers because my younger brother Ben was a miniature human garbage disposal with a big appetite. This was his favorite meal as a kid."
I think all of us know a "Big Ben." Just sayin'...
Don't miss the big bonus video where you can watch how to make this burger.
Big Ben Lentil Burgers
3⁄4 cup (95g) wheat germ
2 cups (400g) cooked or canned lentils
1 cup (120g) bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup (40g) onions, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
On a small plate, set aside 2 tbsp of wheat germ for coating.
In a medium bowl mix together the wheat germ, lentils, bread crumbs, onions, oil, salt and pepper and mash together ingredients with a potato masher or your hands.
Divide and shape into 4 patties like you’re making a snowball. Really pack the patties tightly together. Lay down each patty in reserved wheat germ, coating each side.
Cook in a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
Serve an all-vegan patty with special sauce, lettuce, vegan-cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame bun! YUM!
You might also enjoy Mushroom-Nut Burger for Your July 4th BBQ