“Dearest Chef Morgan,” the letter began.
“We can handle this one of two ways: You can surrender the recipe for the Mushroom Nut Burger, or I can circulate a petition asking for same. I imagine it would take me about 10 minutes to get 200 signatures. Let me know if you need more. I suppose there is a third option. I can hazard some guesses, and have a bunch of unhappy experiments in my own kitchen. I could do that, and will, if you are unable or unwilling to meet my request. “
The letter concluded: “Please advise! I will be here until Friday and will ask at every meal if my ship has come in.”
Oh, what dangerous work it can be, being the Executive Chef of Kripalu!
Just a few weeks ago, two of our darling staff divas cornered me with their pleas for vegan cornbread to show up on the menu. When I told them it was, on Sundays (a day neither of them work here), they were so disappointed that you would have thought I just told them that not only was the Santa story just a kids’ tale but that the Easter bunny’s and the tooth fairy’s existences were also in question!
Alas, though let it be known that it is impossible for me to answer all individual recipe requests, the letter in question put such a smile on my face that I have decided to surrender to the writer’s demands.
(By the way, the darling divas have happily found vegan cornbread on their desks Monday morning, so they are being looked out for as well.)
And for those of you who joined us for Thanksgiving this year, the wonderful Thanksgiving vegetarian loaf was actually this recipe, just baked in loaf pans. Enjoy!
Mushroom Nut Burgers
Makes 6–8, depending on how large you like them.
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup diced onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 cups diced button mushroom
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw walnuts
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons tamari
1 ½ teaspoons dried or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss onions, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until everything is tender and starting to brown.
In a food processor, blend the sunflower seeds and nuts until they’re broken up. Do not over mix and allow it to become paste. Add the roasted vegetable mixture and the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
Form mixture into patties. Heat a flat skillet with a little oil and sear both sides of the burger for 1 minute. Place burgers in the oven for 15 minutes to allow them to firm up.
Alternatively, place mixture in an oiled baking pan or loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35–45 minutes until firm.