Marlene’s V.I.P. Burger

tofu in a bunPutting the Veg in Vegan:  The word on the street is that the meat-free sector is ahead of total food in growth and smart NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT which  means it is becoming an increasingly mainstream market. How exciting is that?  That is the information I found when I was doing some research on food companies here in the U.K.  Feeling inspired to create something to add to the ‘new product development’ I took myself off to the kitchen and designed my V.I.P. Burger, short for…… yep! you got it…….. (Very Important Protein).   People always ask me, Marlene, as a vegan where do you get your protein? so my latest delicious vegan recipe The V.I.P. Burger was born and according to Mr. Tara, it is totally scrumptious.  I combined seitan and tempeh to make this a truly unique protein experience.  Enjoy the recipe below.

For those of you moving towards eating a wholefoods plant based diet, free of meat, dairy and sugar  please use these healthy replacement foods below.


Instead of:                           

Baked goods; replace with Sugar and dairy-free cookies, muffins,

Black teas;  switch to Bancha twig tea (Kukicha), or green tea

White bread; change to wholegrain or sourdough bread or sprouted bread

Cheese; try Mochi (sweet brown rice), finely grated and roasted tofu products

Meat; delicious alternatives are Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan (wheat meat) Beans & Lentils

Meat stock; Tasty options are Miso, or Bouillon, Dulse or Vegetable Stock

Milk; Rice, oat or almond milk are perfect replacements

Pasta dishes;  Whole wheat, rice or spelt pasta or soba noodles

Iodised Salt; Natural sea salt

White rice; Short grain brown rice or other wholegrain such as quinoa and millet

Sugar; Brown rice syrup or barley malt

Scrambled eggs; Tofu, (scrambles well)

Soy sauce (commercial) Shoyu or Tamari, – Both are naturally fermented soy sauce

There is little in life I adore more than trying and testing new recipes, it’s such a fun and worthwhile pursuit, not only for my work but to create delicious tasting dishes for Bill and I and my family and friends to enjoy.  I do actually have fun in my kitchen and find the self-indulgence and un-plugging from my p.c. or teaching very therapeutic.  I truly believe that this is a time when humans are possibly more busy than in the history of mankind and it is hugely important to me to try and inspire and entice as many folks as I can back into their kitchen.  To reap the huge benefits of making delicious and healthy wholefoods is second to none!

Marlene’s V.I.P. Burger (Very Important Protein) Burger
The Meaty Part

1 jar seitan
1 pack tempeh
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp shoyu or tamari
1 cup water

Mince the seitan chunks by using a small hand grinder and transfer to a bowl.  Crumble the tempeh in your fingers and add to the seitan.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the ground seitan and crumbled tempeh.

Stir well to coat in oil and then add the shoyu and water stir and then cover.   Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.   Return the ingredients to the mixing bowl.
Sauté the vegetables
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 celery stalks finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
10 fresh shitake mushrooms, finely diced
½ tsp herbs de Provence
¼ tsp each, ginger powder, turmeric, paprika
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari
4 tbsp rice flower
4 tbsp strong wheat flour
2 tbsp organic sunflower oil for frying

Warm the wok or pan and add the oil.  Stir in the garlic, celery, carrots, shallots, mushrooms, herbs and seasonings.  Mix to coat all the contents in oil.  Add the mirin and shoyu and pop the lid on the pan and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Place this mixture into the seitan/tempeh bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle the flour on top and using a spatula blend and fold the mixture until you achieve a solid consistency.  I then prefer to chill the mixture for one hour or more in the fridge to allow the mixture to stiffen.

To make the burgers simply take one heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll in your hands, squeezing and then flatten into a burger shape.  Warm the sunflower oil in a deep based pan and add the burgers, fry on each side for 5 minutes until crisp and golden.

Delicious served on toasted sourdough.  Spread vegan mayonnaise on the bread; add a hefty layer of rocket or other salad greens (pre-dressed) in your favourite salad dressing.  Pop on a burger and top with some homemade pickles or relish, sliced tomatoes or whatever your heart desires.
In good health


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