Veggin’ Out

The spring smell is in the air and that means people will soon be emerging from hibernation, and want to do some grilling and picnicking.

Most people throw on some hamburgers, hot dogs or steak – whats a vegan or vegetarian to do? Well, you could grab a box of veggie burgers or dogs and join in! There are many different brands and styles of veggie burgers, dogs and sausages at the grocery store. There also are some chickenless patties too, which also could work well on the grill.

Vegans, be sure to check the ingredients on the packaging because not all veggie products are vegan. Many use eggs as binders or even milk products.

If you would rather make your own burger, there are so many veggie burger recipes you can find online. Here is one that I found at I adapted it to my taste, but you can do the same.

Veggie burger

1 pound can of beans, drained and rinsed or 1.5 cups cooked beans (use your favorite bean, I like black or pinto)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups diced veggies (use your favorites, I like mushrooms, corn, zucchini)

2 teaspoons oil for frying

3 tablespoons liquid flavor (I like mustard and ketchup, buffalo sauce or balsamic vinegar – you also could use soy sauce, teriyaki, salsa, pasta sauce)

4 teaspoons spice (I like cayenne pepper, oregano, chili powder. You can use whatever spices you like)

1/2 teaspoon salt (omit or reduce if your liquid or spices contain salt)

1 cup dray base ingredient (I use homemade bread crumbs, Italian breadcrumbs or oatmeal.)

1/2 cup texture ingredient (I like avocado, black olives, rice.)

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium heat. Fry the onion, veggies and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor and pulse with beans, liquid, spice and salt until combined but still chunky. Pulse in dry base and texture ingredient.

Form into golf ball size balls and flatten into patties. (Use as much of the mixture as you would like, depending on how large you would like your patties to be)

Place on the grill and heat through.

You also could heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the patties over medium-high heat, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Veggies themselves also are so delicious on the grill. Grab your favorite veggies, slice them up and put them on the grill too. They will make a nice side dish for veg-heads and carnivores alike. Choose your favorite vegetables, I will share the veggies I like to use.

Grilled veggies

3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved

3 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise to desired thickness

3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise to desired thickness

3 eggplant, sliced lengthwise to desired thickness

3 onions, sliced lengthwise to desired thickness

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Brush the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Different veggies need different grilling times, so keep an eye on them as you grill. Peppers will be about 8 to 10 minutes, squash, zucchini and eggplant will be about 7 minutes and asparagus and onions about 4 minutes. Grill until vegetables are tender and lightly charred.

Serve plain or mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon parsley and 1 teaspoon basil and drizzle over vegetables.