Summertime and the plant-based eating is easy…

Summer temps are on the way and it sure is nice to cook and eat outside and not heat up the kitchen (and whole house).  Here is a plant-based dinner that’s fine for a Meatless Monday dinner if you do a little prep beforehand.

These burgers are a recipe from pioneer whole foods plant-based Registered Dietician, Jeff Novick.  We met Jeff and had a chat with him over breakfast a few years ago when we attended a weekend program at Dr. McDougall’s Health & Medical Center in Santa Rosa.   One topic we discussed was the future of the vegan and plant-based lifestyle.  Jeff predicted that “vegan” was going to be the next diet “fad.”  That’s concerning because many highly processed foods such as Oreos, Fritos, etc. might take advantage of the consumer trend and market their foods as vegan, which they are, and people would think vegan equals “healthful”, which they certainly are not.   IMHO using some substitutes can make ramping up to a whole foods plant-based lifestyle much easier…kinda like training wheels.  We loved using the variety of new mayonnaise, meat, and cheese substitutes during our first 2-3 years of plant-based eating.  Over time, though, our taste buds changed and we’ve stopped eating them and don’t miss them at all…but we didn’t make the change overnight.

Jeff Novick’s Bean Burgers

This is a very versatile recipe, you can use any bean you like and add your favorite diced veggies and seasonings to make it your own.

Burger ingredientsINGREDIENTS

1 can (15oz) of Low Sodium Kidney Beans (I used cannellini)

1/2 cup of instant Oats

10 oz of cooked Brown Rice

1/4 Cup of Tomato Sauce (I used catsup)

1/2  Cup of frozen diced carrots, onions and celery (optional)

1/4  Cup of frozen peas (optional)

1/2  tsp Garlic Powder (to taste)

1/2  tsp Onion Powder (to taste)

Whole wheat buns and your favorite condiments


Drain and rinse the beans.  Mash coarsely with a potato masher

Add rice and oats, combine using potato masher

Add tomato sauce (or catsup), combine using masher

Add frozen vegetables and seasons, mash together until just combined.

mashed burger mixture

Form into large balls approximately ¼ lb size patties (my recipe made six of these) and place on parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking sheet.

burger portionsMoisten the base of a drinking glass and use to flatten the balls into patties.

burger shaping

Refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the patties to firm up.  They are even better refrigerated for 2-3 hours.

Cook the patties over medium heat on a grill.  You can also pan cook them if you use a little non-stick spray in the pan.

Flip once and allow second side to cook.

Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns with your favorite condiments.  I love spicy brown mustard and pickle relish with a fat slice of tomato.


Thai-Inspired Slaw

I saw this recipe in our company newsletter last week.  It sounded so yummy, I asked the contributor, Mandi Lorenzi, if it would be okay to publish it here which she generously agreed to.

Thai-Inspired Slaw ingredientsINGREDIENTS

Salad mixture:

5 cups shredded green cabbage (about ½ head)

1-1/2 cups shredded carrots


½ cup chopped lightly salted peanuts

½ bunch Chopped cilantro

1 bunch green onion, sliced


½ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1-2 tablespoons of chili paste


Mix the dressing in a small bowl or jar.  Combine with salad mixture, and then add toppings.  Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Thai-inspired slaw

Here’s the finished meal, we enjoyed the combination of the grilled burgers with the cool tangy slaw.

plated dinner








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