Tag Archives: Burgers and Sandwiches

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

by Toni Fiore, the author of the Totally Vegetarian cookbook

Quintessential Tempeh recipes

Serves 4-6   Cooking time 40 minutes

2 to 4 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
2 packages tempeh any style, crumbled
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
1 teaspoon coriander
28 ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of water
Hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the crumbled tempeh and continue to sauté, stirring often until the tempeh is a deep golden brown. Next add the seasonings and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry. Next add the tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and water, stir well, lower the heat, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Taste for seasonings and if desired add hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot on a toasted bun, tucked into lettuce, over tortilla chips, or heaped onto rice.

Tunno Sandwiches

Recipe by Toni Fiore, the author of the Totally Vegetarian cookbook, and host of the Totally Vegetarian TV show,  also on Roku.Tunno Sandwich72
makes 2 cups 4-6 sandwiches
14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and squeezed fairly dry
1 cup cooked chickpeas rinsed and drained
½ small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoons kelp granules
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
4-5 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper to taste
To prepare:
Place drained and squeezed artichoke hearts into the bowl of your food processor and pulse to chop, being careful to retain the flaked tuna-like texture – you don’t want a paste! Remove and set the chopped artichokes into a bowl.
To the processor, add the chickpeas and pulse until they have a “mealy” crumbly texture. Add the chopped chickpeas to your bowl of artichokes, then the remaining ingredients and blend well to combine.
Heap onto whole grain bread cover with a crunchy piece of lettuce, and serve.
Total prep: 30 min
Gluten free option, roll salad in lettuce or collard

Rotisserie Style Tempeh

Rotisserie Style Tempeh cuweb Rotisserie Style Tempeh

by Toni Fiore, from the VegEZ  podcast and soon to be released VegEZ e-cookbook.

serves 2-4
In honor of The Great American Meatout today we’re posting a crowd favorite. Whether you’re new to using tempeh or, like me a tempeh addict, this is a delicious quick, versatile and economical recipe that anyone can make.
1- 8 oz Pkg tempeh any style (gluten free use soy based tempeh)
2-3 T Veg oil (any neutral oil will do)
2 T. Rotisserie seasoning
Preheat your oven to 375. Set the rack in the middle.
Cube the tempeh into 1/2 inch cubes. In a small bowl add the oil and the seasoning. Blend well. Add the tempeh and turn to coat all the pieces. Place the tempeh into a shallow roasting dish, preferably in a single layer and set into your oven. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the tempeh is nicely browned and crispy. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Double the recipe and use on sandwiches, salads or instead of meat crumbles in burritos.

Rotisserie Style Tempeh dish web

Grilled Seitan

Favorite Summer Grilling Recipes.

Summer in Maine is upon us, and we can’t get enough of it.
So cooking outdoors is where it’s at. Here are Toni Fiore’s 5 top favorite July 4th recipes.

Before we start, we wanted you all to know that we’ve cooked up a Vegan Mashup kickstarter campaign to move on to producing Season 2. And we really need you to help us
make it happen.

Happy 4th! We hope you enjoy Toni’s take on outdoor grilling.


1.Grilled Seitan & Tempeh
From Dry Rub to BBQ Sauce, Toni skewers the competition.

2. Vegetable Medley on Grilled Polenta
Nothing’s sweeter than soft Italian veggies heaped over Grilled Polenta

3. Portobello Arugula Salad Burger
Nobody can cook a mushroom like Toni and this Whole Food Burger pops with flavor.

4. NY Spicy Sweet Street Cart Onions
Toni bats it out of the park with her NY street cart onions.
Perfect on your favorite veggie dog with mustard.

5. Peaches On The Grill
Toni’s Sweet Finish to a great BBQ

Can’t Beat Beets

Like Cilantro it seems that people either love beets or hate them! Tonight I made Beet Burgers (recipe courtesy of Didi Emmons and in my book “Totally Vegetarian”) for a couple of friends who swore they would never (ever) develop a liking for this sadly underused root vegetable. Even though I’m seeing beets making more frequent appearances on menus in upscale dining establishments, I find that very simple preparations not only taste better but are more economical for the everyday cook. This particular recipe is really easy to pull together, full of fiber, nutrients and makes enough for a couple of meals worth of burgers. Extra plus is that there is no added fat. I cook my burgers in a cast iron pan with barely a tablespoon of vegetable oil, however in a ceramic non stick pan they can be cooked fat free. Just watch the heat! I served these crisp on the outside warm and crumbly on the inside burgers without a bun, topped with a generous squeeze of Sriracha sauce. I complimented these flavorful and subtly “beety” burgers with a simple side of rosemary roasted potatoes and sweet organic pears. I’m happy to say, much to everyone’s surprise, that the entire dish was a hit! Be sure to buy your beets with nice fresh leafy tops. Tomorrow all of those glorious greens are going to find their way into a hearty minestrone.

Easy Vacation Lunches

Although I forgot to pack my camera, phone charger and God forbid, my hairspray I did manage to remember to pack some of my favorite and most necessary spices. That tells me something about my priorities. In the past few years I’ve really changed my way of thinking about eating while traveling . As I said in my earlier post ( the one I wrote when I  had an internet connection that didn’t require me to run up and down the sidewalk with my laptop hoping to catch three or more bars) I’m away on vacation in Florida and I’m renting a space with a kitchen. This has become imperative since finding suitable food and eating out is such a chore. Without plodding down that path of conversation again I will say that I am thankful that my style of cooking over the past few years, especially since filming the VegEZ Podcast, has become very abbreviated and simple. This makes cooking on the go easy and inexpensive. My staples of a few spices, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, Tamari soy sauce matched with some basic  pantry items like olive oil, onions, carrots, potatoes, pasta, tempeh, canned tomatoes along with a variety of beans give me a number of meal and leftover options. I have to say (and this really is the truth) that I do frequently resort to using the VegEZ app. First of all I’m hardly ever able to connect to the web on my computer and I don’t often remember as many recipes as I’d like to think I do! Today was Tamari Tempeh (with fresh tomato, crispy lettuce, avocado and Veganaise) sandwich day. I love my marinated tempeh recipes, but the Tamari Tempeh is so fast and easy that I can make great bunches of it in about 15 minutes. This truly was stress free lunching at it’s best and all while watching the amazing birds and dolphins here on Sanibel Island.

Didi’s Kasha-Crunch Burger


This burger is a favorite. Your main mission is to pan fry the burgers until a thick crust forms. Any heavy-bottomed seasoned skillet will work but, to create the perfect texture, my pan of choice is cast iron. Be warned: no-stick pans will not do the job properly!

I like this burger served “naked” with a dollop of Thai hot chili sauce. Another excellent way to serve these is to make small “meatballs” and serve them on top of spaghetti with tomato sauce. Or for a satisfying brunch dish, make one rather large and flat panfried burger for each person and nestle a poached egg on top of it.

Serves 8

2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. short or long-grain brown rice
2 t. kosher salt (more or less, to taste)
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped mushrooms (button, crimini, Portobello)
1 c. kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 c. chopped toasted walnuts (cashews, hazelnuts, or other nuts)
3-4 T. chopped fresh tarragon (or parsley)
Flour for dredging the burgers
Vegetable oil for frying

To prepare:
Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a couple of minutes more.

Add the rice, salt, mushrooms, and 5 cups of water to the vegetable mixture and bring water to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Now stir in the kasha and cook until the rice and kasha are tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about another 20 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nuts and herbs. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer the mixture in batches to a food processor and pulse until coarsely or finely chopped. The mixture can also be left “whole,” as another option. Put processed burger mixture in a large bowl and cover it if you aren’t forming the burgers right away. Otherwise, proceed as follows.

Dust your hands with flour and, using your hands, form the mixture firmly into large patties. Lightly coat each pattie with flour to create the crust.

Heat a generous amount of oil (1/8- to 1/4-inch depth) in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pan fry the burgers until the undersides are dark golden brown, about 5 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning. Flip the burgers, and brown the other side in the same manner.

Note: These burgers can be formed into patties, separated by wax or parchment paper and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. For longer storage, up to 2 months, burgers can be frozen. It is best to individually wrap burgers in plastic before freezing. Frozen burgers must be defrosted completely before cooking.

I find that defrosting them in their wrapper in the microwave for two minutes makes the burger easier to handle and able to keep its beautiful rounded shape. The added bonus is that it is already warm inside, therefore it cooks and browns much faster. Microwaving also gives you the flexibility to cook up a burger at a moment’s notice.

Tempeh Club Sandwich

Club Sandwich with Barbecued Tempeh

My daughter was a little skeptical about this sandwich when I first mentioned making it for our sandwich episode. But, after one bite, it quickly became one of her favorites. This sandwhich is so easy, delicious, and healthy and it’s a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with the nutty taste and texture of tempeh.

Tempeh comes in a variety of flavors. If you are using it for the first time, I recommend either the soy or three grain style. Here’s what you’ll need for two to four sandwiches.

Watch this recipe online .

Makes enough filling for 8 sandwiches

2 Pkg. Tempeh, any style
1/2 c. shoyu soy sauce
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. maple sugar (or syrup)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 t. ground cumin

To Prepare:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the tempeh in half then slice each piece in half again. Turn the tempeh pieces on their side and carefully slice them through the middle to make eight thin pieces. Lay the pieces in a single layer in the bottom of a 9″ X 13″ baking dish.

Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour this over the tempeh. Cover with aluminum foil and bake the tempeh for about 30 minutes, then check it. When most of the marinade is absorbed – about 45 minutes into cooking time – take the foil off the pan and continue baking uncovered, until the tempeh has absorbed the marinade but isn’t too dry. Remove the pan from the oven.

This tempeh can be eaten hot as part of a Club Sandwich (see below), or cold, or at room temperature.

To make the sandwich:
1 large ripe, firm tomato, sliced thinly
4-8 green lettuce leaves
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
3 sliced roasted red pepper strips
4 slices Swiss cheese (optional)
4 or 5 T. Russian dressing (or mix vegan mayo with ketchup to make your own vegan version)
4-8 slices of hearty sandwich bread
Vegan margarine or vegetable oil for brushing

Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat. Prepare each slice of bread with lettuce, tomato, red onion, peppers, tempeh, and cheese (if using). Top with dressing, then place your top slice of bread on the sandwich. Brush the bread with margarine or oil and grill. Brush the un-greased top, flip carefully, and grill the other side until nice and toasty. Enjoy!

Tempeh Reuben

Tempeh Reuben

4 slices good quality rye bread
2 slices swiss cheese or vegan Swiss-style cheese
Four slices fried tempeh (see below for method)
1 T. vegetable oil
¾ c. sauerkraut (coleslaw may be substituted)
Vegan Thousand Island dressing
Softened margarine

Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Place swiss cheese on two slices of bread and top each with tempeh laid side to side at an angle. Put two tablespoons of Thousand Island dressing on the tempeh, heap on some sauerkraut, then top with the remaining slice of bread. Coat each side with a light scraping of margarine and grill in pan, until toasty and golden. Remove, cut and serve.

Tamari Tempeh

Take a package of tempeh, any style, and cut into quarters. Take each quarter and slice in half through the center, so you have eight thinner slices.

Heat 3-4 T. of oil in a heavy skillet. Fry tempeh slices until golden brown on one side, then turn to brown the other side. When the tempeh is crispy and golden, remove and place slices onto a paper towel for a minute or so to drain any excess oil, then brush each side with tamari or soy sauce while the tempeh is still hot.

Savory Mushroom and Black-eyed Pea Burger

Savory Mushroom and Black-eyed Pea Burger

Healthy and delicious, this burger is long on flavor and texture and uses the oft-ignored black-eyed pea. I also love any excuse to use shallots and they add such a wonderful depth of flavor to this recipe. Try this pattie on a bun, accompanied by mashed potatoes, or with savory rice, and a light salad.

1 15 oz. can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed
1 medium-sized shallot, finely minced
1 scallion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. parsley, chopped
¼ t. chili sauce
6 oz. cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
2 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ c. flour (for dredging the patties)
Oil for frying

To prepare:
Mash the black-eyed peas in a bowl and add the shallot, scallion, parsley, and chili sauce.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the olive oil. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat through, then add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté just a few minutes until the mushrooms are nicely browned but not cooked down. Add the toasted walnuts and the garlic and sauté for about a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and add the mushroom-walnut mixture to the mashed pea mixture. Blend well with a fork or your hands. The mixture should be fairly dry and easily shaped into patties. Form patties to desired size.

Heat a heavy cast iron skillet with a good coating of vegetable oil. Put the half cup of flour on a plate then dredge each burger in flour. Carefully place the patties in the hot, oiled skillet and cook until you have a nice brown crispy coating. Turn the burger carefully and brown the other side. When both sides are crispy, place the burger on a bun, add your favorite burger toppings, and serve with a salad for a delicious light meal.

This recipe serves two to four and is easily doubled.