One of the main misconceptions about eating vegan is that it’s expensive, which can be true if you don’t know how to shop correctly, use ingredients wisely and stock your vegan pantry like a champ. Like most misconceptions about veganism, the it’s too expensive assumption has very little to do with veganism itself and almost everything to do with a lack of understanding about proper planning.
Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking, by Annie and Dan Shannon, authors of Betty Goes Vegan and the bloggers behind Meet the Shannons, tackles this misperception head on. MTAOVC shows you how to set up a vegan kitchen properly, organize your pantry to maximize your dollar, how to shop wisely and what produce to buy according to seasons—and why that’s important. It then offers more than 200 recipes that incorporate these tips with creativity, ease and approachability.
Making and following recipes always involves leftover ingredients that can either go bad or be forgotten, but MTAOVC cleverly tells you how to use them up by calling out other recipes within the pages of book that use them. For example, I made these Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers from the book (more on that in a minute) and MTAOVC not only tells me how much they cost per serving ($2.68), but also tells me that I can use that bottle of sesame oil that the recipe calls for to make their Sesame and Soy Marinated Mushroom Steaks and Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles (as well as what page they are on). This makes for easy, efficient and cost-effective meal planning to help you plan your grocery list for the week.
And … these burgers! Made with either Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef or Match Meat Ground Beef (both vegan), they’re full of salty, sweet and spicy ingredients, like molasses, ginger, sriracha, kimchi, soy sauce and applesauce. These can easily be made beforehand and brown up nicely in a cast iron pan and taste phenomenal. Kimchi gives it a little crunch and a nice spicy kick, while the BBQ sauce gives it a lovely tomato-kissed flavor that’s rounded out well with a hit of liquid smoke, applesauce and agave nectar.
Want this burger? Make it yourself! The publisher, Grand Central Publishing, has generously allowed me to share the recipe here as well as offer a free gorgeous hardcover copy of Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking to one lucky reader through this post!
To enter, just leave in the comments section below your favorite money-saving, food-related tip. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Friday, June 26. Shipping is limited to US/Canada … good luck!
Congrats to Kathy, winner of this giveaway … thanks to everyone who entered!
Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers
Excerpted from the book MASTERING THE ART OF VEGAN COOKING by Annie and Dan Shannon. © 2015 by Annie and Dan Shannon. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life and Style. All rights reserved.
MAKES 4 BURGERS $2.68 PER SERVING
Years ago, I had a vegan Korean BBQ burrito in Los Angeles. The burrito had jackfruit to replace the steak, and I still think about it when I’m figuring out what to have for lunch. Jackfruit is pretty pricey and hard to come by in Brooklyn, but whenever I get nostalgic for that burrito, I make these spectacular burgers. They combine the signature sweet Korean BBQ sauce with a “beefy” veggie burger and spicy kimchi (a sort of hot Korean sauerkraut usually made with napa cabbage, radishes, and green onions) to create a dinner just as good as those burritos. Plus, you’ll hopefully have some leftover kimchi as a side for lunch the next day.
2 cups Lightlife Gimme Lean Burger or Match Vegan Meats Burger
1 green onion, diced
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
½ teaspoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Dash of vegan liquid smoke
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Dash of vegan liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Sriracha or Thai chili sauce
¼ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon ginger paste
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 cup vegan kimchi (read labels to make sure yours is vegan; some contain fish sauce)
1. Make the burger: In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the vegan beef, green onion, molasses, ginger paste, soy sauce, vegan liquid smoke, onion powder, and garlic until blended. The molasses is really sticky, so this is kind of messy and weird, but it’s totally worth it. Promise. Form the mixture into 4 patties about the size of your hand. Place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all the BBQ sauce ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the burgers until lightly crispy around the edges, then reduce the heat to low and brush the burgers with BBQ sauce. Flip and coat the burgers a few times to get a nice saucy patty, but watch out for the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining burgers, adding the remaining oil after the first batch.
4. Toast the burger buns while the burger patties are cooking.
5. Serve each burger in a toasted bun with lots of kimchi on top.