Monday, July 4, 2011

BBQ Seitan Ribz and Mushroom Chicken Burgers

Today, I made two more BBQ items.  I made Susan Voisin's Barbecued Seitan Ribz from her FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog.  I also made another burger from Joni Marie Newman's cookbook, The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet.  Today, I made Mushroom Chicken Burgers on page 96.
The ribz were definitely the easier of the two to make.  Basically, I mixed the ingredients together, kneaded it for a minute and a half to two minutes, and then baked it.  After that, it was smothered in BBQ sauce and put on the grill.  You can see one of the Mushroom Chicken Burgers next to the "ribz" wrapped in foil.
The Mushroom Chicken Burgers were a multi-phase item.  I only had whole flax seeds, so the first order of business was to grind them in my food processor attachment that came with my immersion blender.  I don't know why, but I hate grinding flax seeds.  It's really unreasonable as it's so incredibly easy to grind them.  I ended up grinding all of the rest of the flax seeds I have and put the majority of them into the freezer.

I had to reconstitute the TVP in veggie broth, chop mushrooms (baby bella mushrooms that I got at the Farmer's Marker yesterday) and garlic, and then saute the mixture.  I crumbled the tempeh (which I had to use before next week sometime) and added it to the mushroom mix and sauted it for an additional 5 minutes, then added all of the ingredients together.  I will say, I did NOT like the way these came together.  I will also say that my cooking method is probably to blame in part.

I didn't want to add a bunch of oil to the mushrooms, garlic, and then tempeh when it was added.  I initially started with maybe 1 tablespoon to 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to saute the mushrooms.  But when I added the garlic, I didn't want to use more oil, so I added a splash of veggie broth.  Once I added the tempeh, I added more broth.  I don't think I let it cook long enough to cook off all of the broth.  I should have sauteed it a couple of minutes longer to dry it out.

When adding all of the ingredients together, it wouldn't come together.  The dough was too moist.  I kneaded it for a few minutes (good grief, it was like glue on my fingers), but it still didn't want to come together.  I ended up adding 1/4 cup of wheat gluten.  I tried 1/8 cup first, but that did nothing.  So, I added another 1/8 cup.  It still didn't seem like it did much, but I figured if I added more, it would change the integrity of the burgers.  SO, I used a paper towel to coat my trusty tupperware hamburger press with olive oil, grabbed a spoon, and began making burgers.
Surprisingly, the burgers held together OK (with minimal handling) once I put them in the press and formed the burger.  I wrapped each burger loosely in foil so I could steam them on the Weber grill.  The burgers really didn't stick to the hamburger press, which I thought was a good sign.

The Mushroom Chicken Burgers are a moister burger.  They did well in the foil method on the grill.  These burgers would not hold up being put directly on the grill, in my opinion.  I enjoyed the flavor, which is definitely on the "chicken" side, but not really like chicken.  I had mine with mustard.
Overall, my grilling experiences with vegan burgers and ribz was a good one.  I will make both of the burgers from this weekend again.  I'll definitely make the ribz again.  It was nice to cook my food on the grill along with my sons' food so we could all have BBQ for the holiday weekend.


  1. Reading your latest blog posts has made me realize that I am a sinfully lazy cook in the summer. Your meals all look so ambitious, as well as delicious! Can I hire you to come cater for me till Aug 30? :-) I just feel so uninspired in the kitchen when it's hot and sunny out. But wow, does your food ever look fantastic! Those BBQ ribz especially! And be still my heart, how I do adore mushrooms, so I'm drooling all over your mushroom recipes, and am terribly jealous that you can get mushrooms at your Farmer's Market! I was leafing through The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet cookbook in a B&N while on vacation, and was tempted to get it. Now I'm thinking I should have!

  2. Thank you, Laloofah! I was inspired to make burgers and ribs as I was going to a family BBQ on July 23 and wanted to take some to my brother and his wife. My brother is a newly diagnosed diabetic and needs to have quick foods to keep his blood sugar level. Plus, we would then have something to eat at the BBQ. LOL Both my brother, his wife, and his stepdaughter are vegetarian. I really liked the Mushroom Chicken Burgers and will be making those again soon.