Meatless Monday – Wild Mushroom Nut Burgers with Raw-B-Que Sauce

  Over the past week CNN and other major news outlets have been touting the marvelous benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.  President Bill Clinton turned his health around by following this lifestyle and he has been a great spokesperson on how minimizing your meat intake and eating more fruits and vegetables has an amazing impact on your health and well-being.  See this interview here.

The “Meatless Monday” initiative is not designed to turn every American into a vegetarian or vegan; it is geared toward raising our consciousness on where meat comes from and on the environmental toll and energy consumption that this industry perpetrates.  Did you know that if all Americans simply took one day off a week from animal protein it would have the effect of taking 7 million cars off the road?

This recipe is one of my favorites!  If you have eaten burger substitutes, I guarantee that these are the best you will ever taste!  The broth from the dried mushrooms lends a very meaty taste and the texture is very satisfying.  Dulse flakes are optional – they can be found in the dried sea vegetable or macrobiotic section of your local health food store.  You can even get powdered dulse shakers where the salt and other spices are stored and use that instead of the flakes.  And of course, that ingredient can be eliminated altogether.

Dehydrator is optional

You also don’t need to make these in a dehydrator – they can be lightly grilled in a pan, baked in the oven, or if you want to keep them as raw as possible, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in a very low oven.  They don’t need a lot of cooking.

They can be served as a  fully raw or “living foods” dish on a  lettuce or cabbage leaf wrap or Raw Fusion on a bun or in a sprouted whole grain tortilla.

Wild Mushroom Nut Burgers with Raw-b-Que Sauce

excerpted from Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods – Recipes  copyright 2010

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts

½ red onion chopped

1 cup pecans

Small handful Italian Parsley and/or spinach leaves

2-4 oz dried porcini or shitake mushrooms (or combination of both)

2 TB. Bragg’s liquid aminos

1-2 TB. dulse flakes

1-2tsp.poultry seasoning or fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)

Optional:  a few drops of Liquid Smoke

Prep:

Soak walnuts and pecans for about 12 hours, drain and rinse.

In separate dish soak dried mushrooms with dulse flakes for 2-3 hours.  Retain soaking liquid but keep it on reserve.

*Dulse is a sea vegetable that can be used to replace salt and adds a nice earthy flavor. You will find a package of dulse flakes at most health food stores but you can omit this from the recipe.

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in food processor, adding mushroom/dulse soak water as needed to get everything to stick together nicely. Form into burger patties – you will between 4 and 6 depending on how large you want them.  Dehydrate on 115 degrees on parchment paper or directly on drying screens for 2 hours, then turn over and dehydrate another 1-2 hours.  Extras can be frozen. Serve with BBQ sauce (below) on romaine or cabbage leaves or with whole grain bun or sprouted wrap for raw fusion.

Optional:

You can add a couple of slices of red pepper or shredded carrots to the mixture before dehydrating/cooking  to increase veggie servings or extend the mixture for more burgers.  Add a drop or two of liquid smoke before dehydrating.

RAW-B-QUE SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups sundried tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

½ cup soaking water from sundried tomatoes

½ Vidalia onion

½ cup maple syrup

2-3 tsp. chili powder

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup chipotle chilies (or use 2-3 canned chipotles)

2 TB. nama shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)

¼ cup soaking water from chilies

¼ cup olive or flaxseed oil

Directions:

Soak sundried tomatoes for 2 hours. Blend all ingredients in food processor for several minutes until well mixed.  You can store for one week in fridge.

Optional:

Replace chipotle chilies with fresh jalapeno pepper to make hotter version. You can even use ground chipotle seasoning to make this easier! Put in a drop of liquid smoke to give it a hickory flavor.

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