Vegan Drive-In Show #606

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Sunny Black Bean Burgers

Make 6 Servings


½ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

½ cup chopped walnut halves

1 cup lightly packed, fresh whole-grain bread crumbs (see note)

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

5 tablespoons marinara sauce, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons minced fresh onion

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend


Line a medium-sized baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the sunflower seeds into a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl. Put the walnuts into a blender and process into coarse crumbs and add them to the ground sunflower seeds. Add the bread crumbs to the sunflower seed/walnut mixture and stir using a large spoon to thoroughly combine. Pour in the olive oil and stir to combine, adding a bit more olive oil (up to 1 more teaspoon), if the mixture seems dry.

Put the black beans, marinara sauce, onion, garlic powder and Italian seasoning into a medium-sized bowl and lightly mash, using a potato masher or large fork.

Stir in the nut/bread crumb mixture and mix together until well combined, adding a bit more of the marinara sauce if the mixture seems dry. The mixture should hold together when gathered in the palm of your hand.

To form a burger, scoop up a scant 1/2 cup of the mixture and drop it onto the lined pan. Gently form it into the shape of a burger. Continue in this manner until you have formed 6 burgers. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours) to allow the burgers to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until slightly golden, flipping the burgers half way through cooking. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool (to firm up) for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. (These burgers will be slightly soft, so handle them carefully!) Serve on whole-grain buns, with lettuce and tomatoes, catsup, and mustard, with Confetti Fries, on the side.


Chef’s Note: Freshly made bread crumbs must be used in this recipe, as dry bread crumbs will not hold the burgers together. To make fresh bread crumbs, tear 2 to 3 slices of fresh, whole-grain bread into chunks. Put the bread chunks in a blender process (on low) into coarse crumbs.


Colorful Coleslaw with a Kick 

Makes 6 servings


4 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced

4 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced

2 large (or 3 medium) carrots, peeled and grated

5 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Put the white cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl.   To make the dressing, put the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Briskly whisk until smooth.


Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture and stir with a large spoon, until well combined. Add sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours, before serving.


Better Than Apple Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings



1 heaping teaspoon vegan margarine, softened, for coating dish

4 medium bosc or d’anjou pears, cored and sliced

3 medium sweet red apples, cored and sliced

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup, firmly packed, dark brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (see note)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon



2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons, firmly packed, dark brown sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup vegan margarine, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat a 9- by 12-inch, or similar sized, casserole dish, with vegan margarine.


To make the filling, put the pears, apples, cranberries, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl and gently toss with a large spoon to combine. Add ½ cup brown sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and stir with a large spoon to coat. Transfer the fruit mixture to the prepared dish.


To make the topping, put the oats, sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, coconut, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir with a large spoon to combine. Add the vegan margarine, and mix it into the oat mixture, until thoroughly combined, using your hands or a dough blender.


Spread the oat mixture in an even layer over the fruit and drizzle 2 tablespoons of maple syrup evenly over the top. Cover, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit begins to soften. Uncover, and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and fruit filling is bubbling hot. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Tightly covered and stored in the refrigerator, the crisp will keep for up to 3 days.


Chef’s Note: For a less sweet dessert omit the 2½ tablespoons maple syrup in the filling. Proceed with recipe, as directed.


Confetti Oven Fries

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed

1/2 to 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the potatoes into matchsticks or shoestrings; the thinner they are, the crispier the fries will be. Put the potatoes, olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle with the sea salt and stir gently to coat. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until soft inside, slightly crisp outside, and browned along the edges. Serve immediately.