Tuesday, July 16, 2013


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These patties are a variation of an old recipe I hadn't made for a long time-- a vegan "chicken" spinach loaf.  They are unabashedly NOT soy or gluten-free!  But they have a homey feel, good flavor and texture, and they are so simple that the seasoning is open to interpretation.  The loaf was made with the usual "chickeny" herbs-- sage, thyme, rosemary marjoram-- but I used a bit of a Middle Eastern theme with cumin, mint and basil the last time I made them.  They could be made quite spicy, either by adding hot sauce, or using a spicy sauce on top of them.  Or they could be made with Asian flavors-- lemongrass and cilantro, maybe, or 5-spice powder.  

You could also, I think, use other vegetables-- kale, chard, zucchini shreds (make sure  these are well-squeezed), for instance.  you could use green onions instead of white onion.  I think you get the idea-- this recipe is a good one to play around with, so have fun!


10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed well (a tofu press is good for this) 
(OR 1 lb. fresh baby spinach, steamed, chopped and squeezed well)
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 T. “chicken-style” vegetarian broth powder or paste
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 cups plain textured soy protein granules (TVP) OR crumbs from Soy Curls
1 lb. medium-firm tofu, drained
1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (gluten powder)
1 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 T. salt
1 tsp. garlic granules
1/2 tsp. EACH dried sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram
OR use 2 tsp. EACH ground cumin, dried mint and dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 T. soy sauce

Heat the first the oil in a nonstick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet and sauté the onion over medium-high heat until softened. 

Mix the bouillon with the boiling water.  Add to the TVP and let sit 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mash the drained tofu and mix well with the squeezed spinach, cooked onions, soaked TVP and remaining ingredients, except the gluten flour. Mix thoroughly.  Add the gluten and mix well again. 

Scoop up some of the “dough” and roll into a ball, then press down into a patty on a piece of baking parchment.  You can make small patties, thin patties, thick patties— whatever you like.  This recipe makes quite a few, about 18 normal-sized patties, depending on how thick you like them.

Place the patties on parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool thoroughly in the refrigerator, then layer in a rigid storage container with parchment in between the patties and refrigerate, or freeze for future use.

When ready to serve, brown them on both sides at medium heat in a lightly-oiled nonstick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet.  Serve in buns with your favorite condiments, or by themselves with a favorite sauce or gravy.



in2insight said...

It's like you read my mind. :) (Have been craving a good "chik" burger.
Have you attempted cooking these after the initial cooking on a BBQ?
In any case, thank you, these look awesome!

jacqui said...

I may get my omni husband converted with this recipe!

CeCeJay said...

These look so good! I can't eat onion and choose not to eat oil so what would you recommend as a substitution for the onion? Celery?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

CeCeJay, do you know about Asafoetida (or Hing, in Indian)? Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Vandevi-Hing-Asafoetida-100g-3-5oz/dp/B000JMDJ5C
It is used as a garlic and onion substitute in Brahman cooking (they don't use either).

in2insight said...

I took the "Open to experimentation" to heart and here are the results. Fantastic!
Since no organic TVP could be found, used a can of rinsed Great Northern beans(A salute to the great Northern Vegan...)
For spices, used Basil, Garlic, Onion (Since we forgot to buy one.) thyme, sage and a T of zaatar.
Cooked as directed, chilled and tossed on the BBQ after lightly misting with olive oil spray.
These cooked up great, did not stick, and had great flavor and texture.
Another winner!
Thank you for sharing.

Nonna said...

We only cook with kosher ingredients so your chicken flavor suggestions won't work. What we usually do is use Imagine No-Chick broth in the same amount as the water. Will this work or do we need to use less water or add flavorings.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Nonna, just use however much No-Chick you would use to make 6 cups of broth that would be nice for drinking as a clear broth.