This recipe is labor intensive, but the outstanding results are worth the effort. Try it when you have time to play in the kitchen!
These burgers are healthy, gluten-free, and freeze well. Freya usually makes a double recipe.

Bean BurgersFreya-bean-burgers

Yield: 24 burgers

1 lb pinto beans, dry
6 or 7 cups water (Add more hot water as needed to keep beans covered while cooking.)
2 Tbsp ground-seed mix: caraway, celery, fennel, fenugreek
4 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp mixed dried herbs
4 garlic cloves, optional
1 each carrot, beet, onion—cooked with beans, or baked for richer flavor
Cook beans in a covered pot until very soft (2 to 3 hours). Put beans into a strainer over a pot to drain, reserving cooking liquid to cook grains. Mash well-drained beans.
(Note: Burgers are firmer if beans NOT presoaked.)

1 cup steel-cut oats
2 cups bean liquid/water
Cook slowly in covered pot 30 minutes, until done.

1 cup millet
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups bean liquid/water
Cook slowly in covered pot for about 20 minutes, until done. Add both pots of grains to beans; mix and mash.

3 Tbsp apple sauce
¼ cup shoyu soy sauce (omit for soy-free)
2 Tbsp sesame tahini
½ cup minced fresh sage
2 Tbsp dried tarragon
¼ cup lemon juice
Add to the bean pot and mix well. Leave overnight to cool and set. Measure with half-cup scoop onto oiled baking sheet; press and shape with fork. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes, switching racks at 20 minutes.


Mushroom-Onion Gravy

1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cups sliced onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp starch (arrowroot, corn, potato starch, etc.)

Heat the oil and soy sauce in a pot.* When hot, add onions, then mushrooms. Cover the pot. Cook at medium, then low heat. The onions and mushrooms will release, and cook in, their juices.
When mushrooms and onions are tender, using a fine strainer, sprinkle in starch; stir, and turn off heat. Gravy will thicken more on standing.
*Using an appropriate-sized pot, rather than a frying pan, minimizes the amount of oil needed.

Freya Dinshah wrote the first cookbook in the U.S. with the word vegan in the title, The Vegan Kitchen (1965), a treasure trove of recipes available from AVS. This recipe appeared in American Vegan magazine, winter 2019-2020; subscribe here.