I know that I haven’t shared or talked much about this recipe from my book Vegan Pizza, but it is honestly one of the gems of the book. They really are burger-like, and delicious and healthy too. I knew that the recipe was a keeper when my husband started getting really excited about them. He’s usually pretty blasé about stuff most of the time, so when he gets excited, ya’ know it’s good: ) I do include several variations of the crumbles in the pizza book, from sausage to chorizo. They are all equally good, and pretty easy to make!
I am going to share the recipe with you. They are so amazing on the cheeseburger pizza you see above (recipe in Vegan Pizza), but also work for tacos and just about any where you might want some crumbles. One friend even made them into meatballs and another added them to marinara sauce. The possibilities are endless!
There are several “secret” ingredients in the recipe. The first is quinoa. The second “secret” ingredient is one that actually holds the crumbles together, giving them that meaty texture. That ingredient is sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour is made from grinding short-grain glutinous rice, aka “sticky rice.” No need to worry, though. Although it’s called glutinous rice flour, it does not contain gluten. Instead, it’s a much starchier rice than other varieties. My favorite sweet rice flour is from Bob’s Red Mill. I will also add that the sweet rice flour you find in small bags and boxes at your local Asian market is much glue-ier than the sweet rice flour from Bob’s. So, if you substitute Mochiko flour, you may need to reduce the amount of flour you use.
I’d love to hear if you give the crumbles a try. And if you haven’t checked out my Vegan Pizza book yet, give it a look. Summer is the perfect time for making and grilling pizzas in the back yard. It’s also a great way to become super popular with your friends. Who doesn’t love a good pizza party?! Plus, the crust recipes in the book are super killer too!
These burger crumbles are fabulous on the Cheeseburger pizza in Vegan Pizza! Although I very rarely use packaged products, this is one occasion where the onion soup mix gives the crumbles a great savory flavor that you just can’t get without it. If you want to make your own soup mix instead of store-bought, no worries, the recipe is included below. Also, most packaged onion soup mix is not gluten-free, so check the labels or make the homemade version at the bottom of the recipe.
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup dry, organic TVP or TSP* granules (or crushed Soy Curls)
1 package dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
5 tablespoons sweet rice flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use pan spray)
1. In a small to medium bowl, combine the TVP, soup mix, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, and poultry seasoning, mixing well. Add the boiling water, give it a quick stir to mix, and cover with a piece of foil. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Once the TVP is reconstituted, add the tamari, garlic, and quinoa to the TVP mixture, mixing well. Sprinkle the sweet rice flour on top, and using your hands, mix the rice flour into the TVP, using a squeezing motion, until the mixture is thickened and somewhat sticky. You want to keep squeezing the mixture, so that it forms into clusters.
3. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil and skillet are hot, add the crumbles and cook, 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crumbles are nicely browned and crispy in spots. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, or use right away as a pizza topping.
Tip: Always check your labels to make sure that products are vegan and gluten-free (if necessary), especially with products like soup mix. Sometimes companies change their formulas, and you don’t have any idea unless you check the label.
Here’s a quick recipe for homemade onion soup mix: In a bowl, mix together: 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes, 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Use the entire batch for a full recipe of Burger Crumbles.
*Oh, one last thing. If you are concerned about using TVP, use an organic variety like Bob’s Red Mill. It does not contain any hexane.
Recipe adapted from VEGAN PIZZA, by Julie Hasson, 2013, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC