Vegan “ground beef!” Use it to make burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf, or brown it to use in any recipe that calls for ground beef. It is easy to prepare, high in protein, and free of grains, gluten, soy and nuts. One batch makes about 3 pounds.
- 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz/425 g) whole or sliced beets, drained
- 6 oz (170 g) white mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small (about 5 oz/142 g) or 1/2 of a medium-large onion, trimmed, cut into large chunks
- 1/2 cup (40 g) nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt (more or less to taste)
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper (more or less to taste)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes (the lentils will be slightly undercooked). Drain and rinse under cool water.
- Place lentils in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped with only a few irregular pieces. Scrape the lentils into a large bowl (no need to clean the food processor).
- Place the mushrooms and onions in food processor bowl. Firmly press beets between layers of paper towel to remove excess liquid; add to food processor. Process until very finely chopped, but not a puree. Add to lentils in bowl.
- Add remaining ingredient to bowl. Stir everything together until blended. Taste; adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes. Use immediately or see storage options for future use!
Storage: Divide the vegan beef into smaller portions (e.g., half pound or pound). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days or the freezer for up to 6 months. Once thawed, you may need to add a few more teaspoons of coconut flour.
Lentils: I used common brown lentils, but you can use any variety of lentils in this recipe. If using split lentils (e.g., red), you may only need to reduce the cooking time by 1-2 minutes.
Leaving out the Nutritional Yeast: If you cannot eat yeast, leave It out. Add more coconut flour and/or flaxseed meal (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make up for its absence.
For Browning: Cook 1/2 or 1 pound in a large nonstick skillet (optional: add oil to skillet) over medium/medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes until browned.
For Meatballs: Shape 1 pound of meat into 1-1/4 inch (3 cm) balls (about 20 total). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 375F(190C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes until browned.
For Burgers: If desired, add fat (e.g., oil of choice) to meat (no more than 2 tablespoons max per pound; add a small amount more coconut flour, as needed). Shape 1 pound of meat into 4 patties. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 375F(190C) oven for 18 to 23 minutes until browned. The tops will look plain, but the bottom side will look browned and grilled when flipped!
For Meatloaf: Shape 2 pounds of meat into a loaf. Place in a parchment paper lined 9×5-inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan. Bake in preheated 375F(190C) oven for 50 to 55 minutes until browned (If desired, brush top of loaf with barbecue sauce or ketchup during last 15 minutes of baking.
- Category: Entree
- Serving Size: 1/4 lb (114 g)
- Calories: 180
- Sugar: 3.2 g
- Sodium: 335.1 mg
- Fat: 1.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 28.8 g
- Fiber: 12.7 g
- Protein: 12.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg