Creative meat alternative recipes

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM CDT
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We got creative in the kitchen with nutrition coach and Buff Bites creator, Ashley Sornsin, to show us different ways we can get protein in our diets without any meat needed!

Black Bean Burger Sliders

By Ashley Sornsin


· 1 cup cooked rice

· 3/4 cup walnuts (or other nuts or bread crumbs)

· 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced)

· 1 Tbsp chili powder

· 1 Tbsp cumin powder

· 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

· ¾ tsp sea salt

· ½ tsp black pepper

· 1/2 Tbsp turbinado sugar

· 15 oz canned black beans (rinsed, drained and patted dry)

· 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (or oatmeal or crushed crackers)

· 4-6 Tbsp salsa (or BBQ sauce)


1. Cook Rice.

2. Sauté onions over medium heat for 3 minutes

3. Add walnuts, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and turbinado sugar to blender and blend until well combined. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, add black beans and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans.

5. Next add cooked rice, walnut mixture, sautéed onion, panko bread crumbs, salsa, and mix thoroughly, until a mold-able dough forms. If dry, add extra 1-2 Tbsp salsa. If too wet, add more panko bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

6. Form into 10 smaller burgers (1/4 cup in size), using cookie scoop. Pack in firmly then slightly flatten with hands to form a 3/4-inch thick patty. Set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling.

7. If grilling, heat the grill at this time and brush the grill surface with oil to ease cooking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.

8. Once skillet is hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet (I used a spray), then add your burgers - only as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. Otherwise, add burgers to the grill and close lid.

9. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned on the underside, then flip gently. They aren't as firm as meat burgers, but will hold their shape. Reduce heat if cooking/browning too quickly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.

10. Remove burgers from heat to let cool slightly, and prepare any other toppings (lettuce, tomato and avocado are perfect)!

Lentil Sloppy Joes

By Ashley Sornsin


· 2 ½ cups of cooked lentils (1 cup dry, made with 2 cups water)

· 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced

· 1 Tbsp minced garlic

· 1/2 green bell pepper, diced

· ½ tsp Sea salt

· ½ tsp black pepper

· 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

· 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

· 1 Tbsp braggs aminos (or soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce)

· 1 tsp chili powder

· 1 tsp ground cumin

· ½ tsp smoked or regular paprika


1. Cook lentils.

2. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté 4 min.

3. Next add tomato sauce, sugar, braggs, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir.

4. Add cooked lentils to the skillet and stir to combine.

5. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally - about 10 minutes.

6. Serve on toasted buns. Best when fresh, but leftover sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.