Vegan Cooking Tips

Leftover “Meat” Creations

by Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD, CCE

Ever wonder how to use half a package of veggie burgers, Tofurky, soy crumbles, or other vegan “meat” products? Make a fast meal with them!

Here’s what you’ll need...

...from the refrigerator: bell peppers, onions, vegan soy cheese.

...from the freezer (or refrigerator): veggie burgers, soy crumbles or soy “ground round,” Tofurky or other vegan “meats” that can be cut into chunks, Soyrizo or vegan sausage, firm tofu, frozen vegan pie shells, frozen corn, frozen mixed vegetables, tortillas.

...from the cupboard: beans, canned mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable oil spray, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, and your other favorite spices.

Before you get wound up, you don’t need all those ingredients! Those are just some of the typical leftover ingredients floating around a vegan kitchen. Pick what you like, or what you have on hand, to create these:

  1. Dinner turnovers (or Anglo Empanadas): Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a skillet with vegetable oil. Cook soy crumbles or soy “ground round” with diced onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Thaw a pie shell (or make your own with flour and oil or melted nonhydrogenated vegan margarine). Cut little dough circles, about 4 inches in diameter. Place a Tablespoon of filling on each circle, fold over, and pinch closed. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. You can allow them to cool and freeze extras. Reheat unthawed, frozen turnovers in the microwave for about 2 minutes on HIGH. You can make this recipe with Soyrizo instead of soy crumbles for a spicier dish.
  2. You know the mixture you just made? Leave it in the skillet, add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, and allow to cook until bubbly. Serve over pasta or baked potatoes. Freeze the leftovers for another day.
  3. You know mixture number 1? Add cooked beans and some corn, heat until bubbly, and wrap into a tortilla. You could also use it to top a pizza crust, or just serve over cornbread or a baked potato.
  4. Heat up a pot of tomato sauce. Crumble in leftover veggie burgers and allow to simmer. Use as a pasta sauce or a pizza topping. Or toss with cooked pasta and bake until bubbly. If you have the time, you can use this combo as one of the layers for lasagna.
  5. Want a big breakfast? Heat up a skillet and spray with vegetable oil. Crumble veggie burgers into the skillet, along with leftover cooked vegetables, cut bite-size. Add in firm tofu and scramble. Serve with hot tortillas or reheated muffins.
  6. If you’ve got chunkable soy “meat,” such as Tofurky, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small casserole dish, combine chunked “meat” and canned mushrooms. Mix in soy sour cream or silken tofu. Add mixed vegetables and combine. Bake until bubbly. Eat by itself or serve with cooked pasta, steamed brown rice, or roasted potatoes.
  7. If you still have leftover “meat,” crumble it into vegetable or bean soups, into burritos or wrap sandwiches with some vegan cheese, or onto pasta salads. Or make a “sloppy joe” with crumbled soy “meat,” prepared barbecue sauce, and some diced onions, then serve over a whole wheat bun, on top of a baked potato, or rolled into a tortilla.