Life Learning Mama's Vegan Burger and More

Guest post from Life Learning Mama!:

I’m so excited to be doing a guest blog post for Gluten Free Edmonton! Let me tell you a bit about myself so you know where I’m coming from. Then, we’ll get to the good stuff – modifying a mix to make some delicious gluten-free, soy-free vegan burgers! I’m trying to contain my watering mouth given I just had leftovers for lunch!

But first, hello! I’m Amanda from Life Learning Mama. I’m a celiac (diagnosed at age 30), but to add to that I’m severely allergic to shellfish (discovered at age 11), am mostly vegetarian (very recent), dairy hates me, and just for fun, so does soy. I’ve got 2 amazing children that are learning about food every day. There’s my 6 year old boy who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in April, and is anaphylactic to peanuts (and wears his epipen proudly whoop whoop!). My 4 year old girl, also Celiac, has been gluten free since she was 2, and can’t eat soy. We limit her dairy too.

We’re a fun house. No really, we are. We eat such good food and my kids love to cook and bake up a storm! This morning we had pumpkin pancakes, which they both inhaled while exclaiming between bites “Oh mom. This is so good. I love pumpkin. PUMMMMPPPPPPPPPKKKKIIIIIIIINNNNNNN!!!!”

Anyway, way back in the day I was a mostly-vegetarian for a couple of years (I ate meat at other people’s houses). I ate tons of tofu: ground round went into chili, tacos, and anything else I could dream up; veggie burgers were consumed regardless of looking at the ingredients; if it said vegetarian, I ate it. Of course, this was back before I knew I couldn’t have gluten, so my feeling crummy all the time was two-fold – soy and gluten.

Because I felt so terrible, I started eating meat again figuring that the vegetarian diet was doing nothing for me. I have to say looking back on it, that I would have failed regardless of the gluten and soy. I wasn’t paying attention to nutrient content, protein balancing or anything. I was a really bad vegetarian.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I want to do this right. I know a lot more about food (more than I ever dreamed I would), I actually enjoy food, and I care a lot about making sure my body is in balance. But this brings me to a fairly common dilemma – soy is in so much! Do you know how hard it is to find gluten free veggie burgers? Do you know how much harder it is to find gluten-free, soy-free, vegan veggie burgers? EEP!

So as I do so often now, I skip the premade food and make my own. Sort of. You see, a year ago I was in some random health food store and stumbled across the Go Go Quinoa brand. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love quinoa. I love the texture, the flavour, and the nutrients! It’s just so GOOD for you! But I digress. I found a package of their Burger Mix and decided to pick it up. Then it sat there for so long I almost forgot about it. Thank goodness I cleaned my pantry and stumbled upon it! I remember when I bought it the lady at the counter told me she often added more moisture to it because it could be quite dry, so I decided to do the same. I also didn’t want only quinoa – I wanted more in my burger!

I added:
1 ½ cups of water (you can also use broth)
½ small can of mashed kidney beans
½ cup of diced mushrooms

Add the water to the mix and stir lightly. Let it sit for 5-6 minutes (this lets the grains absorb the moisture and grow) Add the beans and mushrooms and mix together. Form into patties and fry about 5-6 minutes on each side, until toasty.

I was able to make 9 patties from this and given I only eat one burger at a time, I feel like this was a pretty decent investment!

The bonus? All of Go Go Quinoa’s products are gluten-free and vegan, and they’re made in a facility that doesn’t use soy! (Or peanuts, which we need to pay attention to in our house)

While I wouldn’t say that these burgers would win any sort of award, they were delicious. So good in fact that I just had them for leftovers.

Warm up 2 corn tortillas. Cut the burger into strips and put half on each tortilla. Cut an avocado in half and into strips or cubes – divide between the 2 wraps. Top with salsa and eat. Can you say yum?!

It IS possible to be vegan or vegetarian without needing to resort to soy all the time. There are even some cookbooks out there now that cater to the non-soy vegan. Anything is possible, it just means reading the labels.

Hope you enjoyed these 2 recipes! Come and visit me over at Life Learning Mama! I blog mostly about eating, but also about life in general, yoga, and everything in between.

Amanda (Life Learning Mamma)

(Not to be confused with Amanda of Gluten Free Edmonton.  We guess Amanda is a common name for Celiac's that like to blog)

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta


  1. I thought that was you Amanda and then sure enough I checked the blog and found your picture! Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for the post ... while I am not a vegetarian myself I have a close friend that is and had to eat soy free as well :) now though she is a gluten eater ha ha (I don't hold this against her) it is also an awesome recipe for myself to try and have on hand when I have her family over for a BBQ ... Thanks :)


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