All American! Purple Plant Burgers, Crispy No Fries, Chocolate Shakes!

All American! Purple Plant Burgers, Crispy No Fries, Chocolate Shakes!

I had the pleasure of appearing on Chef AJ's LIVE broadcast with my co-author Glen Merzer! I had so fun creating these yummy favorites. 

Here are the video and the recipes from our new book, America Goes Vegan! 




Enjoy these in the knowledge that eating them is so much smarter than turning over the planet to cows, and so much healthier than hamburgers. And they taste better.

Recipe by Glen Merzer, Joanna Samorow-Merzer, and Tracy Childs

(makes about 10-12 burgers)

2 cups cooked short grain brown rice or any cooked whole grain 

2-3 small purple sweet potatoes, scrubbed and kept whole (use the variety that are purple inside and out)??

2 cups eggplant, cubed and unpeeled

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into large 1–2-inch pieces

1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained well

2 teaspoons miso paste (optional)

2 tablespoons Mediterranean Spice Mix - Recipe Below

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

¾ cup quick oats

4 tablespoons flax meal


  1. Boil the rice according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° F. and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking sheet. You can use it twice—once for roasting the veggies and then to cook the burgers.
  3. Place the sweet potatoes, eggplant, and red onion on the prepared sheet and roast until the sweet potatoes are just tender to the touch and the veggies are browned a bit on the edges (25-30 minutes). Remove the sweet potato skins and scoop out the insides. Remove the veggies.
  4. In a bowl, mix the sweet potato, veggies, cooked brown rice, beans, flax meal, spices, and miso paste (if using). Mash with a potato masher inside the bowl; alternatively, use a food processor, and evenly and lightly process the ingredients, leaving some small chunks.
  5. Now work the oats into the mixture, little by little. Form patties, and add additional oats if the patties are too moist to form a good patty.
  6. Form 10-12 burgers and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes until you see even cracking on the top. Carefully flip them over and bake for another 10-15 minutes or so until they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool fully before serving.


The quick oats are your key to success with this recipe. If your mixture is too moist, add as much oats as you need to get the right texture to form patties. You don’t really have to worry much about using exact quantities of the other ingredients—it doesn’t matter if you use more vegetables, say, or less beans—because the final step is to add just enough quick oats to create the perfect patty texture. The quick oats make this a perfectly flexible and foolproof recipe


This is a yummy flavorful, creamy version of an American favorite. It’s a great dip for your Crispy Baked Tofu (recipe in America Goes Vegan) or Crispy No-Fries (recipe below). Thin it a bit with white vinegar or unsweetened plant milk for a salad dressing. 

(makes 1 cup)

½ cup Tofu-Cashew Mayo

1 tablespoon mustard of choice

1 tablespoon maple syrup or date paste 


Stir together the ingredients.


Here’s an easy way to enjoy some french fries with your new American-style plant burger! The whole food fat in the Nut Parmesan makes these oil-free fries crispy! This recipe also works with sweet potatoes, but less parboiling time is required.

(makes 2-3 servings)

6-7 small/medium Yukon Gold or red skinned potatoes

¼ cup Tracy’s REAL Foods Sunny Parm OR Nut Parmesan - Recipe below 

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

salt (optional) and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Fill a pot with water (enough to cover potatoes)
  3. Clean and cut the potatoes into wedges (about 6-8 per potato) and place them in the pot.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, then parboil for 5 more minutes, or until just fork-tender.
  5. Drain the potatoes well and cool to room temperature (about 10-20 minutes), then place them in a large bowl.
  6. Add the Nut Parmesan and other seasonings and coat well.
  7. Spread the potatoes evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until nice and crispy and browned.


You won’t believe how close this guilt-free version comes to those shakes you grew up on. “Indulge” and enjoy with your next homemade plant burger!

(serves 2-3)

1 cup ice cubes

1 cup unsweetened plant milk

2 tablespoon pitted dates

3 cups frozen banana slices (about 3 bananas)

3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder


Blend until smooth in a high-speed blender, adding more plant milk to achieve your desired consistency, but thicker is better because it thins as it comes to room temperature.


This mix is excellent for use in any soups, burgers, rice/bean dishes you want to have a Mediterranean essence.

3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

¼ cup nutritional yeast

black pepper, to taste


Mix the spices together and store in a closed, labelled jar.



This is an excellent replacement for dairy-based parmesan! I always try to keep some on hand in my fridge. I keep it in a well-sealed jar.

(makes 1 cup) 

½ cup sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds or other nut/seed of choice (or a mix)

½ cup nutritional yeast flakes (unfortified)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt


  1. Add all ingredients and blend to grind.
  2. Remove to a container and store in the refrigerator.


  • I use unfortified nutritional yeast because I don’t want to consume folic acid, which all the fortified formulas contain, as well as B-12, which is a recommended supplement for all vegans (it is best to use a sublingual supplement). Research shows that folic acid, which is the man-made form of folate, can be linked to cancer. Since folate is plentiful in fresh vegetables, if you eat plenty of veggies, you do not need to supplement with folic acid.
  • When I’m in a hurry and need some Nut Parmesan for a recipe or topping, I sometimes use almond flour instead of whole nuts or seeds. This avoids using the blender, so it saves time and works well as a quick substitute.

1 comment

  • Beth Shearon

    Thank you Tracy, it was good to see you and Glen on the show today. These look great!

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