Italian Patty Melt with Mozzarella Seed Cheeze recipe
Image: April Ashcroft

A delicious vegan patty topped with vegetables and a non-dairy mozzarella cheeze sauce.

Topping

2 zucchini, ends trimmed and cut in half and sliced lengthwise in 1/4 inch strips or 1 eggplant sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
2 large tomatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch slices and set aside

Place zucchini or eggplant on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside to bake with the Italian Bean Patties.

Seed Cheeze Sauce

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup water
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
6 tablespoons lemon juice
3 or 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Salt to taste. If needed, soak seeds in water to soften for 4 hours before blending. For a spicier cheeze sauce, add 1 or 2 red jalapenos, with or without seeds, in place of the bell peppers.

Italian Bean Patties

2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 cup rolled oats
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
3 oz. tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or 1/2 tablespoons each dried basil and oregano
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mash all ingredients together until sticky. Form into patties and lay on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place patties on middle rack of oven and place zucchini or eggplant on rack below patties. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip patties and bake an additional 10 minutes.

To make Italian Patty Melt, spread each patty with Mozzarella Seed Cheeze. Lay baked zucchini or eggplant over each patty. Top with a slice of fresh tomato, and spread more cheeze over tomato slice. Heat for 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.

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April Ashcroft is a nutrition coach and cooking consultant. She has a passion for teaching others how to gain optimal health through plant based nutrition. She began teaching cooking classes in 2004 through the Dixie State College Community Education program. In 2005 she co-founded the Vegetarian Society of Utah and continues to serve on the board of directors. In 2007 she created Health 4 Life Cooking classes and teaches private classes monthly. She is also available to teach for your church, business, or civic group. In 2010 she earned a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University’s Nutrition Fundamentals on-line certification program. Since 2006 she has been a member of Dr.Furhman.com where she keeps up with the most cutting edge un-bias nutritional research and loves to share it with you! In January 2012 she joined the team of providers at The Bridge Health Recovery Center where she teaches the benefits of high nutrient plant based nutrition to help those suffering from chronic illnesses and seeking health through holistic methods. April has published two cookbooks, Whole Food Goodness and Whole Food American Favorites. Recipes in these two books are 100% vegan and are high in nutrients using only the most wholesome ingredients that you can find at most any grocery store. She lives in beautiful southwest Utah with my husband Brian and cats Benson and Baxter. She has three daughters and seven grand-kids and loves hiking, biking, swimming, water and snow skiing, and anything that involves being in the great outdoors!