Leah’s Kidnapping -or- A Southern Vegan Treat

Dear readers, it is my painful duty to inform you that the recent silence from your beloved Bad Habits is because our dear Leah has been kidnapped. It seems her fears of the Vegan Police weren’t just paranoia or a plea for attention. As I type, she is being forced to eat tempeh bacon while in the company of rescued pigs.

So, in an effort to appease the police and pass on their super powers, here is an easy and delicious southern-inspired vegan meal in two parts!

Red Beans and Rice Burgers
Red beans and rice are good, sure, but it’s a scientific fact that everything is better in burger form.
What you need:

  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I use brown short grain)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp Arrowroot or Corn Starch
  • Earth Balance or oil for frying

What you do:

Sautee veggies in Earth Balance or oil until they start to brown. Add spices, sautee another minute and set aside to cool. Don’t clean the pan!
Mush beans (they don’t need to be smooth) and then stir in all the other ingredients.
Form into patties–I used a 1/3 measuring cup to keep the size uniform and made 7 patties.
Cook the patties in the leftover veggie juice a few minutes until brown.
**Tip: If you soak your rice for at least an hour before cooking (I do overnight) it will cook faster and be more moist. Cook it in fresh water, though. If you’re lazy, as I often am, this can be skipped, obviously.
**A good thing about this particular burger recipe: You can change the beans and spices to make it however else you want it–such as chickpeas and curry with peas and carrots instead of celery and bell pepper.

Betsy’s Deluxe Corn Bread
A while back, my mom let me borrow a cookbook full of our neighbors’ favorite recipes. This is a variation of one, and it’s probably the easiest thing ever. I like it for its simplicity, but feel to add something more exciting to it (my mom always used bell peppers and jalapenos).

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used Tofutti Sour Supreme)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder

What you do:

Mix everything in a bowl until well combined.


Pour into 8″ square baking dish and bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until just browned.

(No, really, it’s just that easy)

Now that you have your burger and cornbread, serve it up with a side of slaw and collards and a big glass of sweet tea!

In case you’re curious, my slaw is a bag of red cabbage, 4 carrots, a dash of ume vinegar, a spoonful of Vegenaise and some pepper. I steam my greens in a little olive oil and add a splash of soy sauce and vinegar when they’re almost done.
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