VegMichigan Summer Festival Celebrates Eats Without the Meat

Metro Detroit residents will be enjoying grilled burgers, frosty ice cream, shakes another tasty treats free of animal products at the VegMichigan Summer Festival today in Livonia.

Debra Levantrosser, owner of Shimmy Shack, visited the Fox2 Studios parking lot to share some of her favorite vegetarian dishes, including the classic lentil burger.

Classic Burger


  • 1 c. dried lentils (or use canned)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/8 cup GROUND flax seed soaked in 1/4 cups cool water
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP Bragg’s
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 TSP dill
  • 1 TSP cup oregano
  • 1 TSP garlic powder




  • Place dried lentils in a strainer and rinse, pick through for stones and rocks.
  • Place lentils in a large stock pot. Add 2x as much water as lentils and a few pinches of salt.
  • Bring the water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubbles and some slight movement in the lentils.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered. Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy.
  • Do not overcook or they will be mushy. (NOTE: Canned lentils can be used instead).
  • Grind the flax seed in a food processor. Measure 1/8 cup ground flax and soak it in 1/4 c. water. 
  • Combine cooked lentils, rice and soaked flax in food processor. Process until the mixture is thick and wet – kind of like hummus. It’s OK if some of the lentils are still whole.  Place in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the olive oil and spices. If it seems too thick, add a little water. If it seems too watery,      let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Serve a grilled patty with melted vegan cheese, lettuce, pickle, mustard, ketchup and tomato on a grilled bun.
  • Add breadcrumbs and/or onions for a twist.

Click here for more information about the food truck.