Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek says he grew up as a “meat-and-potatoes kid who didn’t like to run much.” As an adult, he has won seven Western States Endurance Runs and two Badwater Ultramarathons, and he set a new American record for the most miles run in 24 hours (165.7). And he’s done it all on a vegan diet. “Most people assume I grew up in a hippie household,” he says. “It wasn’t like that. I just found that I needed to watch what was going into my body as I became more serious about running.” During college he began experimenting with plant-based foods and developed his own recipes. In his new book Eat and Run (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26), on shelves in June, Jurek credits his diet with helping speed his recovery times, boosting his energy, and improving his race performance. He also shares his favorite vegan recipes, like this lentil-mushroom burger. “It has a ton of protein,” says the 38-year-old Jurek. “But more important, it tastes great. Even people who love hamburgers will feel satisfied.”
1. In a medium-size pot, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 cup dried green lentils, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 c up chopped onions. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Combine 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate pan greased with olive oil, sauté 1 cup chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms, and 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale or other winter greens for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Remove lentils from heat, add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and mash ingredients together.
5. In a large bowl, combine lentils, sautéed vegetables, and bread-crumb mixture. Cool in a refrigerator.
6. Using your hands, form patties and fry or grill until lightly browned and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Serve on a toasted bun or on their own.
Makes 12 four-inch burgers.