Fresh,seasonal vegetables -- produced now in fascinating variety -- have made their mark on American cuisine, and it doesn't seem likely we'll ever revert to the meat 'n' potatoes model of yesteryear.

It has reached the point that millions who are not vegetarian eat meatless meals several times a week. The beauty and appeal of fresh vegetables, fruits, breads, cereals and legumes, along with their genuine health benefits and lower cost, are making vegetarian meals more and more acceptable. BILLY BURGERS (Makes 6 to 8 burgers)

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup cooked soybeans, mashed or coarsely chopped

1 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup grated cheese

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon basil

Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Saute' onions and celery in oil and mix with remaining ingredients except sesame seeds. Shape into patties and cook on a griddle or in a skillet. You may also bake patties in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. To keep them from sticking, sprinkle griddle or baking dish generously with sesame seeds.

Serve on whole-wheat buns with tomato slices, sliced red onions, etc.

PUFF BUNS (Makes 6 buns)

You might like to double this recipe and freeze the extra buns.

1 tablespoon yeast

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons honey

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup sprouted, chopped wheat berries and/or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Soften yeast in water and set aside. Heat oil and cottage cheese until warm but not hot. Add honey, egg, salt and yeast mixture. Beat in the flour, making a soft dough. Add wheat berries if desired. Let dough rise until doubled, about an hour and a half.

Shape into six buns, making a small ball, seamed on the bottom, and then flattening it with your hand so that it is about 3 1/2 inches across and thin. If sesame seeds are to be used, roll the ball in them before flattening. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise in a warm, humid place until shaped liked burger buns.

Bake buns at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.