Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Veggie Burgers

I have been trying to perfect the veggie burger for years.These take a bit of effort but, I really don't like all the artificial ingredients and preservatives that are in most store bought veggie burgers so I always made my own. Just because it's vegetarian doesn't mean they don't have crap in them. Always read the packages and if you can't identify ingredients as food they are probably not good for you!

I have made these with many different ingredients and they always taste good but, I am always trying to get the consistency more like a real burger. I find most recipes make a burger that is too soft and I love this one because it is much better than most. This burger is baked and I think baking it is the secret to a better, more meat like consistency. I am not a vegetarian but, I think these are good enough for meat eaters and non meat eaters. These do have lots of steps and are some work but, they are pretty darn good for a homemade veggie burger and this recipe makes lots so you can freeze some for later.

You will need:

  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  •  1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small pkg mushrooms (approx 3 cups sliced)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 brown rice cooked = approx 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1/2 pkg pressed extra firm tofu
  • small can kidney beans- rinsed
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • *optional 2 eggs 
  • *optional 1 cup ground walnuts
Sweet Potato Fries
  • 1-2 peeled sliced sweet potatoes (they are not yams!)
  • olive for frying
  • salt and pepper

Step 1: Cook onions in saute pan with olive oil, butter and salt. Cook on medium heat to just start to brown onions. Grind to a paste in food processor and set aside.

Step 2: take a half a package of pressed tofu or squeeze the water out of extra firm tofu with paper towels. In a food processor make the tofu into a tiny crumb. Set aside.

Step 3: cook 1/2 cup brown rice in 1 1/2 cups water 30-40 minutes or according to package. Set aside.

Step 4: in a saute pan fry mushrooms and crushed garlic in some olive oil.

Step 4: grind kidney beans in food processor. Add brown rice and pulse for a few seconds. You don't want to completely turn the rice into a paste. You want some consistency. 

Step 5; add the beans and rice to a large bowl. Add onions and mushrooms and mix well. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire, Italian seasoning, chili flakes and 1-2 eggs. (only add 1 egg if mixture is very wet) Add 1 cup of breadcrumbs (more if necessary) You are looking to make a mix that will hold together and have some firmness to it. Add ground walnuts as well if you would like. 

Step 6: leave mix in fridge for at least an hour or overnight to firm up.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F

Step 7: on a plate add 1 cup of breadcrumbs, with some chopped parsley and/or chopped cilantro and up to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Form burger patties and gently press into breadcrumb mix.

Step 8: On a baking sheet grease with a bit of olive oil and place patties down, drizzle more oil on top (you need the oil because there is no fat from meat in these burgers) the fat helps the burgers to brown and cook like a meat burger.

Cook for 50-60 minutes flipping once at 25 minutes.

Step 9: in the last few minutes of baking the burgers you can peel, slice and fry your sweet potato fries. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve with your favourite toppings and enjoy. You can freeze the additional burgers and keep in Ziploc bags separated with wax paper. I freeze in one layer and then I add to the Ziploc bag to avoid sticking together.

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