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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Intervention, of a Veggie Burger Variety

Dear readers,

I have a confession. My name is Lindsey and I have a veggie burger addiction. I'm here today to face these issues and also pass along my addiction to you so I no longer feel so lonely.

Even before I said goodbye to beef (circa almost ten years ago) and poultry (circa six months ago), I was always drawn to the veggie burger above any other variety. Ever since I had my very first one at Beck's Prime at the tender age of twelve, I've been obsessed. That crispy exterior, creamy but textured middle and the melange of spices? Entirely seductive in my world. 'Where's the beef?', you may wonder. I don't really care.

Who was it who said "never mess around with a good thing" (I'm paraphrasing again)? Well, clearly Beck's Prime did not get the message because they had the gall, ney the sheer audacity, to change their veggie burger recipe. And now, I'm left with a choice between those pasty, astronaut food reminiscent Boca Burgers, or a slight step up in the flavor department for $10.

Veggie Burger loving world, this is not okay and we're not going to stand for it!

And so, due to the stars aligning (or mass intake of coffee and chai tea), I resolved on Monday evening to make my very own Veggie Burger from scratch, and boy howdy was it ever worth it.

As I mentioned before, texture notes were key in my calculating the perfect patty, and I read conservatively 20+ recipes before creating my Frankenstein version. She needed to have a crunchy exterior, a soft interior, loads of texture, and more flavor than Flava Flav (speaking of which, whatever happened to him?). The challenge for me was figuring out how to maintain the above while also ensuring it didn't crumble when you looked at it wrong. That and it had to have a full serving of protein and plenty o' fiber. No big deal, right? [insert sarcasm]

At the risk of claiming to have achieved the impossible, I have to tell you, I did it. What's better than achieving the impossible? Today, I'm sharing my recipe with you. (please send all noteworthy praise to the comments section).

teaser shot alert - this is post adding every condiment known to man and pre other-worldly first bite experience
Now, I must warn you that the ingredient prep does take a solid thirty minutes, but I have two comments regarding that. One, it's still faster than hauling your hiney to your nearest burger joint, ordering, and then getting a sub par substitution. Two, comparing this to those microwave versions that shall remain anonymous is like comparing a hot lava chocolate cake fresh out of the oven to a tootsie roll...just don't even go there.

I lined up all of my ingredients prior to beginning. It makes it easier and less worisome that you may forget someone. Here we have from top left: mashed rinsed and dried black beans, ground oats, broccoli slaw, sauteed onions and garlic, almonds, bread crumbs, spice mix, soy sauce, ground flax soaking in warm water. In the middle: olive oil, fresh oregano, toasted pepitas
Servings: 8 hefty sized veggie burger patties
Time to Oven: 30-45 minutes
Inspiration: Oh She Glows
Ingredients

1/2 cup diced white onion
3 garlic cloves minced
2 1/2 tbsp ground flax soaking in 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water - this is a vegan substitute for eggs and also allows you to taste as you go without fears of salmonella - yipee
1 cup of ground oats (you can grind in a coffee grinder easily)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup broccoli slaw
1 cup black beans (from can is fine) - mash roughly
2 tbsp oregano (any fresh herb will do)
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1/3 cup pepitas
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
10 drops of tabasco
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup water reserve - to add one tbsp at a time if your mix needs more liquid
OPTIONAL: salt and pepper - I didn't find either necessary, but give it a try and see

To Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sautee onion and garlic with spare olive oil

Add all ingredients into bowl and mix well

You'll notice the mixture is slightly dry, so take your 1/2 cup water reserve and add to the mixture one tablespoon at a time until it is easily formed into patties. You do not want it to be mush, but it should no longer be crummy. Depending on the climate, you may add all of the 1/2 cup or less.

Form into 8 round patties and place on a parchment papered baking sheet

Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the patties once in the middle

Serve immediately

Storing Leftovers

Let cool completely

Wrap in celophane or cling wrap individually and place all leftovers in plastic bag and freeze

slice onion horizontally (as seen here) - make two to three slices but do NOT go all the way through the end
slice onion vertically (as seen here) - make 4 to five slices. you may need to hold it together on either side
finally slice through and you will have perfectly diced and even onion slices
sautee diced onions with the 3 minced garlic cloves and olive oil until soft - approximately 3-5 minutes (NOT the 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil)
combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with fork or spoon until thoroughly combined
pretty little patties before they meet their maker
I'm drooling just looking at the completed product. Would you judge me if I went three for three days in a row? Just look at that crunchy exterior, would you?


Serving Options:

prepped spicy pickles, spinach, romaine, and sliced red pepper
My Costa Rican lover (sorry Jon). I add this to everything, everything, I tell you - eggs, salads, sandwiches, excessive veggie burger eating...
Food Porn:

This one has sliced cucumbers, spicy pickles, romaine, spinach, sprouts, Lizano, and a dollop of Greek yogurt stuffed in a whole grain toasted pita...I swear the veggie patty is in there too
Lizano, monstrous veggie patty, red pepper slices, spicy pickles, kale, and romaine stuffed in aforementioned whole grain toasted pita's sister 
approximately 2 minutes later - see how it holds it's shape even while facing the true horror of a hungry lady?
approximately 4 minutes from start...
Nutritional Information:

According to the lovely CalorieCount website, this recipe, if made into 8 servings, provides 2 whole servings of fiber, a full 8 gram serving of protein and 275 calories per massive patty.

Alternative Ingredient Options:

You can easily swap out the black beans for red or white beans.

Feel free to change up any spices for your favorites of equal proportion.

Don't like the idea of flax? I'm sure that replacing it with one egg would work just as well. Be sure not to taste test as you go though.

Don't like broccoli? Grate up some carrots instead.

Not an almond fan? Chop up some walnuts or pecans in their place.

No pepitas? You can leave them out entirely or substitute sunflower seeds. I wonder how pinenuts would do...

Feel free to add a slice of cheese to the top or even grated cheese to the mixture pre-baking.

Alternative Cooking Methods:

While I haven't tried it yet, these are definitely sturdy enough to withstand pan-frying. Just add a bit of olive oil or cooking spray and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side.

You may need to nuke it for 30-45 seconds or so if you're pan-frying leftovers from the freezer.

Alternative Serving Options:

Oh how the ways in which to eat this glorious thang abound.

It would be incredible with any bread form - sandwich, panini (my next go to), wrap

Crumble it up on top of a salad.

Can you think of any other ideas?

Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

xo
L, a veggie burger addict

5 comments:

  1. Those look amazing! Cannot wait to try this weekend.

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  2. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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  3. I used half bred crumbs, half panko for this and they are DELISH. I also added an extra tbsp of water than normal to account for the thickness- but the burgers were SUPER crunchy with the panko :-)

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  4. Nice blog Yum... that burger does look good! I too am a veggie burger fanatic that just recently decided to go veggie and being raised on hamburgers, I naturally decided to try out that veggie burger that I've always seen on the menu. Thinking "hmm.... I wonder what that tastes like." I've tried a few and have been addicted to Five Guys's veggie burgers. I just today decided to try Becks Primes veggie burger and I thought it was good. I also have my own version of the veggie burger called the minestrone soup burger. You can read about it on my veggie blog, if you want. I'll be making some posts of that and other veggie things that I can find. I will even put yours on my blog to share with other veggies! Some come check it out! : )

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    Replies
    1. Here's the address, http://withoutthemeat.blogspot.com/

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