Don't get me wrong- I love a good cheeseburger. So much so, in fact, that mention of them even made its way into the "about" section of this blog! But when dinnertime on day 10 of our vegan challenge called for burgers, we turned to the veggie alternative.
I've always liked veggie burgers, but they all tend to taste somewhat the same--and often, have a paste-like texture that can be hard to stomach. Not these veggie burgers. Inspired by one of my new go-to recipe blogs, Oh She Glows, these vegan burgers are almost better than the original. After devouring a batch of them last night, they without a doubt earn the title of "Best Veggie Burgers on Earth."
While their texture is similar to ground beef, these vegan veggie burgers have a savory, nutty taste that is all their own. The recipe makes about 8 medium-sized burger patties, so you'll have enough left over for lunch (or dinner!) the next day.
The Best Veggie Burgers on Earth
Yields 8 burgers
Time: 45 minutes
1/2 a large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Flax egg: 2.5 Tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in a small bowl and allowed to rest at least 10 minutes
3/4 cup oats + 1/4 cup quinoa, processed into flour (see Notes)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I tossed a leftover everything bagel and a piece of wheat bread until fine crumbs; use whatever kind you prefer!)
1 cup grated carrots
1 can cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
1/2 cup (or more, to taste) roughly chopped cilantro or parsley
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp good, whole grain mustard
1 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Aminos
3 Tbsp mild chili powder (I use Santa Cruz Chili Company)
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (see Notes)
3/4 - 1 tsp salt (or to taste) (see Notes)
What to do
Preheat oven to 350F (if baking).
While oven is heating, saute chopped onions and garlic in 1/2 tsp oil over medium high heat for 4-6 minutes, or until the onions are soft and just starting to darken. While the onions and garlic are cooking, prepare the flax egg: mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and let it sit at least 10 minutes.
Next, place all ingredients (except chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and and salt) into a large mixing bowl. (Rachel's note: to make preparation very quick, I basically tossed everything that says "chopped" into a food processor, pulsed it a couple times, and dumped into unto a bowl.) Mix everything very well, then add the remaining seasonings and salt to taste. These burgers call for quite a bit of mild chili powder; if you only have the spicy variety on hand, reduce the amount added to 1 tbsp and add in an extra 1 tbsp smoked or sweet paprika.
Patty-making time! Scoop out a handful of dough, then shape into hamburger-sized patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. You should have enough dough for 8 normal burger-sized patties.
Once your patties are shaped, there are 2 ways to cook them: either by pan frying them in a skillet or baking them in the oven. The original recipe from Oh She Glows recommended frying them, but to cut down on some of the oil, we baked ours and ended up loving the results. Below are instructions for either method.
To fry: Add 1 Tbsp of oil to a medium skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry each burger for about 5 minutes on each side.
To bake: Place the patties on a cookie sheet then bake for 25-30 minutes (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp.We served ours with vegan mayo, mustard, avocado, and lettuce and used rounds cut out of whole wheat sandwich bread for buns. They really were the best veggie burgers we've ever had and were an awesome treat 1/3 of the way into our vegan challenge. Enjoy!
Oat and quinoa flour: I love quinoa, so I replaced a portion of the oat flour from the original recipe with the ground grain. Although I'd make sure you have at least 1/2 cup oat flour in the recipe, you could replace up to the other 1/2 cup with whatever ground grain (besides wheat) you prefer. In this recipe, I just ground up whole oats and quinoa in a food processor until a very fine powder, but you could also use store-bought flour oat flour like Bob's Red Mill.
Chipotle powder and salt: In this recipe, I actually used chipotle-infused and black truffle-infused salts purchased at Sugarpill in my hometown of Seattle, WA. Their truffle salt is VERY heavily flavored. If you pen the tiny little tin and you can smell it feet away- it's the best I've ever found. Their chipotle salt is a beautiful brick color, slightly sweet, very smoky, moderately spicy, and not too salty whatsoever. Although the chipotle salt is more of a novelty item in our kitchen, I use the truffle salt all the time. It adds a depth to dishes that are missing that certain "something" and makes pretty much everything better. And did I mention how good it smells? Whole Foods, Dean and Deluca, Williams Sonoma, and most specialty food stores sell some form of truffle salt; it's an investment I'm glad I made).