Know what I find totally satisfying, deliciously tasty, and completely delightful?
If I told you it was something healthy, would you believe me? (And that, shockingly, it wasn’t pizza? Or just melted cheese? I know, me neither.)
It’s a veggie burger!
While I love me some ground beef (and while The History Teacher would probably prefer never eating again to going fully meatless), I tend to gauge how good a restaurant is by how good their veggie burger may be. Here’s my theory: If a restaurant cares enough to take something as potentially tasteless and make it delicious, then they have my vote. (Er, my money? Unless Obama and Romney want to start cooking veggie burgers for me. #Bestcampaigntacticever?) In DC, for example, Meridian Pint’s veggie burger with daiya (vegan cheese) is insane. INSANE. Hummana hummana.
I recently experimented — partially inspired by a number of recipes, from Gwyneth Paltrow to the Food Network — with making my own veggie burgers. I had a few different ingredients kicking around my pantry cabinets and fridge, and decided to go all experimental on those goods. The end result is the pile-of-tasty-on-a-bun seen above. Here’s another view:
Check out that texture! Those veggies! (And, yes, even a little bit of gooey, delicioso cheesy goodness. Hey, a girl’s gotta stick to the things that made her who she is: An Italian chica with a taste for melted dairy.
This recipe is simple and simply tasty. It uses ingredients that you likely have already, or that you can easily switch with what you’ve got on hand. Give it a go, and enjoy the veggie-filled goodness. Who knows — you may even eat vegetarian again!
Mexikickin’ Veggie Burgers — makes 5-6 burgers, or 3-4 if you prefer a bigger burger.
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup chick peas, rinsed
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot and/or green pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup precooked rice — brown or white is fine — or uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 2 tbsp salsa
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1-2 tsp lime juice
- 1-2 tsp Chili powder, plus an extra dash for the pan
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-2 tsp oil
- Buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese and any other fixins you like
Here’s what you do:
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine beans and mash roughly with a fork or potato masher. Add shredded veggies, rice, salsa, mayonnaise,lime juice, and spices, stirring to combine. Form into 5-6 patties and place on a plate until ready to grill.
- In a griddle or skillet, heat 1 tsp of oil and a sprinkle of chili powder (heating the spices adds great flavor and aroma) over medium heat. Add the patties (max out at 4 at a time — any more and you’ll cool down the pan too much, reducing how well your burgers can brown) and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until well browned and warmed through.
- If you’re making cheeseburgers, top burgers with slices of Monterey Jack or shredded Nacho blend cheese. Cover with a loose foil tent or pot lid for 1-3 minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted. Add to toasted whole wheat (or white — up to you, kiddies) bun with lettuce, tomato, and any other toppings you like.
I served this with some oven-roasted broccoli, but you might also like these burgers with sweet potato fries. Or, if you’re feeling particularly Mexikickin’, try this amaaaazing-looking elote (or Roasted Mexican Street Food-Style Corn) from TheKitchn. Happy eating!
Do you folks like veggie burgers? Which brands do you usually pick up from the store? Or, do you make your own?