The New York Times’ food section last week ran a story on the rising popularity (and quality) of veggie burgers in local restaurants and the half-page picture of a sesame seed bun cradling a patty, tomatoes, and lots of lettuce really got my juices flowing. But the article didn’t offer any recipes, and I really can’t afford to jet to New York to taste one of these magical burgers. So I took the regular person’s way out of a craving: I made my own.
I’ve tried my hand at making vegan burgers before from various recipes and I’ve tried making my own, but I’ve never been completely successful in coming up with one that holds well together AND tastes great. This time I was lucky. I improvised very slightly on a recipe I found here: it sounded terribly healthy with oats and two kinds of beans and carrots, among other goodies, and I had all the ingredients I needed on hand, except the black beans. But I had plenty of other kinds of beans, including red, which I ended up using in combination with the pinto beans.
The burger was absolutely delicious and the best part is that it was really easy to make. It was sturdy enough to go into a bun and hold its own, and it stayed together beautifully on the griddle– the place where many patties usually fall apart. The only thing missing, I thought, was the chewiness that would help satisfy a meat-eater’s texture-cravings, but the next time I might try adding a tiny bit of TVP or even a chewy grain like bulgur to make up for that.
I know my recent posts have been rather short, and that’s because I’ve been juggling too many things. But I like chatting with you more than you perhaps like listening to me, and for my own sake I hope to return to my usual self sometime in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, enjoy this.
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp tamari (can use soy sauce instead, but tamari is usually low sodium)
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups quick-cooking oats (I had regular rolled oats which I ran in the food processor for a minute)
- ½ cup dry pinto beans
- ½ cup dry red or black beans
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- Cooking spray
- Soak for a few hours and then cook the pinto and red beans until tender.
- Heat a skillet and saute the onion and garlic with a tiny bit of salt for a few minutes until translucent but not brown.
- Add the carrot, chili powder, and cumin and cook a couple minutes or until carrot is tender. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Mash the beans in a large bowl. Add the carrot mixture, mustard, ketchup, tamari and oats.
- Mix well and then shape the mixture into eight patties.
- Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet and coat with cooking spray.
- Cook patties over medium heat for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden brown. I like mine a little charred for extra flavor.