For the past several months, I’ve been on a quest to make a veggie burger that had everything on our wish list. I’ve probably made over 100 veggie burgers and they all came up short, either by just a tiny bit or by a landslide.
I’m always asked what I do with failed recipes and my answer is usually the same- I eat them! An imperfect veggie burger crumbled over a salad is quite tasty. Same goes for a doughy muffin crumbled over a bowl of Vegan Overnight Oats. Unless something I make is really gross, I eat it.
However, I am picky about three things:
1) The recipes that I post on the blog
2) Homemade Veggie burgers
3) Tying my running shoes before a run (I always stop once to re-tie them, lol)
Now you know. :)
Eric and I put together a ‘must-have’ list of requirements during our mission. Veggie burgers are serious business around here and we have quite a checklist. ;)
Our veggie burger must haves:
- Can’t be mushy in the middle (the problem I have the most)
- Crispy outer shell
- Lots of flavour from fresh herbs & spices
- No tofu (not a fan)
- Crunchy, chewy texture is a must
- No cracking or falling apart (another common problem)
- Must cook well 3 ways: frying pan, oven, and BBQ
- Could make a grown man shed a tear of joy (ok, that was my requirement, heh)
If one of those elements is missing, the recipe is as dead to me as the burgers flippin’ on the McDonald’s grill!
After writing about my most recent Lemon Rosemary burger fail (that drove me to make PB Crunch Blizzards), I received an email from a lovely reader named Jenny who must have known that I was one failed veggie burger short of being buckled into a straitjacket.
Jenny writes, “After reading your post today, which has me day-dreaming about cookie dough blizzards by the way, I wanted to share with you the best veggie burger recipe our family has come across (even my meat-lovin’ husband requests them from time to time!). The recipe is from the Whitewater ski area in Nelson, BC and hasn’t failed us yet. It isn’t vegan but I’m sure you can work your magic to make it so.”
Isn’t Jenny great?
After reading Jenny’s email, I flew into the kitchen so fast my processor spun. I figured there was a 0.0002% chance they would work, so I was quite hopeful.
As luck would have it, magic did happen in my kitchen that fateful evening as Eric patiently awaited the outcome, fearing he’d be served yet another bowl of cereal.
He wasn’t. :)
Our Perfect Veggie Burger
Crunchy, chewy, with a crispy outer shell, these delicious veggie burgers have all the right elements we love in a veggie burger. Light on the beans, these burgers aren’t mushy in the middle, but have a nice mixture of breadcrumbs, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, and seasonings to round them out. Best of all, they work great in the oven, frying pan, or even on the BBQ. They can also be made gluten-free by using gluten-free oats, Tamari, and breadcrumbs. Don’t have breadcrumbs? Just process a few slices of bread in the food processor for instant breadcrumbs. I used 3 slices of Ezekiel bread.
Inspired by Whitewater Cooks.
Yield: 8 burgers
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
- 1 cup oats, processed into flour* (other flours might work)
- 1.5 cups bread crumbs (I processed 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread until fine crumb)*
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
- Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped (toasted if preferred)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, (toasted if preferred)
- 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Tamari (soy sauce)
- 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- Fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more)
1. Preheat oven to 350F (if baking). In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.
3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. I made 8 medium patties.
4. Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 25-30 mins (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the BBQ, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side. Our preferred method of cooking was frying in the skillet!!
GF Note: To make these burgers gluten-free, use certified GF oats, GF Tamari, and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
These burgers take a good 30 minutes of prep work, but the extra effort really paid off. You could also double this batch and freeze the leftovers for quick weeknight meals!
This veggie burger ‘dough’ is so good to eat straight from the bowl! Another thing I learned during my mission: if the ‘dough’ doesn’t wow you, the burgers won’t either. Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings to taste.
For my first trial, I didn’t process the oats into a flour and they didn’t hold together very well when frying. For my second trial, I used oat flour instead of whole oats and they held together very well!
Before baking in the oven:
I love my silpat, but you can also use parchment paper.
After baking for 20 mins. on each side…crispy and golden!
Our preferred method of cooking is on the skillet, fried in a bit of oil. The burgers get this crispy shell similar to a hash brown! We already have plans to fry the ‘dough’ in a skillet for breakfast.
We also tried them on the BBQ, which also worked well. Pre-cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes first to firm them up a bit.
Then I raided the garden…
On the side, kale chips and ketchup.
On the burgers, we had homemade BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes. The second night, we had guacamole and pico de gallo on top- incredible!
I hope you love ‘em too!
Don’t forget, this morning is the last chance to enter the Glo bar Giveaway! (Your comments are amazing by the way)