Monday, January 24, 2011

Meatless Mondays: Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers don't need much of an introduction, but they are in need of some revitalization. They've left their nutritionalist roots for $greener pastures - you can get them at a lot of fast food restaurants and their cowardly commercially available cousins are only a bit less plastic. They have no tofu, no nuts, and no soul.

These, however, are a laundry list of the whole foods you want to crowbar into your diet, and here somehow (cumin and mustard, amen!) they taste fantastic when combined.

Don't skip the nuts. Don't skimp on the seasonings, and they won't taste like cardboard. These are not black bean burgers from Rachel Ray. You can grill them. You can freeze them. You can heat one up for lunch (these freeze beautifully). Do it. Do it!

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, then sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp parsley - fresh or dried
  • 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • dash Worcestershire 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp seasoning mix of choice  (I use Cajun)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (if available - otherwise, equal amount bread crumbs and extra salt and pepper)
  • 1/3 vinegar, preferably balsamic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook oats, lentils and brown (or red) rice together in a large pot in at least four cups of water until all are soft but not mushy; about 45 minutes. Drain all in a colander and press out as much water as you can.  The mixture will still be a bit wet. 
  2. Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees. 
  3. Microwave sliced mushrooms for one to two minutes until much of their water is released. Drain.
  4. Combine this and all the other ingredients, except the eggs, in the food processor 'til the consistency is even. Taste the mixture - it should be yummy. If not, add more pepper, soy sauce, mustard powder, etc.
  5. Once it's palatable, add the eggs and blend. The mixture will be a bit gloppy.
  6. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large baking dish and scoop out about 1-handful-sized (just short of a cup) bits of the mixture onto the baking sheets.
  7. Bake for one hour, flipping at 30 minutes. 
  8. Eat just out of the oven prepared as a burger or re-heated in lieu of meat.
Makes 12-13 patties.

Heavily adapted from the lovely 101 Cookbooks site.


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