June 20, 2014

the ultimate veggie burger

If you are vegan or vegetarian, veggie burger is one of the few things that you can eat when dining out. I think it's great that many establishments offer the meat-free option.

I've eaten a lot of veggie burgers in my life but very few were memorable. In fact, more often than not, I have been disappointed with the quality even when my expectations were pretty low. I would often feel heavy, if not sick, from eating something that I thought would satisfy me. Maybe I was better off gnawing on a piece of cardboard?

So, just like I always do when I can't really find what I want, I decided to create my own. Here's my version of the ultimate veggie burger that will hit the spot but won't weigh you down. Brown rice is added for substance and moisture, chopped dried tomatoes for umami (=savory yumminess) and some sunflower seeds for texture. Slurry made with flax seeds is used in place of eggs to hold everything together. The patties are gluten free if you make your own Worcestershire sauce with GF tamari.

The following recipe makes 4 large or 8 small patties. They freeze well so don't worry if you end up with extra!


Black bean patties 
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (1 canned beans = 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (store-bought or homemade (see the bottom of this post for recipe))
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed with a garlic press
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper as needed

1 TBS ground flax seeds, mixed with 3 TBS water

Sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, lettuce, avocado, tomato, vegan cheese, sprouts, etc.

Easy BBQ sauce 
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce


Place cooked black beans and cooked brown rice in a food processor. Process until the mixture becomes coarse. (You can also mash them up with your hands or a potato masher.)

Add minced sun-dried tomatoes, spices, seasonings and flax “egg” and pulse several times so everything becomes well incorporated. Taste (yep, you can taste it 'cause everything is vegan!) and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Wet your hands with water and form the mixture into patties (portion out 1/2 cup for decent-sized patties and 1/4 cup for small ones). Place them on a cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated oven of 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are looking slightly crispy on the top. Flip them half way through. You can also pan-fry these on an oiled skillet.

Assemble the burger with a patty on a bun with all of your favorite fixings.

The patty also tastes great on top of a fresh salad!

 Vegan Worcestershire sauce
  makes about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.