Why would I go through the whole charade of cooking my own veggie burgers when they are now readily available in the grocery store? Well, I make them from scratch for the same reason that I cook virtually all my own food at home:
- It tastes much better
- It is significantly healthier
- It can be customized to suit my own taste
- It is incomparably more satisfying to cook my own food
- Uhh…it’s FUN.
An interesting thing to keep in mind when grocery shopping, is that you should always stay along the perimeter of the store (yes, elementary geometry has served me well). Think about it, the majority of the less processed, healthier foods are always set up along the store’s outer edge. Starting with the vegetables, fish, cheese, meats, eggs, milk, yogurt,…and looping around to the frozen veggies and fruits. Obviously this is not a hard and fast rule. Horrible frozen pizzas and toaster strudels may exist amongst the frozen peas, but use your judgement – it’s an interesting new way to look at the aisles and aisles of produce. Try not to venture too far into the abyss of chemically-enhanced, shelf-stable only via innumerable preservatives types of ‘food’ products, and you’ll be doing yourself many favours.
Ugh. Seriously, though. It’s like night and day. And that ‘Where’s Waldo’ of the sunflower seed world is even puffing out his chest with overt pride!
Here’s a fabulous recipe for veggie burgers that I find to be absolutely delish. Oh, and when it comes time to cook up these little babies, I strongly recommend the skillet-version. I know, I know, you want to bake them to be as healthy as possible. I thought that too, but then, look at the list of ingredients: they are already packed full of nutrition, so go ahead and splurge on an extra tbsp or two of extra virgin olive oil, and you’ll be the happiest camper on the campground.
Adapted from Oh She Glows
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 (if you aren’t vegan, you can use 2-3 eggs instead)
- 1 cup traditional oats, processed in a blender or food processor into flour
- 1 cups bread crumbs (you can easily make your own by processing stale bread into crumbs OR toasting and then processing fresh bread)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ or bran
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
- 3/4 cup cooked corn kernels
- Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
- 1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Tamari (soy sauce)
- 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
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. By letting the flax and water sit, they become gelatinous. It is this consistency that allows them to be used to replace the eggs. Just like their non-vegan counterparts, flax eggs are used as binders.
2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. 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. This recipe makes approximately 8 medium sized burgers.
4. To cook: You can fry the burgers in a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side (**this is delicious and my recommended method**). OR you can bake them in the oven for about 30 mins (15 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. You can even BBQ them, but in order to do so, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in the oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side.
**To make these burgers gluten-free, use certified GF oats, GF Tamari, and gluten-free breadcrumbs.