Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homemade veggie burgers

As a vegetarian I am often disappointed when I order a veggie burger in restaurants because they serve frozen, name-brand burgers instead of a homemade burger full of fresh veggies and whole grains. With a recent study finding hexane, an air pollutant and neurotoxin, in many popular veggie burgers, it's even more important to me to know what I'm eating. 

These burgers are incredibly easy to make at home, and they are a satisfying alternative to a meat burger. 

1/4 cup chopped onions (I do not like onions so I cut this down from 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
about 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup cleaned and grated carrots
1 and 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin (we usually use a little more because my mom loves cumin)
3 cups pinto or kidney beans (two 15 ounce cans, drained, or homemade beans)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup or 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I have made it with both and there is little difference in flavor. We usually use whatever we have on hand.)
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (optional)

1. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions have begun to soften and are slightly translucent.

 2. Add the carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.

 3. Mash the beans in a large bowl with a potato masher or the back of a fork. 

 4. Add in the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup or tomato paste, and sauteed vegetables.
5. Mix in oats.

 6. Add in egg. The egg helps bind these burgers together. Without they egg they work just fine, they just tend to crumble apart a bit more. 
7. Form into 6-8 burgers

 8. Cook the burgers on medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes on each side. Add just enough olive oil to prevent the burgers from sticking before placing them on the pan. I used two pans to speed things up by making all of them at once. The recipe also says you can bake them at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes (I have never tried this and the recipe strongly suggests cooking them in a pan on the stove top.)

These flavorful burgers are one of my favorite meals to make at home because of their simplicity and unbeatable taste. Even my meat-eating friends and family enjoy them.

Special thanks to Reed for some of the photos. Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

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