Austin knows how much I love veggies. And when I say love, I mean I could probably spend an entire afternoon just looking at all the shapes and colors and different types of vegetables that markets have in their produce section. Honestly I get slightly overwhelmed. That being said, he was brave and suggested we go to Whole Foods so that I could pick out some fresh ingredients that I could use for dinner that same night (and so he could try wayyy to many free samples). Since he is always more than willing to try something new…especially if it involves food, he helped me pick out the perfect veggies to make super yummy veggie burgers for my whole family.
These vegan burgers used a bunch of different vegetables that added an excellent blend of both texture and taste. I will need to get pictures the next time I make them because I was chopping so many different ingredients that I did not have time to work the camera considering we were already running late for starting a cooking project!
For my own burger I settled on creating more of a veggie lettuce wrap since I did not want to purchase a pack of gluten free buns for my sole use, considering I am the only one in my family that has issues with gluten. That being said, I placed my ‘burger’ between romaine lettuce and added some original Sabra hummus to make it the perfect GF bunless veggie burger. I am so happy I went with this idea, and I would totally recommend this to others struggling with gluten allergies or even with those that are watching carbs or wanting to cut breads from their diets.
For the rest of the burgers, I purchased some Pretzilla pretzel buns and warmed them at 325 degrees so that they were slightly toasted, yet still soft enough to enjoy. The pretzel buns added yet another element of texture to the entire meal and seemed to really be a hit amongst the family.
The following ingredients were used:
- Large shiitake mushroom- cut or ripped in pieces
- Organic red bell pepper- chopped
- Red onion- 1 cup chopped
- Organic large raw carrot- sliced
- 1/2-3/4 cup organic baby spinach
- 1 can organic black beans- approx. 15 oz. rinsed
- 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 avocado (half was sliced for burger toppings and half was chopped)
- salt, pepper, and cumin/onion powder- add according to taste
The chopped/sliced veggies were added to the olive oil and heated on the stove. They were cooked until soft and intermixed. Once the carrots, bell pepper, onion, spinach, and mushroom were cooked I added the black beans (which were rinsed), along with the garlic, small bits of avocado, and other seasonings listed. Note, spinach should be appear wilted when cooked, carrots and onions should look more translucent, and the mixture should be begin sticking or becoming thicker other more or less.
I then used a food processor to mix up about 1/3rd of the the contents that were just cooked. This step can vary depending on how you want the texture of the burgers to be. I am more of a fan of visually seeing the different aspects of my food, so I don’t like to blend a bunch of my veggies together to make it “smoother.” Instead, I prefer the presence of additional whole black beans in my burgers, so I didn’t use as much of the cooked mix in the processor before making my patties.
As you can probably guess, the next step was to form the veggie mixture into patties so that they could actually be considered veggie ‘burgers.’ After making 6 patties I then put them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to help everything adhere before grilling them. Once the time was up, I then cooked each side for 4-5 minutes, again just using the stovetop and a pan/skillet, although the grill could also be utilized for this step.
Despite the amount of chopping involved, it was SO worth it. Everyone loved their burgers and each person was able to personalize their veggie burger to how they wanted it. We had fresh slices of organic tomato from the garden that could be added, hummus, ketchup, avocado slices, and lettuce. Overall, the burgers were delicious and packed with protein and plant power. Once all the prep is done the cooking is extremely easy, and pre-made patties can even be frozen and stored for later use! I cannot wait to make more of these yummy vegan veggie burgers in the future-and I know Austin can’t wait either!