The veggie burger. It has been made fun of, mocked and has been the joke of many menus. A frozen patty of “something,” and if you used just enough mustard or ketchup, maybe it would taste palatable.
But if you’ve been paying attention, veggie burgers are JUST hitting their prime. They’re being taken seriously, and with good reason – they are easy to make, super healthy and absolutely delicious! They are also super flexible, with a myriad of possibilities. Our recipe for plant-strong burgers will give you a blueprint to make MANY different variations. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be eating veggie burgers for lunch and dinner – sometimes even for breakfast, just because you can! You will bring them to the office, pack them in your kids’ lunch boxes and people from all over will want to know what your secret is to looking so healthy. You’ll tell them – it’s the plant-strong burger.
Okay, so maybe there are some SLIGHT exaggerations in there…
But back to the plant-strong burger. Play around with this “formula” and come up with some great combinations. If one doesn’t quite pass muster, use it as a ‘meat’ crumble for a plant-strong burrito or nachos. You just can’t go wrong with this recipe.
You’ll find one variation of this recipe, along with more of your favorite Engine 2 recipes and many more new recipes (for the standard Engine 2 diet as well as the Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet) in the E2 Meal Planner. With access to hundreds of customizable recipes (Cooking for one? Great! Need some leftovers? We’ve got you covered too!), printable grocery list and grocery delivery in select markets, you’ll wonder how you ever planned meals without it – and all for less than $2 a wee
BUILDING YOUR BURGERS
Pick your base (you will need 2 cups COOKED)
- Black beans
- White beans
- Kidney beans
- Lentils (any color)
- Split peas
(Really any kind of bean you find would probably work here – use your imagination!).
Pick your starch (you will need 1 cup)
- Dry whole wheat bread crumbs or whole grain gluten free bread crumbs
- Uncooked rolled or old fashioned oats
- Quinoa, cooked
- Millet, cooked
- Amaranth, cooked
- Buckwheat, cooked
Pick your vegetable (or a few vegetables)
Dice them! If you pick two vegetables, you’ll want to decrease the amount you use by about half. For example, if you use carrots AND celery, use 1 rib of celery and 1 carrot stick. For three vegetables, you’ll want to use about ⅓, etcetera, etcetera.
- Celery, about 2 ribs
- Carrot, about 2 sticks
- Onion, about 1 small onion
- Mushrooms, about 1 cup
- Jalapeño, 1 or 2 fresh depending on how spicy you like your food
Choose your spices
Go to town with spices. Our general rule is to evenly coat whatever we are making with spices or herbs, or if using dried herbs/spices, start with ¼ teaspoon and go from there. Taste as you go to get a combination that works for you. This list is not even close to comprehensive, but remember – get creative! Italian burgers? Mexican burgers? Jamaican-jerk burgers? Whatever you can dream up!
- Nutritional yeast (which will give your burgers are more cheese-like flavor)
- Black pepper
- Curry powder (works well with chickpea burgers)
- Turmeric (a little goes a long way – a few dashes will do, and also works well with chickpea burgers)
Choose your liquid (¼ to ½ cup to start, adding ¼ cup as needed)
- Low sodium vegetable broth
- Liquid from cooked beans
- Unsweetened plant milk
For a different taste, you can try ¼ cup pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potato or butternut squash puree. If you opt to add a puree, you may need less liquid overall.
Prepare ground flaxseed (also known as flax meal)
Combine 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons warm water. Set aside for a few minutes until it gets an egg white-like consistency.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or another nonstick surface. Add cooked beans to a mixing bowl, then use a fork, potato masher or your fingers to mash them well. Add your starch – you’ll want to mix the starch and mashed beans very well. Your hands will probably work best here. Add your vegetables (to really make the flavor pop, sauté them in a skillet for a few minutes first). Mix in spices and liquid, and finally the flax mixture.
Form patties and assemble onto lined cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they look slightly crispy on top. You will likely want to flip them at the halfway point.
Do a happy dance around your house while you are waiting for the plant-strong burgers to cook. This step is absolutely necessary. Take out your finished burgers and bask in your greatness for a moment.
Serve your burgers on a plant-strong (whole grain, oil-free) bun with all of your favorite burger accessories, including but not limited to grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomato, hummus, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce – whatever you’d like! You can also serve your burgers over a bed of leafy greens. Baked sweet potato fries are a great side choice as well.
Freeze any extras for an ultra-quick meal!
Tips: Too crumbly? Add more liquid. Too watery? Add more starch.
Servings: 4 to 5 decent-sized burgers or 8 to 10 smaller burgers.
Already a Meal Planner member? Click here to add this recipe to your menu or favorites!