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The Daily Beet: Tips, Advice and Stories

Simple guide to plant-strong burgers.

We are now in day 3 of our “Great Salad Challenge” on facebook! Over 600 people have joined so far, there are lots of great salad ideas if you are interested, please join in. We think a salad can be a meal all by itself, but if you prefer something to go with your salad, why not try a fabulous plant-strong burger?

The veggie burger. It has been made fun of, mocked and has been the joke of many menu’s. A frozen patty of something that you are unsure of, and if you used just enough mustard and ketchup it might be tasty.

But, if you’ve been paying attention, veggie burgers are making a come back. They are being taken seriously, and for good reason – they are easy to make and really tasty. There are also tons of ways of making them. And we’re going to tell you how to make a lot of different veggie burgers, once you get the hang of it, you will be having veggie burgers every day, for lunch, for dinner, sometimes 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, and you will tell them – it’s the plant-strong burger.

(we might have over-exaggerated)

Back to the plant-strong burger. We’re going to break this down, and hopefully it will make sense. If it comes out a disaster it is not a plant-strong  burger, it is great ‘meat’ crumble for a plant-strong burrito! You just can’t go wrong.

1 Pick your bean/lentil/peas (you will need 2 cups COOKED)

Black Beans

White beans

Kidney beans

Chickpeas

Lentils (any color)

Split Peas

(we’re sure any kind of bean you can dream up would work just fine)

2. Pick your starch (1 cup)

Dry Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs or whole grain gluten free bread crumbs

Uncooked Quick Oatmeal

Cooked Quinoa

Cooked Millet

Cooked Amaranth

Cooked Buckwheat

Cooked brown rice. (you can also use a wild rice if you like)

3. Pick a vegetable (or a few vegetables) : dice them! If you pick more than one vegetable, you will want to decrease the amount you use, probably by at least half. So if you use carrots and celery – use 1 rib of celery and 1 carrot stick.

Celery (about 2 ribs)

Carrot (about 2 sticks)

Onion (about 1 small onion)

Mushrooms (about 1 cup)

Jalapeno (1 or 2 depending on how spicy you like things)

4. SPICE! Go to town with spices. Our general rule is just to evenly coat whatever we are making with the spice, or if using fresh herbs/spices start with 1/4 of a teaspoon and go from there. Because we’re not using any ingredients that can kill you like raw eggs or meat, go ahead and taste as you go!

Garlic

Basil

Oregano

Cayenne

Thyme

Cumin

Rosemary

Nutritional Yeast (which will give it a more cheese like flavor)

Black pepper

Curry powder (works well with chickpea burgers)

Turmeric (use a very small amount – a few dashes will do) works great with chickpea burgers.

We know that we did not list every spice (our apologies to the fans of certain spices left out) but really any spice you like will do just fine – get creative! Italian burgers? Mexican burgers? Jamaican-jerk burgers? Whatever you can dream up!

5. Liquid: 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup start with a 1/4 and add as needed.

Low Sodium Vegetable broth

Liquid from cooked beans.

Non dairy unsweetened milk

For a different taste you can try 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potato or butternut squash puree. If you opt to add a puree you may need to use less liquid overall.

6. Flax

Ground flax seed – combine 2 tbs of ground flax seed with 3tbs of warm water. Set aside and let it gel a little.

Now to make your burgers.

Pre-heat oven to 350

Have a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper ready to go.

1. Put cooked beans in a big mixing bowl. Mash them up – however you get the job done is the right way, personally we just use our hands.

2. Add your starch. You will want to mix the starch and the bean really well – we also use our hands for this.

3. Add your vegetables (you can cook them first if you like, dice them first and then put them in a pan with a little water or low sodium vegetable broth and cook them till the are done, no need to add any oil)

4. Add spices

5. Add liquid

6. Add flax. (be sure to follow instructions).

7. Mix every thing – you can use a spoon, but we just use our hands, because it’s just easier that way.

8. Form patties (see you were going to have to use your hands anyway).

9. Put patties on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

10. Stick in oven for 15-20  minutes or until they are looking slightly crispy on the top. We generally like flipping them half way through.

11. Do a happy dance around your house while you are waiting for plant-strong burgers to cook. This step is absolutely necessary.

12. Take out, bask in your greatness for a minute.

13. Serve on a nice whole grain bun with all of your favorite burger accessories, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomato,hummus, ketchup, mustard, really just go wild. You can also serve it on a nice bed of leafy greens. Also, serve with baked sweet potato fries, it will make for an even happier experience.

This should make 4-5 decent sized burgers or 8-10 smaller burgers. You can freeze them as well.

*Tips: Too crumbly? Add more liquid. Too watery? Add more starch.

Want an exact recipe? Check out our lentil burger recipe.

Eat, enjoy, dream of the next combination you will make!

About the author

Engine 2 Team
The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!
  • http://facebook.com Dawnb

    You all are brilliant! Thanks Rip!

  • http://facebook.com Lisa

    I really like these posts where you can kind of do your own thing, like the sushi one and the simple recipes. It helps because I don’t like following recipe books as much as I just need a general guide. This really helps. Started my E2 28 day challenge yesterday!

  • http://healthygirlskitchen.blogspot.com wendy (healthy girls kitchen)

    this is a genius post N!

  • http://facebook.com Jen

    This is exactly why I love you guys! And so funny! Rip, I’m almost done with my 28 days and my whole family has made the switch! Even my 3 year old refused to eat string cheese at day care! It was easy getting the family on board, my husband was supportive and we just ditched everything bad, and the kids just ate what we had, we were so worried, but guess what? If they are hungry, they eat! We do big bowls for everyone for breakfast! LOVE E2!!

  • Joyce Silverstein

    I love that this is a teaching tool! A couple of weeks ago, I made my own veggie loaf using a similar formula and it turned out great (aside from using maybe too much of one spice my hubby isn’t crazy about)! Thank you for the guideline. Eight months plant strong, woo hoo!

  • Dana

    This is just what I needed today, this gives me meal ideas for a LONG time! My kids have also switched to a 100% plant-strong diet (9&5) and they love burgers, any kind of vegan burger, but this gives me so many more ideas! I like the pumpkin idea. Thanks for being an inspiration E2!

  • Heidi

    Love this thanks! We love patties made with sweet potato and reg potato they are great with a little salsa.

  • http://www.vegheadfamily.com Meridith Larson

    This is great! I have some kidney beans that were going to become sloppy joes….but not now. I have a hard time with my burgers falling apart – I’m betting the flax seed binder is going to solve it. And why don’t I think of making sweet potato fries more often?!? Thanks for the reminder!!!!

  • Meredith

    Rip, this is great! I just started a 28 day challenge and I really love burgers! I am going to try as many as I can think up. I really appreciate all of the support, between this blog and facebook I feel like I can’t fail! Thanks for always answering my questions on facebook I was so nervous to start this! Now I am not!

  • http://www.omnivorerunner.com Rachel

    Thanks for the reminder – so easy and not too much thought needed!

  • Lisa

    I agree, between this blog, fb and twitter you guys are the most hopeful of ALL the plant-based blogs/social media out there. Every time I need something answered you answer! Thank you for this, it makes dinner planning so much easier.

  • http://www.runthirteenpointone.blogspot.com Renae

    This is fantastic! I’m printing it and hanging it on the fridge!

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  • Norma

    I just made these with pinto beans (I cook them in the slow cooker to avoid sodium and BPA in the cans), onion, carrot, minced baby spinach and minced cilantro, garlic powder and cumin and a little salt. I made min burgers and served them on Vermont whole wheat burgers with sliced tomatoes and guacamole. They turned out great!

  • elizabeth

    Can the flax be left out or replaced with chia?

    • http://quedelish.blogspot.com/ Que Delish

      Hi Elizabeth, I used chia in place of flax and it worked out great as binder in my black bean burgers. I use 1 Tbsp ground chia & 3 Tbsp water to simulate 1 egg. In a bowl, place the chia seeds then pour the water over, whisk together, let sit a few minutes for it to gel up and it will be a perfect egg substitute for your veggie burgers.

  • Helen

    I love the guide for the burgers as it allows you to use what you have on hand and get creative. I diced up some curly kale, celery, red onion, grated carrot & added it to a tin of lentils and a tin of 4 bean mix, garlic chill, cumin, left over rice, oats etc and they turned out fantastic, and beat hands down anything i have have bought in the past from a shop. I embraced the Whole plant food diet at the start of this year, I guess it was not to hard for me to make the change as I only needed to delete seafood and some dairy from my diet.

  • About Engine

    The Engine 2 blog will feature tips, plant-strong success stories, how to make plant-strong work, answer your questions and feature special guest experts. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to help you become and stay plant-strong. Please be sure to jump in the conversation by leaving comments on each post!
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