As you may or may not know, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect veggie burger. Perfect, that is, in that it doesn’t use egg to hold it together. Vegan is the goal. There’s just something about adding an egg to this kind of recipe that doesn’t sit well with me. Perhaps it’s just a texture thing, which as I always say – is no small thing.
Take tomatoes. I love… absolutely love them in all forms. Except for juice. Even if you added Polish vodka to that glass of red, I still wouldn’t drink it.
This quest took longer than I thought. Fortunately for me, it’s the kind of homework I can get behind. When I thought I’d hit pay dirt with the black bean version, it was with that attempt that I realized where my mistake lay. It was with…. TEXTURE!!
In order for the burgers to hold together and still have some good texture, they needed some of the beans pureed, some kinda chopped up and some left almost whole. It was the latter where I was making the error… essentially not having enough of the beans pureed, which help act as the emulsifier holding the burgers together. Gotta love these ‘ahhhh’ moments in the kitchen!
If you’re living wheat free and want to eat them as a burger, wrap these in some pretty leaves like Boston lettuce and garnish with veg like cucumber, grated carrot and avocado. Another take would be to eat them knife & fork style, so be creative with what you put on top – you won’t feel like you’re missing out. If you’re into it, melt some of your fave cheese on them. Try some sautéed mushrooms, or onions & peppers. Finish with some lightly dressed arugula, spinach or other dark green for a veritable feast of vegetables, proving that eating your veg doesn’t have to be boring, and indeed, can be downright tasty.
Don’t be shy about adding any of your fave condiments, from a spicy ketchup, to European mustard to a decent mayo. They are burgers, after all!
Mixed Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burger
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (prepared in advance)
1x 19 can mixed beans, or equivalent dried that have been soaked and cooked
2 – 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small carrot grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 TBSP Greek style thick yogurt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
few grindings of fresh ground pepper
Prepare the quinoa in advance – setting it aside to cool.
Drain the drains and puree half in a food processor, until almost smooth – adding the olive oil as needed, to help it come together. Add this to a large mixing bowl.
Add half of the remaining beans to the food processor, and whiz only for a few seconds – you want some texture here. Add to the mixing bowl.
For the remaining portion of beans, give them a rough chop by hand, leaving some fair sized pieces. Variety in texture is very important here. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and place on a plastic wrap lined plate or cutting board. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes; overnight is also good.
Cook in a nonstick skillet over medium heat using the smallest amount of olive oil, until crispy on both sides – approx. 5 minutes per side, depending on the heat level and thickness of your pan.