Veggie patties. Ew. Just the phrase sounds wrong. What comes to mind? Lifeless hockey pucks? Enter these burgers: so good, that I actually just finished eating one (cold) as I typed this. And it’s not even Monday.
Let me explain, many months ago I decided to partake in the #meatlessmonday crusade. I believe in a good balance so this seemed to be good way to stay in check. It was a few months later that I fell upon Jessica Murnane’s One Part Podcast. I think she’s one of the first—if not the first—podcasts I’ve ever listened to.
First off, Jessica is awesome and has done a lot of cool shit in her life. I love her podcast and the thought-provoking questions she gets to ask awesome people who are seemingly-normal (i.e down-to-earth/good humans…not like on the front page of US Weekly) doing incredible things with fans of their own.
Anyways, Jessica leads a plant-based vegan lifestyle. At the end of each podcast, she asks her interviewee to share a plant-based recipe regardless of their dietary limits. I first made these gems back in January after listening to this episode. They made around six burgers and I froze a few for other meatless Mondays.
I was in the midst of my meal planning, remembered them, how substantial they were, (okay I can eat two, don’t judge, I don’t eat buns or bread, okay?) and I knew I had to make them again. Well I made them this past week—just in time to try them out on an actual grill instead of frying or baking them. The original recipe says that they are too delicate to grill, but The Stud handled the pressure just fine. ;)
Here is what I did, step by step. And if you read closely, and make these burgers next week, you’ll actually have half of a separate meal already prepared. (P.S. for those who don’t like mushrooms, close your eyes, you don’t even know they’re there)
Recipe Report Card:
Difficulty: A (easy)
Amount of Pantry Staples Used: A (multiple)
Stud approved: D+ (HA! he didn't touch them other than grilling them)
Taste profile: A
Final grade: A
Vegetable Quinoa Burgers
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen who adapted them from the Los Angeles Times from Café Pasqual, NM
¾ cup cooked quinoa (I actually prepared 1 cup of dry quinoa, took out the ¾ cooked portion; now I already have quinoa for the rest of the week!)
2 small zucchinis (I spiralized a whole bunch of them, then chopped the two I needed for this recipe; now I also have zoodles set aside for another meal!)
2 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
½ cup black beans (optional)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne
2 tsp. Bragg’s Aminos or soy sauce (okay, let’s be honest, I didn’t measure the aminos)
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional—had to throw away because I found ants in the package UGH!)
1 cup coarse ground oats or breadcrumbs
3 tbsp. flaxmeal
1 medium mashed cooked sweet potato (made this on Sunday, let cool in fridge overnight) *see note below
Salt and pepper
Optional: avocado, cheese, mustard, greens, buns
If you did not spiralize and chop the zucchini, grate the zucchini. Spread on a kitchen towel and ring out extra moisture.
In a large saute pain, warm a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot or onion and saute until softened. Add mushrooms, beans, zucchini, salt, pepper, and saute another 5 minutes until cooked down and much of the liquid has been cooked out. Stir in oregano, cayenne and amino acids. Turn off heat to cool. ::hardly waited for it to cool, I was starving as I was making these::
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, nutritional yeast (if using), oats or breadcrumbs, and flaxmeal. Once the vegetables are “cool” add them to the bowl as well and stir everything in to mix. Mash in the cooked sweet potato. Salt and pepper as needed. If it looks super dry, add another drizzle of olive oil or more mashed sweet potato. If it is too wet, it won’t stay together. Form patties that are about 1 ½ inches thick.
Make ahead options:
I didn’t notice a huge difference in cooking the burgers and then freezing them versus freezing the burgers as raw. Your choice on what you have time for. If you’re cooking up one for supper anyways, might as well cook the whole batch and freeze the portions you want for later.
1. Heat oil in large skillet/saute pan you already used. Add patties and cook until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes.
2. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes
3. Heat oil in large skillet/saute pan you already used. Fry for a few seconds and then transfer the pan to a 375 oven for a few minutes.
4. Grill…this worked for us but they did not suggest grilling as a primary method.
Important note from Sprouted Kitchen:
* I overdid it on the yam and mine were very soft throughout. I find that when I do this with veggie burgers, baking helps dry them out better so they stay together better between a bun. If you're eating it plain and you want a crispy crust, pan works great, for something in a sandwich, I prefer to bake them for a sturdier result. You're preference on texture.