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Veggie Burgers-making the most of your Veggie Choices

Barbecues in summer can be a difficult time for vegetarians. While meat eating guests are filling their plates with gourmet hamburgers, the vegetarian often has to make do with a plate of extra salads.It need not be this way. Making your own vegetarian burgers is a tasty option. In addition, there are a few tips that will elevate that shop bought veggie burger to a gourmet special that even meat eaters will enjoy. The 28th May is International Hamburger Day so if you are a vegetarian stock up so you won’t miss out.

Tips for making Homemade Veggie Burgers

Making Veggie burgers is not as straightforward as making meat patties and tossing them on a barbecue.

However, with a little effort, you can serve up smokey delicious vegetable burgers.

Type of Vegetables

Raw vegetables are great but they normally hold a lot of water. When these are grilled they will release the water leaving you with a mushy mess.

Veggies such as mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini have a high moisture content. It is best to partly cook these before adding to burger mix.

Fry onions for a short time as this will mellow their flavor.

Cook Grains and Rice first

It’s important to cook any grains etc before adding to the hamburger mixture. They will provide texture to your burgers. If not, the burger will be uncomfortably crunchy.

Include a Binder

A good veggie burger needs a binder that will hold all the ingredients together. Use eggs, breadcrumbs, oats or even ground flax mixed with a little water.

Importance of Seasoning

Traditional meat burgers get their flavor from the fat content. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the veggie burger is well seasoned. Season the mixture and again on the outside of the patty just before cooking.

Be careful adding wet seasonings such as Worcester sauce, vinegar or any other liquid. It’s important that the added seasoning doesn’t make for a mushy burger.

Here are three Vegetarian Burgers to Enjoy.

 

Chickpea and Onion Burgers (Delicious and hold their shape well )

1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

½ cup brown onion

1/2 cup Chickpea flour

1 Tablespoon olive oil

½ cup fresh chopped cilantro

2 tsp garam masala spice

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

a pinch of sea salt

2 cloves of garlic, quartered

Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz. They should combine but not pureed.

Form the mixture into four patties. Place in a fridge.

These patties are delicious in a burger topped with a tahini sauce, avocado, and tomato.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Whipped Feta

Yield: Makes 4-6 burgers

Ingredients

For Burgers

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion

3 cloves of minced

1/2 chopped red bell pepper

1 ¾ cup of corn

1 medium carrot chopped

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup fine cornmeal

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Add onion and garlic, sweat for about three to four minutes. Place the pepper, corn, and carrots into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 4 minutes.

Put aside a ½ cup of the black beans. Add the balance of the beans into a mixing bowl and mash. Add the sauteed vegetable, quinoa, cilantro and the balance of the black beans. Mix until  fully combined

Stir in the eggs and cornmeal.

Form the patties. Store in the fridge. Once grilled place on the burger bun. Whip together the cream cheese and feta. Place this on top of the patty.

 

Mushroom Herb Patties

 

4 cups button mushrooms, chopped

5 Tablespoon hemp seeds

3  Tablespoons chopped dill

1 onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons dry thyme

1 Large Egg

4 Tablespoons yeast flakes

3-4 Tablespoon hemp protein powder- This will absorb all excess water. If the patties are too moist, add a little more powder,

4 Tablespoons white wine (optional)

3 Tablespoons oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Mix the ground flax and water in a bowl. Leave it to thicken.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add chopped onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, thyme, wine, seasoning. Saute for 10 minutes and cover with a lid.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add egg and inactive dry yeast flakes and mix.
  6. Add chopped dill, hemp seeds, and hemp protein powder.
  7. Mix to form patties.

 

Tips for cooking Shop bought Veggie Patties

Sometimes it’s just easier to bring your own shop bought veggie burgers to the barbecue. Many hosts who know that their guests may be vegetarian, will have on standby some veggie burgers from the shops.

These are a few tips which can assist with making sure that these quick and easy burgers will taste as good as the meat ones.

BBQ safe frying pan.

It is much easier to cook the veggie patties in a cast-iron skillet or frying pan on the grill. It will allow the juices to remain in your patty but also allow for that smoky barbecue taste.

Frying

Start the burgers on a high heat which will allow the patties to caramelize and seal in the juices. Then move the pan to one side and allow the burger patty to finish cooking slowly.

Extra toppings

These are essential and well worth preparing beforehand. They will give that extra flavor dimension to even the dullest veggie burger.

Slice some beetroot finely and fry in your pan. They will crisp, darken and become bacon like. Another topping that adds flavor and seals in the juices is cheese. Whether you opt for vegan cheese or good old cheddar is up to you.

Onions add further flavor to your burger.

Use garlic powder seasoning when grilling and have a good BBQ sauce on hand.

Take your veggie patty off the barbecue pan and place in the bun, add the toppings and enjoy. Even the most hardened meat eater will love these burgers!

Try out the Veggie Burgers at your next barbecue. They are a delicious alternative to meat,healthy and filling.





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