Thursday, August 6, 2009

Homemade Veggie Burgers

I often feel exasperated that my vegetarian diet can end up being just as expensive if not more expensive than a carnivore's. Veggie burgers at $5.00 a box? While ground beef is $0.56 a pound? Why?

Well, I've had enough. I recently began making my own veggie burgers, and it turns out the preparation is much easier than I thought it would be.

The following recipe is a variation of a great Black Bean and Lentil Burger dish I made awhile back. This time around I had run out of black beans, but I did have a four-pound bag of yellow split-peas (toor daal) on hand, so I subbed out the black beans and traditional Mexican spices for some daal and Indian spices. It turned out really well.

Here's the recipe:

Indian-Style Yellow Split-Pea (Toor Daal) and Brown Lentil Burgers
makes about 16 burgers

6 oz. yellow split-peas (toor daal)
6 oz. brown lentils
½ small onion
3 garlic cloves
1 T. tandoori powder (I like Sun Brand. If you can't handle spicy, use less than 1 T.)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 beaten eggs
1 cup bread crumbs

1. Prepare beans and lentils.
2. Allow beans and lentils to cool. Mash together.
3. Chop onion, garlic.
4. Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
5. Roll mixture into patties.

Cook on greased skillet 5–8 min at 320 degrees.

Save even more money by buying the split-peas and lentils in bulk. Make a huge batch in a mixing bowl. Press into patties, separate the patties with wax paper, and freeze 'em. Freezing is an especially good idea if you're like us and the nearest retailer of reasonably priced fake meat is in a distant land.

Put 'em on a bun or eat 'em cake-style. I like to add a little mango chutney or yogurt sauce.

Note: When flipping the patties, do so gently--they have a high moisture content and won't hold together as well as most burgers. And if you stack the patties when you freeze them, make sure you double layer the wax paper in between. I made the mistake of stacking them with only one sheet of wax paper between and squishing them a bit to fit in the container. Once they were frozen I ended up having to use a hammer and chisel to pry them apart.

Did you try making this? Will you? Let us know how they turn out. Or if you have an economical veggie burger recipe of your own, share it in a comment below!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet and the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods: Beans and Legumes Recipes at Kitchen Stewardship.

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Sabrina said...

This sounds very tasty. I will be trying it as I'm all for cheap nutritious veggie burgers!

WifeMomChocoholic said...

Sounds delish!

Sarah (Sally) Wheeler said...

I stumbled across your blog through The Nourishing Gourmet and made these this afternoon for lunch- yummy! I used half brown rice and half lentils and blended them in the food processor to make a smooth patty. That probably messed with the texture though because they fell apart a bit in the pan but got RAVE reviews. The amount of spice was perfect for us, I might use a little less salt next time (though they may have needed salt- lentils can be bland) :) but otherwise- delicious!!

Do you eat cheese? if so here's a favorite veggie "Gardenburger" type recipe of ours:

Saute until tender:
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cut thinly sliced green onion
1 cup shredded carrot
in a pan with a little water or broth

remove into a bowl and allow to cool and add:
1 T olive oil
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 egg
1 1/2 T flour
1 cup cheese (I sometimes use an extra egg and some breadcrumbs instead but this makes it more like a real "Gardenburger")
seasoned salt to taste (I use an msg-free homemade copycat recipe for seasoned salt I found online)

Shape and precook in olive oil then freeze for later (with freezer paper between) reheat and enjoy :)

and these may seem weird but are a family favorite if you get your hands on zucchini or any other shredded, moist vegetable that needs to be used up:

Zucchini Patties:
1 lb zucchini, shredded and squeezed out
1 cup carrot, shredded
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
1/2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Sift flour and baking powder. Stir all ingredients together. Cook like pancakes on a grill oiled with olive oil.

Leftovers "batter" can be cooked the next day. We like them with fresh salsa or marinara sauce on top or in a sandwich :)

Okay that's enough from me.

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