“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun.”
Almost everyone remembers McDonald’s classic jingle. But burgers have come a long way since the Golden Arches launched this famous slogan. And veggie burgers have come the longest way of all, evolving from frozen, pre-packaged oddities to delicious, proto-artisan delights.
Today’s veggie burgers are made with quinoa, farro, garbanzo beans and more. Instead of clogging the arteries, veggie burgers deliver protein, fiber and amino acids. In other words, goodbye special sauce, hello healthy heart. Fire up the grill…it’s burger season!
The United Nations declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa,” and the South American superfood (pronounced keen-wah) has shown no sign of slowing down, sprouting up on restaurant menus around the world. Quinoa is an ancient, grain-like seed. It contains all nine amino acids and is packed with protein, fiber and iron. Quinoa is versatile and can be used in everything from salads to burgers. With sweet potato as a binder and meaty, Portobello mushroom for depth of flavor, this veggie burger is healthy, hearty and robust.
“It’s soggy.” Ask your vegetarian and vegan friends how their veggie burger is, and that is often the response you get. Veggie burgers are notorious for being soggy and falling apart, as the water in the vegetables makes it difficult for the burger to hold its shape. How do you get around this dilemma? You create a veggie burger using eggplant. Eggplant is soft, yet firm enough to hold its shape and prop up an assortment of tasty toppings. Like the best angus patty, an eggplant burger won’t fall apart after one bite. Your vegetarian and vegan friends will thank you.
When it comes to creating a memorable veggie burger, it’s easy to get stuck in a culinary rut. While beauty is in the mouth of the beholder, there’s more to a veggie burger option than an oversized mushroom, tofu and a couple of slices of Halloumi. Toasted cashews give a veggie burger a rich, “meaty” feel, and when combined with curry and red lentils, you have something far more exotic than the run-of-the-mill veggie burgers found on the frozen food aisle. Top it off with a fun condiment like this cucumber-mint raita, and you’re in for a real treat.
While almost everyone loves a juicy, angus burger, it’s not always the healthiest option on the menu. These three veggie burgers are every bit as mouth-watering as their beef cousins, and a whole lot healthier, too. When it comes to creating unique burger recipes for the season…think outside the grill lines.