Not your standard Vegan Burger… Vegan Better Burger!
Forget about those store-bought, lab-created Vegan Burgers made with tons of weird ingredients whose names you can’t even pronounce. Quickly and easily make your very own scrumptious Vegan Better Burger at home for a fraction of the price, no dictionary required!
I don’t know about where you live, but in my part of the world, Beyond Meat’s plant-based burger appears to be on everybody’s lips! Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, people are talking about it. Or maybe that’s just because I happen to be following a lot of vegan stuff…
But still… I must admit that I was curious and ran to the grocery store as soon as it came out so I could finally give it a try. Whoa! Impressive, I must say! But unfortunately, as tasty and as close to the real thing as it may be, the list of ingredients — this thing sounds like it was made in a lab rather than in a kitchen — and serious over-packaging have been major turn-offs for me.
So, seeing as how Summer is right around the corner — and what’s Summer without a good burger, right? — I decided to work at creating my own, much healthier, vegan burger recipe. I studied dozens of different versions on the Internet, grabbed a little bit of this, kept a little bit of that, left some of this out and added some of that, made a few test runs and I think that I’ve managed to come up with the vegan burger recipe that will be accompanying me this summer.
Indeed, this vegan burger is crazy tasty, comes out all nice and crispy on the outside, juicy, tender and slightly chewy on the inside, and while it’s not nearly as close to the original deal as the lab created stuff, it’s pretty darn earthy, meaty and smokey, if you ask me. Oh, and hubby approved, too!
Now I’m ready for Summer… if it could please just get here, already?
To make this burger, the first thing you’ll want to do is place some fine TVP to soak in warm water for at least 10 minutes and then drain it well.
If you’re not familiar, TVP is a de-hydrated soy product that comes in several shapes and sizes. Much like tofu, its flavor is pretty neutral so it can easily be seasoned to fit your taste and needs. You can buy TVP in most specialty health food stores, or in the the organic/health section of most grocery stores.
If you really can’t get your hands on it, simply grab a 12oz package of plain tempeh instead. Reduce it to small crumbs and use it pretty much the same way, but without the soaking!
So while your TVP is soaking, sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until brown and fragrant then set aside.
You can use any kind of mushrooms you like, so long as you use the required amount. Me, I used a combination of cremini and shiitake, but portobellos are also a fantastic option.
While the mushrooms are sauteeing, take the opportunity to prep the rest of the ingredients…
Notice how I didn’t even bother peeling the beets? Really, there’s no need to do that. Trust me, leaving the peel on will make things much less messy. Just give them a real good scrub, then trim their ends off. That way, there won’t even be a stain in sight in your kitchen.
Well, IF you have a grating disc attachment for your food processor, that is… Just equip it and start by grating the beets before mounting the S blade. That way, all the beet juice will stay neatly confined within that bowl.
If you don’t have the grating disc thingie, things might get a little messier. You’ll have to grate the beets first with a box grater and then place them in the bowl of the food processor. At least grate them over a large plate, which will prevent staining your counter or cutting board. As for your fingers, well… keeping the peel on will do LOADS of damage control but there WILL be some staining. The stains will come off, though… eventually. Don’t let that discourage you from making those delicious burgers! They’re totally worth the temporary purple fingers, trust me.
Once the beets have been grated and the S blade installed, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, but save about half of the re-hydrated TVP granules to be added later.
If you’re using crumble tempeh, add about half of it now…
Process on pulse, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed, until the mixture is well combined and comes together nicely.
Now add the rest of the TVP (or crumbled tempeh)…
Pulse a few times just to lightly incorporate the newcomers; the pieces should remain practically intact. In fact, you could even mix this in by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, if you preferred. The goal is to add a little bit of a chewy texture to the patties,
Now form the mixture into six equal patties of roughly 5.3oz (150g) each. You’ll see, it’s really surprising how easy this stuff is to work with, and how well the patties hold their shape.
To cook the patties, heat a few tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add as many patties as you want and cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned and crispy on both sides.
Just be sure not to get overly impatient and try cooking your patties over too high heat, as you’d risk burning them on the outside before they’d get a chance to cook on the inside…
While I haven’t had a chance to try cooking those patties on the outdoor grill yet — is that rain ever gonna stop? — they hold their shape so beautifully well that I have no doubt they’d be up to the challenge. Just as long as the temperature of the grill doesn’t get too hot, I can’t see it being a problem. Of course, I’ll let you know how that goes the minute I get to try it (which really shouldn’t take too long at all, I hope!)
Serve your patties on your favorite bun, garnished with your favorite burger toppings…
Me, I chose a bed of shredded lettuce, a few slices of tomatoes, a slice of red onion, and a handful of sprouted green lentils.
And of course, a generous glob of my new favorite mayo in the whole wide world, my 30 Second Foolproof Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise. Man that stuff is good. I could almost eat it by the spoonful!
I strongly suggest that you cook only as many patties as you plan on eating; leftover uncooked patties will keep well in the fridge for up to several days.
Cooked patties can be reheated over medium-low heat in a covered skillet but won’t come out as crispy…
Vegan Better Burger
- 1-1/2 cup fine TVP, re-hydrated in warm water*
- 12 oz mushrooms of your choice, coarsely chopped (I used 8oz cremini and 4oz shiitake)
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 small raw beets, grated** (or 1 medium, about 5.5 oz total)
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fine TVP, ground
- 3 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp onion flakes
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp dried mustard
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- First, place the TVP to soak in warm water for at least 10 minutes and drain well.
- Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until brown and fragrant then set aside.
- If you have a grating disc for your food processor, equip it and start by grating the beets before mounting the S blade. If not, grate them with a box grater and then place them to the bowl of the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients but save about half of the rehydrated tvp granules.
- Process on pulse, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed, until the mixture is well combined and comes together. Add the rest of the TVP and pulse a few times just to lightly incorporate it; The pieces should remain practically intact.
- Form the mixture into 6 equal patties.
- To cook the patties, heat a few tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add as many patties as you like and cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned on both sides. Don't cook your patties over too high heat as you risk burning them before they get a chance to cook on the inside.
- Serve hot on a burger bun with your favorite toppings.
- I suggest that you cook only as many patties as you plan on eating; leftover uncooked patties will keep well in the fridge for up to several days.
- Cooked patties can be reheated over medium-low heat in a covered skillet.