Design Your Own Plant-Based Burger
There are so many ways to make a plant-based burger. The base can be made from any combination of bulgur wheat, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, tempeh, brown rice, quinoa, oats, tofu, eggplant, zucchini, or even sweet or white potato. For color, use sundried tomatoes, red beets, beet powder, beet juice, or tomato paste. To add some healthy wholesome oils, add avocado, ground flaxseed, walnuts, or seed butters. For a beefy flavor, add mushrooms. Go easy on the liquid ingredients like soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and plant-based or vegan Worcestershire sauce as they can make the burger mushy and not grillable. Add any spices or greens you want like parsley, basil, dill, thyme, or cilantro. Be creative with your toppings. Add the classic dill or sweet pickles, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and mustard. Other toppings can include caramelized onions, tempeh bacon, sautéed mushrooms, nondairy mayonnaise, cucumbers, pickled red onions, sprouts, or avocado. Also try sauces like honey mustard, cilantro-lime, BBQ, nondairy ranch dressing and thousand island, or even horseradish sauce. Serve with a salad, baked or air fried fries, potato salad, coleslaw, yellow rice and beans, or homemade baked beans.
Recipes and ideas for creating plant-based versions of BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, mayonnaise for coleslaw, tempeh bacon, and ketchup in order to avoid high fructose corn syrup and other processed ingredients are found in the Eat Grass, Kick Ass handbook.
1/2 cup short grain brown rice (short grain is sticky)
1/2 cup bulgur, small/fine cut or lentils
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan powder, to be mixed with dry oats (adds sturdiness)
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
3/4 cup mushrooms (shiitake or portobello)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 small piece of cooked beet, about 1 inch square (for more color), optional
2 cups black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup walnuts or 1/4 cup tahini
1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika or liquid smoke
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or ¾ teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon soy powder to help buffer salt, to taste/health
1 teaspoon smoked paprika or plain paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dark miso paste slurry or low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons crushed flaxseed (adds stickiness)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (found in baking aisle near baking yeast)
1/4 cup basil, parsley, or cilantro, fresh and finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a pot, add rice, bulgur/lentils, and 6 cups of low sodium stock or water, cover with a lid, simmer for 35 minutes, drain well, and set aside to cool.
3. Add oats and xanthan powder to a dry food processor or blender and roughly chop. Transfer dry oat blend to a small bowl.
4. In the food processor, chop OTHER INGREDIENTS in batches and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
5. Roughly chop bulgur, lentils, and rice and transfer to the mixing bowl.
6. Add oat blend and mix well with hands. Wait 5-10 minutes for the flax seed and xanthan powder to firm up, then form burger patties and place on parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat (not foil).
7. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, then transfer to a skillet or grill to lightly brown for up to a minute on each side (You may need a light spray to prevent sticking. Resist the urge to overcook on the grill).