Seems many friends have gone vegetarian, but they really miss a good, juicy burger. I wanna give ’em one with as much moisture, flavor and protein as the beefy beefy they miss! But geez, the premade meatless alternatives suck! Unfortunately, it’s kinda par for the vegetarian course: in attempt to emulate a protein source and also to preserve product, extending shelf life by months or years, shitty mass food manufacturers Boca, Garden, Bahama, Morning Star, Amy’s, etc load up on sodium. Gross.
While their mealy texture and taste could be considered bearable, the lengthy ingredient list frequented by soy, textured vegetable protein (TVP), wheat and over 450mg sodium flat-out offends me. Worse yet, there’s typically only 4.5-8g protein in an unsatisfying 120-190 calorie patty. Most that manage to squeeze in more protein do it via uber-processed soy isolate, or Sunshine Burger saturates it with seeds, which unfortunately drastically increases the fat content.
Going vegetarian doesn’t have to mean giving up flavor or consuming a mountain of sodium blasted soy at each meal.
Instead, starting with a humble can ‘o beans and dehydrated shiitake mushrooms found at Costco (knew I wanted to pulverize and use in place of gluten free flour in a savory recipe), I present you a delicious, flavorful vegetarian burger that contains 12 grams protein per 180 calorie patty, and unlike typical veggie burger, that protein is not dwarfed by grams of fat (2 grams). Plus, only 101mg sodium. That’s 60% less than the lowest sodium veggie burger (Dr Praeger’s and Amy’s, both 250mg) found in groceries and online!
Made these black bean burgers at my bday bbq for a handful of vegetarian friends as a non-meat alternative slider. To both my chagrin and surprise, all veggie burgers were gone in less than 5 minutes too! Yep, these veggie burgers got the approval of both vegetarians AND meat fiends. Booo, that was supposed to be my late night drunk food! [You’re welcome. I’m finally posting the recipe.]
VEGAN RECIPE: Omit egg white. Add 1 tsp coconut oil.
Drain + rinse beans thoroughly. Place in large bowl. Mash beans with wooden spoon until rough paste begins to form. Mix in egg white, or coconut oil if going vegan. Set aside for a moment.
Place dry lentils + walnuts in blender or food processor + pulse until a flour-like powder forms. Add spices + again pulse about 7 times or so to combine. Transfer into bowl o beans + use wooden spoon to distribute.
Raise a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1/4 tsp coconut oil + sauté diced onion + minced garlic until fragrant. Transfer to bean mixture + stir to combine.
Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Roll each gently into a ball and lightly flatten into a patty. Alternatively, divide into 8 portions for mini-sliders.
Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until you achieve a nice brown sear. Carefully turn patties over using a silicone spatula. Reduce heat and cook another 3 minutes or until bottom edges are done.
MEATBALLS. Roll into tiny tablespoon-sized balls instead of patties. Enjoy your faux meatballs over a bowl of “Zoodles” enlisting the help of your Spaghettable and a zucchini.