Veggie burgers typically fall into one of the following two categories: big, bulky, beautiful, restaurant burgers and frozen patties. Can you guess which type I prefer? Apparently, I describe things I’m fond of with “b” words. Love my bitches and (b)hoes.
There are pros and cons to both kinds of veggie burgers. Frozen patties are convenient, they’re low calorie, pack a decent bit of protein, they’re disk shaped. All good things. Oh, but they taste bad. Or rather, they taste more or less like nothing. And it takes many patties to feel like you’ve actually had a meal. But how bout that disk shape, yeah?
On the other hand, restaurant style veggie burgers are straight bodacious babes. (This has to stop.) My favorites tend to have visible veggies like peas and carrots within the burger, not just all the crap pureed together. They are full of flavor, often gigantic, and actually feel like a meal. But unless stated otherwise, the majority of veggie burgers use eggs as a binder and are, nutritionally speaking, fucking terrible for you. (Example: Hard Rock Cafe’s veggie burger clocks in at 907 calories. Cough.) Sadly, people tend to think anything called ‘Veggie Burger’ on a menu must be a healthier choice. Even sadly-er, they absolutely are not.
So there’s a bit of a dilemma, right? Do you value convenience and low calories over taste? Are you ever terribly satisfied after a store bought patty? Do you like your food to have aerodynamics similar to frisbees?
This Very Veggie Burger tackles those very important questions with nominal soul searching.
As the name suggests, these burgers are made entirely from vegetables. Good tasting ingredients begets good tasting food and they are stuffed to the brim with goodness. They’re nearly twice the size of a Morningstar Farms burger and much more burger shaped (sorry, disks.). Filling enough to be a real meal while still maintaining low calories and an admirable nutrition breakdown, the Very Veggie Burgers don’t fall apart like many other vegan burgers.. And, despite New York’s yo-yoing weather (get your shit together, New York), it’s fall which means my two favorite S’s are back in style: sweaters and squash. Yum.
I used a Carnival Squash but I’m sure any squash will work well. Except spaghetti squash. That…that would be a disaster.
VERY VEGGIE BURGER
makes 12 burgers
- 5 cups or roughly 750g cooked squash of your choice (I used one entire carnival squash that was maybe 6-8 inches in diameter and cooked it according to its microwave instructions)
- 2 cups frozen broccoli (170g)
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots medley (260g)
- 2 cups frozen spinach (200g)
- ¼ of an onion (120g or so)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- (optional) 1 teaspoon truffle salt
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste (I’m sure other miso pastes would work well too)
- 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
- ¼ cup whole chia seeds
- ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs (or similar)
I want a sweater with a squash on it so I can eat squash while I wear it and life will matter again…
Preheat your oven to 375.
Cook your frozen veggies according to package instructions. Either mash the cooked squash or put it in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl. Put the broccoli in the food processor and pulse once or twice, just to get a rough chop. Add it to the squash bowl. Add the peas and carrots. Stick the spinach in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add it to the mix. Give your onion a rough chop. Put it in a food processor and pulse until it’s a small dice. Add it! Mince the garlic. Adddd. Mix it all about with a large fork or something.
Mix in the flaxseed and nutritional yeast. Start adding the spices, adjusting them to your personal taste preferences. Add the miso paste and liquid smoke. FInally, add the chia seeds and Panko.
Once everything is properly combined and mixed well, divided into 12 burgers. Spray a fine layer of cooking spray on a large baking sheet. Cook your burgers for 10 minutes, remove, flip carefully with a big spatula, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes. Bump up the temperature to 400 and bake them for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven. Let them cool just a little.
I put my burger in a whole wheat pita and topped it with mixed greens, spicy microgreens, heirloom tomatoes, and a beet horseradish mustard because I am, without a doubt, the most pretentious person you’ve read a blog post from all day.