Last night I wandered into the kitchen pondering what exactly to make for dinner. Eh, that loaded question we face each day that often leaves us disjointed. A veggie burger sounded good, but I usually get discouraged because they turn into mush patties and do not hold their shape. That, or they call for a million ingredients that no real person ever has on hand. Veggie burgers are tricky like that.
What's a diva to do? Well, I decided to give it another shot. Just like you, I googled "quick and tasty veggie burgers" and found a recipe online that sounded too good to be true since I miraculously had almost all of the ingredients chillin' in my kitchen waiting for me to use. Score!
Now that I had my recipe, I decided to do what I do best and that is to use it as a base-a starting point to make it my own. What I mean by making it my own is that I make it most convenient for me! Who has time to go to the grocery store everyday? Not this girl. So I deconstructed the recipe and used what ingredients I had on hand that were interchangeable with what the original called for. This simple embellishment saved a lot of time.
The end result was more then satisfying. The veggie burgers tasted great and actually held their form without me having to deep fry them (which is what I would normally have to do).
Below you can find the original recipe I used as a base for my "quick and easy veggie burgers that hold their form". I made italicized comments next to the ingredients that I changed and noted how you can save time and make this recipe your own (and take full credit of course).
Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties
Original recipe source: Lunchboxbunch.com
2 cans cannellini white beans, drained (you can use any white bean that you have on hand. I had garbanzos, so that is what I used)
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups) (make sure you allow at least an hour or two to cook the potatoes)
2 Tbsp tahini (seriously? Who has tahini on hand?? I just threw in some whole pre-toasted sesame seeds and called it a day)
2 tsp maple or agave syrup (I had agave, so used that. You can use honey if you are not vegan or don't mind).
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!) (Like she said, use whatever spices you want, just remember you can always add but cannot subtract-I used Harissa powder and Marash chile flakes since I like things spicy!)
1/4 cup wheat flour (wheat flour is great, but if you only have white, use it. I did! This helps absorb moisture and aids veggie burgers in holding their form)
salt to taste if needed- (I had Tamari on hand (high quality gluten free soy sauce), so I added a few tsp to the mash for a little "Umami")
Plentiful Panko crumbs (This, I found was the key to having these veggie burgers hold their form while cooking and after-do NOT skip this step. Coat generously before pan frying)
safflower oil for pan (again, most people have never heard of safflower oil. I had olive oil, more common then Safflower oil. Canola oil or Vegetable works too, but are not as good for you)
Burger toppings: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper (Put whatever you normally put on your veggie/regular burgers, but don't skip on the avocado! I loaded mine up with the entire produce bin and condiment shelf )
1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl. (This will take time. So allow 1-2 hours for this. All dependent on the size of your sweet potato)
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil (or olive or veggie oil) in a pan over high heat. ( I added a pressed garlic clove to the olive oil for an extra punch of flavor)
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings. (yes lots of toppings is best!)
Note: yes this patty does fall kind of apart as you eat it. But that is OK because it tastes yummy. (Mine didn't! Maybe it was the garbanzos or all the panko I coated mine with, but they were great!)
Now, onto what this baby looks like when it's plated!
Sometimes I do not want a large, filling bun, so I made a veggie burger "slider" and served with a beautiful side salad.
Theses veggie burgers hold well in the fridge. So, for lunch the next day I opted for a heart healthy veggie burger salad. It was a delicious and fun way to enjoy leftovers!
*Helpful Hint. Leftover veggie burgers can be frozen if made in large quantities. So, you may want to consider doubling this recipe for future time savings. Now, there is no excuse for why you shouldn't try making your own quick and easy custom veggie burgers for dinner tonight!
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