Avoiding Meat When Cooking | BBQ Season Is Almost Here | Best Ingredients for Veggie Burgers | Creative Ingredient Combinations | Serving Ideas for Veggie Burgers | How to Cook Veggie Burger Recipes | Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers | Bonus Recipe: Easy Marinated Onions
At Leafy Souls, we believe in animal rights.
This means that we avoid using animals for clothing and also eating.
This is ethical and, generally speaking, very healthy.
But it can also be really, really hard! It is important that we support each other to be the best possible beings on earth.
One of the more difficult carnivorous meals to make vegan are burgers.
There are a number of soy- or other alternative-protein based repacked vegan patties on the market, but if you are health-conscious, you may prefer to avoid processed food.
Although processed vegan burgers are better for you than meat burgers, they're not as healthy as whole food options.
And when it comes to health, nothing beats controlling what goes into your burgers yourself, by cooking them from scratch.
With barbecue season coming up soon, we're here to discuss some of the challenges and pitfalls involved in making veggie burgers from scratch, link to a few creative recipes to showcase the wide range of ingredients you can use to make outstanding plant-based burgers, and provide our own recipe for delicious and healthy sweet potato black bean patties at the end of the post.
We're also providing a bonus recipe for an amazing all-purpose condiment that no vegan should be without: 2-ingredient marinated onions.
Avoiding meat in recipes is actually quite easy once you get a good rotation of ingredients circulating in your kitchen.
You can never go wrong buying loads of fruit and veggies.
The more you experiment, the better you will get at creating the perfect combination, like our sweet potato black bean version which is made even better with our bonus marinated onion recipe.
The more you cook vegan, the more you will learn about mixing and matching your leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, fruit and veg.
One of the biggest challenges people face closer to summer is being invited to barbecues where the hosts haven't thought of creative vegan grill options, or have resorted to a tasteless frozen pre-made option.
The smell of food cooking - whatever the product - is mouth watering and hard to say no to especially if there are no vegetarian options!
There are lots of vegetables and fruits that are delicious grilled - there are the classic marinated and skewered mushrooms, onions and peppers, but you can also make pineapple and peach kebabs, grilled marinated chicken of the woods mushrooms or grilled tempeh.
You can even grill slices of sweet potato.
Sometimes, though, you just want a juicy black bean veggie burger on a carb-dense bun with all the fixings.
Lucky for you, there are so many creative recipes you can try.
In addition to our favorite sweet potato black bean patty recipe, we have some other veggie burger ingredient ideas for you.
You can choose to just use vegetables and nuts, or you can add grains as binding ingredients.
Cooked quinoa and rice, or uncooked oatmeal make excellent binders when working with soft ingredients like cooked, mashed vegetables (in 1 or 2 cup amounts).
Both sweet potato and regular potato, as well as steamed cauliflower, are good options to mix with the binding ingredients to create your own recipe.
If you want your burgers to have a bit more protein, try lentils, chickpeas, white, pinto, kidney or black bean, walnuts, cashews, almonds or almond meal, and tofu.
For color, flavor and freshness add finally chopped and sautéed carrots and peppers.
And for brightness, fresh parsley, chives, dill or cilantro are excellent additions.
A bit of nutritional yeast and liquid amino acid adds flavor and nutrition as well.
Garlic, roasted garlic, lemon or lime juice are also good additions. Some coconut or olive oil adds richness.
Mix and match these combinations to create an infinite variety of veggie burger recipes.
You'll never get bored when making your own veggie burgers.
After you've tried our sweet potato black bean recipe, we've got a few other combinations to suggest.
Most burger aficionados know that the key to burger nirvana is in the toppings.
Luckily, there are a million amazing vegan toppings to put on your sweet potato black bean veggie burger.
Try classic avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion. If you want to get crazy, marinate that onion ahead of time (see our recipe below for marinated onions), and add pickles or capers.
Make a zesty cashew cream aioli, or a vegan chipotle mayo to grace the bun. Onion straws and curly fries are indulgent, but festive topping ideas for a veggie burger.
Any greens make a great stand-in for regular lettuce - try spinach, arugula, beet greens or even a handful of cilantro or dill to grace the top of your sweet potato black bean veggie burgers.
The most common complaint about veggie burger recipes is that they can be mushy.
In our opinion, this pitfall is most commonly fixed in the mixing stage. If the batter is wet, you're going to end up with a mushy burger.
Piling your burger high with crunchy toppings like our balsamic marinated onions, pickles, and crisp lettuce, can help mitigate this problem.
But if you really despise soft burgers, you'll want to add some ingredients with teeth, like nuts. Beans (black bean or otherwise) and lentils are great choices, just make sure that you don't cook them too long or they will become too soft for this application.
Sweet potato burgers are often a little mushy, but you can balance this out by adding other ingredients (like black beans, as in the recipe below).
Once you've got your ingredients chosen to avoid mushiness, the next decision is how to cook the sweet potato black bean burgers for maximum crunch.
One is to bread the outside of the burger with classic breading, or something like almond meal, and then fry in oil (regular vegetable oil or coconut oil are good choices for this application; olive oil is not as good for frying).
The other option is to bake the burgers to try to dry them out a bit.
This works best on a lower heat (like 325) for a longer time (30-40 minutes).
You can brush your patties with olive oil before they go in the oven.
You can also fry the burgers after they come out of the oven to finish them off.
This approach takes some time but might be worth the time if you really want your sweet potato black bean patties to be a little more toothy.
These sweet and spicy veggie burgers from Cookie & Kate are both vegan and gluten free. For best results, prepare the burger mixture in advance and let it chill in the refrigerator (you can let it chill overnight or longer if you’d like).
We here are Leafy Souls have added a bonus recipe for 2-ingredient marinated onions at the bottom.
These onions are delicious on the veggie burgers, by themselves, or as a condiment that can be added to curries, soups, stews and sandwiches.
Once you've gotten used to having a jar of these onions in your fridge, you'll never want to be without them again.
These sweet potato black bean veggie burgers don’t have to be served as traditional burgers—the sweet potato black bean patties are good on their own with toppings like guacamole.
Try serving them with corn on the cob in the summer (they grill well, too). Recipe yields 8 patties.
If I think of it, I will give the jar a shake every time I open the fridge to distribute the balsamic vinegar better.
I hope you enjoy these recipes! The veggie burger is a great summer staple - and they also freeze really well! If you like batch cooking, you can make a large batch of them and freeze them for easy meals later on.
The balsamic onions are a great topping for the sweet potato black bean patties as well as for a variety of other dishes.
I love them on a bowl of hot curry in the winter, on top of salads, or in a hummus or faux turkey sandwich.
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.
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