Despite being full of veggie-munchers like me, it's tough to find a good veggie burger in this city. It's even tougher to find a good store-bought version. The ones that are flavoured in an attempt to taste like meat have never gone over well with me (Me: "Taste this for me, I think it might be meat. Gasp! I think they served me meat!" P: "This tastes nothing like meat. Do you even know what meat tastes like?!") and most of the rest of them are bland as hell.
After several years, I finally got sick of watching P chow down on a plump, juicy, freshly-made beef burger while I sat and chewed on my cardboard "mushroom patty". And so I threw down my bun (figuratively) and decided I could probably do it better myself. My first attempt is a lentil-based burger:
Red Lentil and Rice Veggie Burgers with a kick (from EatDrinkBetter)
1 cup of red lentils, prepared, slightly overcooked
1 cup of brown rice, prepared, slightly overcooked
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp of curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450° with two pans inside
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until ingredients are throughly blended.
3. Take the pans out of the oven (make sure they are hot!). Form eight patties (four on each pan). They should sizzle on the hot pans to brown the bottoms.
4. Place pans back in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes, just until the tops begin to brown a tiny bit. You may need to switch the pans around half way through so they are evenly baked.
5. Serve on roll or pita and top with your favorite toppings.
The result was a tasty, filling, spicy patty of goodness. Next time I make these, I'll probably lower the chili powder and up the curry. I'll also try adding some peas (defrosted first if frozen) and/or beans. If you're not vegan you could try adding an egg to make the patties a little firmer, as they did crumble a bit. I enjoyed on a multigrain bun with avacado, tomato, spinach and mushrooms sauteed in red wine and olive oil.
As a side, I whipped up some sweet potato wedges (which is basically a fancy way of saying "I baked some sweet potatoes"). Just cut 2 sweet potatoes into wedges, toss in 2 tbsp olive oil and a bit of salt, and bake at 400° for about 30 minutes, turning once.If you like 'em crispy (which I do), you can broil them before serving for 2-3 minutes.
And don't forget the beer: I enjoyed my non-cardboard feast with none other than my current favourite, Russell Brewing Wee Angry Scotch Ale: