I just can’t say enough good things about Robin Robertson’s cookbook Vegan on the Cheap. As I mentioned in the recent post about making one’s own mayo, this book was a gift from my daughter, partly for Mother’s Day and partly because I am a relatively new vegan (though a vegetarian for 5 years prior to that). I love it when I come across a cookbook where every recipe is a guarantee for success, and this is one.
As a vegetarian, for a long time I depended on “fake meats,” particularly burgers. I knew such processed food wasn’t good for me to have often, but convenience usually won out. I had been looking for some time for a bean burger recipe I could use to make extra burgers to freeze, so as to have my own homemade convenience food. I tried a few recipes I’d seen online but wasn’t happy with the taste and texture, and kept going back to the processed burgers.
I was intrigued by the “Better Bean Burgers” recipe (page 178) in Vegan on the Cheap, and there weren’t a lot of ingredients involved, so I decided to give it a try. Am I glad I did! I do not understand how, but these burgers taste the most like I remember ground beef tasting than any veggie burger I’ve ever eaten! I just combine black beans, a little vital wheat gluten flour, bread crumbs, red onion, parsley, salt and pepper and fry them up in a little olive oil. So good! You form the patties and let them sit a bit so the vital wheat gluten can do its work of helping to glue the mixture together (and adding protein), and then the burgers won’t fall apart when you fry them:
You fry them a few minutes covered, then a few minutes uncovered:
The recipe yields 4 burgers (I have doubled it to freeze some extra), but there are only 3 on the plate because I made quick work of the fourth:
If I’d had them available, I would have added pickle slices and some lettuce, too.
You certainly can season and vary them any way you want, using cilantro instead of parsley, adding spices, maybe some heat. I’ve thought of varying the beans and using red beans instead of black and making a remoulade sauce to go with them.
No matter where you get your protein, do yourself a favor and give these burgers a try. Yum!