The making of veggie burgers (and a recipe)

Over on Serious Eats, The Food Lab set out to make a veggie burger that doesn’t suck. They take you through their thought process on coming up with the perfect burger.

I’ve kind of mentioned in previous veggie burger posts that there are key components to any successful burger: veggies (duh, the name) seasonings (flavor) and beans and/or grains, at the very least. And this article takes you through all the components, what worked (and didn’t) and why they are necessary to a great veggie burger. There is also a recipe included. If you are interested in veggie burgers and experimenting to try your own, it’s worth a look.

And one thing I always mention that this article didn’t was that all veggie burgers (that I’ve ever tried) can be doubled and frozen to have them ready for the future without the work. Just pop them in the oven (for best results) to reheat.

TVP burger

I recently tried a burger with a product I’ve never used before: Textured vegetable protein. It is used in place of ground beef and is made from reduced-fat soy beans. I figured a veggie burger would be a really great place to start.

TVP (as it’s called) is high in fiber, protein and iron. Because it is like ground beef, it has a lot of uses. There is a recipe for rice and beans on the package I plan to try soon.

Back to the burger. I found this on the Bob’s Red Mill site. It also uses chickpea flour to bind it, so it turns out really chewy. And I used the vegetables and seasonings from the recipe, adding an Italian seasoning blend I have, but you can use whatever sounds good.

Textured Vegetable Protein Burgers

Makes about 6 burgers (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the boiling water with the TVP, ketchup, sea salt and herbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then mix in the grated carrot, chopped celery, chopped green onion and parsley flakes. Mix in the oil and vital wheat gluten flour to make a firm mixture.
  2. Scoop out a packed 1/2 cup of the mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat until you have 4-6 formed patties.
  3. Place patties on a greased baking sheet at bake at 350° for 30 minutes, flipping burger after 15 minutes.

Have you used TVP? What did you make with it?

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3 thoughts on “The making of veggie burgers (and a recipe)

  1. I’m actually not a big fan of TVP. It’s intensely processed. There’s a good description of the manufacturing on wikipedia. That said, I love your recipes and I really enjoyed experimenting with your last one for veggie burgers. Please keep posting them!

    • Darn, thank you! Saw hexane could be in it, too :( I tried it because it is high in protein, fiber and iron. The Bob’s Red Mill has “soy flour” as the only ingredient.

      Have you used jackfruit as a meat substitute? I would like to find and try it sometime.

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