Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Search for the GF, Vegan Burger Grail

Homemade veggie burgers can be tricky, especially when you want to make them gluten free and vegan. Why? Well, with my luck as of late they have either held together, looked pretty, and tasted like sandpaper, OR they have tasted amazing but didn’t exactly remain in a patty. Which is fine, but I am greedy and want both! As my quest for the vegan burger Holy Grail progressed, I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the only blogger pursuing this endeavor so I had a plethora of recipes to peruse the last couple weeks. I wanted constant consistency throughout the cooking, a delicious and fresh veggie taste, and of course a burger that was going to settle with my dietary guidelines.

The almost Holy Grail of Vegan/GF Burgers - I'm a perfectionist.
I think I found it. I still want to tweak a few things to the recipe but this is so far the best tasting trial I have had. Moist, nutritious, and held up when I flipped them! What more can a gluten free vegan chef ask for! Plus, it makes 8 patties so I have dinner ready for this week. Maybe I will come up with a second and third recipe for you! I am thinking sandwich wraps are in order.

Of all the recipes I found, Angela’s stuck out the most to me. I baked mine because I don’t have the gumption to grill them yet. In time my dears, in time. I had most of the ingredients in her recipe but had to make some substitutions. I also made mine gluten free, and topped them with spicy guacamole, dijon, fresh tomato, and local spinach leaves. Here is her original recipe here: Angela's Perfect Burger

I prepped on Sunday and let my burgers firm up on a cookie sheet overnight. I had every intention of gobbling these gorgeous burgers down Sunday, spent the whole time making them and ended up being hit with a mean pizza craving. Hey, what can a girl do?? It was worth the wait though.

Gluten Free & Vegan Pepita Burgers
(the closest thing to the burger grail so far)

• 1/2 cup onion, diced
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
• 1 cup oats, processed into flour
• 1/2 cup pepitas (Spanish pumpkin seeds)
• 1.5 cups gluten free bread crumbs (I processed 3 pieces sunflower flax bread)
• 1 cup local grated carrots
• 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and pureed
• Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
• 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
• 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
• 1.5 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
• Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the 2 burger toppings:
• 2 gluten free hamburger buns
• 2 thick slices local tomato
• Spicy guacamole (I bought Whole Foods brand to save time)
• ½ cup local spinach
• 2 tbs dijon

Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a large skillet, heat oil and add garlic. Once you can smell the garlic aroma add your onion and sauté until translucent and slightly browned. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients as noted. I used my food processor and kept adding them into a large bowl, leaving the spices out to mix in last for taste testing. Once all ingredients are in the bowl mix well. The flax egg should help everything stick together. Add seasonings and salt to taste.

Roll out 8 balls to make sure all patties are equal size then shape dough into tightly packed patties, lightly wetting hands in between each patty to prevent sticking. I formed mine right onto the cookies sheet.

Bake for 15-17 minutes on each side. They should hold together for flipping but be gentle! Serve between those delicious buns holding all your scrumptious toppings.

I roasted local corn for our side! So easy to do in your oven. Just pop them in at 350F for 30 minutes, remove from oven and peel back husks. A little earth balance and pepper graced my little kernels!

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