veggie burgers

This is from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and I love it! You can use this same mixture for fake meatloaf, cutlets, or ground meat. It makes about 6 burgers, depending on the size.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups well-cooked beans or lentils, drained
– 1 medium onion, minced as small as you can
– 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 1 tb chili powder or other spice mix
– salt and pepper
– 1 egg (optional – if you don’t use it, supplement with a liquid, like the bean liquid, wine, water, ketchup, etc)
– liquid listed above if needed

1. I don’t have a food processor, so I find it’s easiest to mash the beans first, then add liquid and mash some more, and add the other ingredients bit by bit. If I had a food processor, it would all go in at once. However you do it, mash it up into a wet mixture that just barely comes together to make patties.

2. wet your hands and shape the patties/meatloaf/cutlets

3. cooking options:
Pan-fry: medium heat and a bit of oil, about 5 minutes on each side
Bake: 425 degrees, a bit of oil or parchment paper on the baking sheet, 15 minutes on each side
Broil: 4 inches from heat source, 5 minutes per side.
Meatloaf: double the recipe, put a bit of oil in the loaf pan, 350 degrees, 30 minutes covered with foil and 20-30 minutes uncovered
Ground meat: dump the whole mixture into a hot, deep skillet with some oil in it. don’t stir it or anything until crisp and brown, and then stir and break up the pieces.

Experiment! Mix and match – add fresh herbs, dried herbs, spices, minced garlic, chiles, soy sauce, miso, ketchup, salsa, mustard, nuts/seeds, lemon or lime zest, tomato paste, up to 1/2 cup mushrooms, up to 1 cup cooked vegetables, or replace the oats with cooked grains.

For example, I made a ridiculous Japanese-themed cutlet with everything Japanese-food-ish in the house. I’m sure my host family in Hokkaido would not approve, but it was tasty. I used adzuki beans, replaced the oats with cooked brown rice, replaced the onion with scallions, and added miso, soy sauce, sake, and ginger. We’ve also made New Mexican ones with pinto or black beans, green chili, cumin, and salsa.

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