I think one of the biggest problems with getting people to enjoy veggie burgers is the word ‘burgers.’ Burger conjures up a specific imagine – meat. A veggie burger can be many thing, but meat it is not. Instead of eating a veggie burger as a substitute for meat, it should be enjoyed for what it is – a protein bomb full of deliciousness!
I’ve been making this veggie burger/pattie for a few years now. I first saw it prepared in 2007 (!) on an episode of Everyday Food on PBS. There were other burgers featured on that episode, and I remember wanting to try those, too, but so far, I’ve only made these. I’ve adapted the recipe to suit my tastes and I’m pretty happy with the results. These come together quickly and are very hearty and healthy.
I used to make these patties with whole wheat couscous, but now I always make them with quinoa. Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids and is a complete protein source. Kidney beans are high in fiber and protein. And I’ve learned that the protein content of beans consists of an incomplete amino acid profile and are best served with a food containing complementary amino acids. Like quinoa! So really, there’s no reason for you not to make these burgers/patties.
Veggie Burgers with Tahini Mayonnaise*
Adapted from Everyday Food
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (or panko)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Tahini mayonnaise (recipe below)
Place beans in a medium bowl; mash until a coarse paste forms. Add breadcrumbs, scallions, egg, carrot, cayenne, tahini and quinoa. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Form mixture into 6 patties (I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to form the patties).
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Cook patties until browned and firm, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Serve on whole wheat English muffins (or gluten-free bread) with tahini mayonnaise and lettuce.
The tahini mayonnaise really takes these patties from good to great. Tahini (sesame seed paste) can be found in most supermarkets in the ‘International’ section, but if you’re close to a Middle Eastern food store, I advise going there. You’ll find the prices are so much less expensive!
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (or Veganese for a vegan burger), the juice from 1/2 a lemon and 1 tablespoon of tahini; season with coarse salt and ground pepper to taste.