You may have noticed that I have a thing for veggie burgers. It’s okay, I can admit it. I have a thing for veggie burgers. I like the whole hot sandwich approach to a meal and the customization that comes with years of condiment practice. I like that burgers can be made in different ways (and in different sizes that appeal to the “cute food” eater in our crew) and that they present this opportunity to jam a bunch of stuff in there that might not otherwise make it into a body. I know, I’m weird. I’ve tried a number of different kinds of burgers and patties, and finally, I have created one all my very own that is indeed, burger-y. As usual, my inspiration was largely driven by what was in my refrigerator, but this doesn’t preclude you from actually PLANNING to make these babies. I’m sure there’s something to be gained there. ;-)
The flavor secret for these burgers, is mushrooms. You say: “But wait, we don’t all like mushrooms; I’m not even sure I like mushrooms.” I say THIS is the way to test that idea. The mushrooms here are so small that they don’t play the textural havoc that can interfere with some folks’ appreciation. What they do is add that elusive umami. They lend a great kind of, well meat-y savory flavor to the burgers. We enjoyed them immensely.
Nutshroom Burgers (Gluten Free, by the way)
- 1/2 c onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 c cooked leftover grain (I used quinoa)
- 1/2 c black beans ( I imagine other soft beans would work)
- 1/4 c peanut butter
- 1/2 c walnuts
- 1 c rough cut mushroom
- 2 T Bragg’s or soy sauce
- 1/2 t dried rosemary (yes, really)
- 1 c finely chopped mushroom (I used portobello, but to each his own mushroom)
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1/2 c flaxmeal
Throw the first 9 ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth-ish and well incorporated. I chose to add my walnuts late to retain a little texture. Your call. Spoon batter into a large bowl and add the remaining three ingredients. Stir to incorporate. Fashion into patties of whatever shape and size floats your burger boat. I happened to reach this point relatively early in my day, so refrigerated the patties at this point for about 45 minutes with no ill effect. When you are 20 minutes from dinner, heat a small amount of oil (I used olive oil) in a pan. Cook burgers for a total of 15 minutes or so, flipping as needed to provent burning. This recipe made dinner for four and two leftover lunches for two enthusiastic grownups. Delish!
For more ideas on what to make with leftover grains, how about quinoa for breakfast, or using leftover grain as a base for healthy lunch boxes. Maybe you want another gluten free burger option, or you’re looking for the cheapest meatless burger ever. Next time you’re cooking rice or quinoa, make a lot and save yourself some time later in the week.