12 October 2012

A new veggie burger recipe

When I was first trying out being vegetarian in my early 20s, I bought a lot of artificially flavored, pre-made apologies.  I called them "apologies" because all of these products were made to simulate meat--fake burgers, fake bacon, fake wings--as if eating naturally vegetarian foods like beans, veggies, and grains was somehow just not good enough.  Ironically, these meat apologies were generally pretty unhealthy and in no way resembled meat--if you were turning to Boca in the early 90s for a cure for your meat craving, you were not going to end up happy in the end.  If you were craving cardboard, however, you were in luck...

Now, I like homemade veggie burgers for what they are: a bunch of grains, vegetables, and perhaps some cheese smashed together into a convenient patty.  They're easy to cook and make a great sandwich filler to go with a beer.  But they can be kind of a pain to make, requiring special ingredients and often getting the balance of wet-to-dry ingredients wrong, making for either very sloppy or very crumbly patties.  Using potatoes makes it easy to keep these patties together, which speeds up the prep time quite a bit.  It's also a great way to use leftover cooked potatoes, and it relies on pantry staples so you never have to make a last-minute run to Whole Paycheck for special grains.  Win-win-win!

Potato-Bean "Burgers"

Makes four large patties

1 cup canned black beans, white beans, or chick peas
1 carrot, grated
1/2 onion, diced
3 potatoes, grated
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup corn
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil and mix until well combined.

Shape the mixture into patties. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil and cook each patty until the veggie burgers are done, about 3 minutes on each side.