Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Burgers & Fries, Vegan Style

Veggie Burger & Oven Fries
Burgers & Fries are classic All-American fare. In fact, when I travel to other parts of the world, I discover that quite frequently when people picture "American Food," they picture Burgers & Fries. That seems really strange to me, since as a child I was taught that the word "Hamburger" was for Hamburg, Germany and that Burgers were therefore a German food - but, I digress.

When I ate meat (nearly 20 years ago now!) I never thought of Burgers as a food with a lot of personality. They were vehicle for the toppings one might put on them, and didn't have much personality of their own. Since I've been Vegetarian & Vegan, I've been seeking a good
burger that would fill that not-very-descript place on my plate - having a good texture and flavor, and being good on the grill, without having too much personality of its own. I didn't want something that tasted like meat (a flavor and texture that is too close to meat grosses me out!) but I did want something that would be just right.  Oh, and it had to be cheap! Paying a buck a patty for a
commercial Veggie Burger (that's not even marked Non-GMO, much less Organic for Pete's sake!) does NOT make me happy. And, I wanted a burger that was low work, freezer friendly, and lower fat. There are some great-looking burgers out there that are made from nuts, but I really don't need to supplement my fat and sugar intake - I get enough of those things with absolutely no effort at all!

This is my favorite burger. It is based on the McDougall Burger, but simplified, so that the prep time & work are reduced. I also adjusted the proportions a little to accommodate my favorite kinds of tofu. I can easily make 24 of these at once for the freezer, for the cost of about 6 commercial Veggie Burgers.


Veggie Burgers
Veggie Burgers coming out of the oven.
Place in large bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes. Then, drain off any water that accumulated in the bottom of the bowl
1 Pound Firm or Extra Firm Tofu (sometimes called "Chinese Style")
AND
1 Pound Firm Silken Tofu (I prefer the  flavor or the kind of silken tofu that comes in the plastic package in the refrigerated section of the grocery rather than the aseptic type of packages)
Add to bowl:
1 (10oz) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
3 cups Quick Oats
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dijon
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 (4 oz each) cans Mushrooms, drained and chopped (optional )
2 teaspoons fresh Garlic

I also like to add various spice blends to these to add variety - that way you can make a big batch of burgers with several flavours for different future meals. So far, I've added 1 1/2 teaspoons of Taco Seasoning to a quarter batch, and 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Blend to a quarter batch. I'm looking forward to trying lots more flavours!

Mix well with your hands (just like Omnivores do with Meatloaf), breaking up the Tofu to mix.
Scoop out with 1/4 cup measuring cup and flatten each patty. This should give you 24 patties. Place them on rimmed cookie sheet lined with nonstick foil (or slightly oiled cookie sheet if you prefer). Bake 350degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, Turn over and Bake 20 minutes more.
Serve immediately, or store in Freezer for future use in Zipper-type bag.
May be grilled (5 min) or microwaved (2 min) to reheat.

ALTERNATE COOKING METHOD:

If, like us, you prefer not to heat the oven in the summer, (Or, if you don't have a working oven, BTDT, too), then these CAN be made on the stove top. Of course, the oven is more efficient, since you can do 24 burgers at once. Here's how:

Heat nonstick skillet to MEDIUM LOW. If cooked at a higher temperature, these will cook too quickly on the outside, but still be raw in the middle. Form patties from 1/4 cup mixture, flattening them in the skillet with a spatula. Cover with a lid (the lid makes the environment more oven-like,
Burgers cooking at Medium-Low heat in Lidded Nonstick Skillet

Finished Burgers in the Skillet - they should be firm as well as brown.
allowing the patties to cook through without burning). Cook slowly, till brown on both sides & firm. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes in my kitchen. While they're cooking, you can prepare veggies & condiments & salads to serve with your burgers.

Edited with the following cooking/freezing instructions:

ALTERNATE COOKING METHOD II:

These burgers may be cooked on an indoor electric grill (I use a George Foreman Grill), the grill should be lightly oiled to prevent sticking (if  you forget the oil & they do stick, the sticking part can be scraped off & successfully reincorporated into the burger while cooking). They should cook 15-20 minutes and be browned & fairly firm when done. Removing before they're fully done will make them MUCH more likely to fall apart - when they're done, they stick together pretty well.

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:

These burgers may be frozen after cooking. But, they can also be shaped into patties before cooking, and frozen with *2* sheets of waxed paper or parchment between each patty. To cook, they may be taken from the freezer (removing the paper before cooking) and put directly on the Indoor grill (see above), cook for 15-20 minutes.
 
These are great to pack for a lunch sandwich!
 
Serve with Greek Inspired Oven Fries or Corn if you prefer, your favorite burger trimmings, and Better than Coleslaw if you like.
 
Tip for dining with Omnivores: Serve regular burgers for the Omnivores : )

This is being shared on
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Gluten Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Mums Make Lists



4 comments:

  1. Can you cook these on a grill? I can see putting them in a grate for grilling fish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried it. They CAN be reheated on the grill after they're cooked in the oven (per McDougalls). The thing to watch is that these burgers need long, slow cooking - so putting them further from fire might work.

      Delete
  2. Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! Awesome! I've given up on trying to pan fry them. From now on BAKING I will try! Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yum! These burgers look gorgeous. I'm just in the mood for a burger now! Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays.

    ReplyDelete

Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

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Delighted to have you here! Post away!


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