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Burgers… What’s not to love about them? When I was first starting this blog, I was wrapping up my time as the general manager of a burger joint. Yes, a vegan managing a burger joint (hey, there was a veggie burger on the menu!)… And, I even got to help create menu items!
Yup! One of the best parts about my job was helping to develop a new burger for our Burger of the Month special. Drawing inspiration from different cultures, holidays, and non-burger dishes I helped to create burgers that I couldn’t even try (food allergies, remember…). AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! It really was! Even though I couldn’t taste any of them… I could taste some elements and make suggestions on what to add or leave off. Listen, I have only had my allergies for the last 8 years. I still remember flavors of ingredients and dishes I’ve had in the past. In addition, I’ve always had a pretty awesome palate. I can even identify flavors/ingredients that I’ve never actually tried before.
My claim to fame is being able to identify 20-ish flavors of gelato at a DC restaurant my mom’s cousin used to manage… it came down to the last flavor. My parents couldn’t identify it so it was up to me. I scooped a small bite of gelato on my spoon and put it in my mouth, turning the spoon upward and over like I’d seen on yogurt commercials on TV. I sat quietly, letting the flavor take over my mouth. It was definitely not something I’d tasted before… Mom’s cousin snickering, “she’s never going to get this,” to my parents.
I took another moment, (Side note, I honestly can’t remember how long I took tasting this gelato. It could’ve been 2 minutes, or 10.) before I turned to the adults and said, “is this like… goat’s milk or something?” DING DING DING!!! The cousin’s jaw dropped. My family just stared at me like, “WTAF!? How in the hell did this homeschooled 8th grader just identify goats milk gelato without ever trying goats milk/cheese?” Meanwhile, I just wanted to know why someone hadn’t popped out from behind a curtain with one of those huge checks. I mean, come on! That was freakin’ impressive!
After a year of playing burger creator and then moving away, I’m missing the creative process of coming up with an awesome burger… To the extent that when I’m bored at work, I actually start conceptualizing more burger ideas. I’ve got lists and lists. (Yup, I’m a nerd…) Well, then I decided… Let’s do it again! I had a really fun time coming up with my Mac Attack Series, so now it’s time for a new series: The Burger of the Month series!
Ok, I’ll be honest, I’m not really the biggest veggie burger fan. The texture bugs the crap out of me. They just squish all over the place and fall apart. Since discovering the Beyond Burger, I tend to stick with eating that. Even one of my go-to homestyle dinners uses it and my non-vegan boyfriend loves it! The texture is awesome and it doesn’t turn to mush. Many of the upcoming recipes will feature this burger patty… more on that next month though! Now, there are some people who actually like veggie burgers and so, for them, I decided to share the Ultimate Veggie Burger Formula with you first.
I think one of the best things about making a (vegan) veggie burger is that you get to taste it as you go! There’s nothing in them that is bad/harmful to you if eaten raw! Making your own veggie burgers can be time-consuming… and expensive if you don’t have a stocked pantry. (But leftovers can make a great burger too! See my Smoky Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger)
The formula contains more than “a few” ingredients. But, the combination of them helps to create a burger that’s full of flavor and nutrients! AND because this is just a “formula” you can mix and match ingredients to suit your taste buds and your dietary preferences! Gluten-free for example? Use oats, rice flour, or cornmeal for your dry base and pick cooked grains that are gluten-free. (I’m a quinoa fan!) I’ll say it again though… TASTE AS YOU GO! This formula is here to serve as a basis to get a basic burger together. But, adjust it to your liking, see what works out and what doesn’t. I’ve provided proof that the formula can be adjusted with one of my go-to veggie burger recipes after the following graphic!
What are your favorite veggies/grains to mix into your veggie burgers?