Cookbook Review: Vegan Burgers & Burritos

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Vegan Burgers & Burritos from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Veggie burgers land squarely in the “finicky” category along with things like risotto because it is so darned hard to get texture right. They can’t be too wet ’cause you end up with a mushy mess and they can’t be too dry ’cause they fall apart. Needless to say, that I turn to other people’s wisdom as often as possible. I try lots of veggie burgers recipes and really, really struggle to find ones that are just right and simple enough to be dressed up differently.

Enter Vegan Burgers & Burritosby Sophia DeSantis! It is filled with ideas for vegan burgers that are derived primarily from pantry staples like beans, lentils, and oats. Add-ins are veggies like onions, mushrooms, and corn. And there are no weird binders like psyllium husks or ground flaxseed buried in the ingredient list; just plain ol’ good ratios to get the right crumb and texture.

I am loving all the recipes! Her All-American Burger went over so well that I keep some on hand in the freezer now. I am really excited to try her Down Home BBQ Burgers next (recipe below). Feel free to use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce if you don’t have homemade on hand. Also as a side note, these burgers are filling… I started portioning into slider-size patties so we could have side salads or veggies without being too stuffed.

cover art
Photo credit: Sophia DeSantis

Down-Home BBQ Burgers
Reprinted with permission from Vegan Burgers & Burritos by Sophia DeSantis, Page Street Publishing Co., 2017.

Bringing BBQ to your table the nontraditional way. No animals were harmed in this hearty meal, but all of your taste buds will party at the first bite. Slather on as much BBQ sauce as you want and grab a napkin—it’s going to get messy. Hope you aren’t wearing white!

Yield: 4 TO 5

1 cup (160 g) cooked brown rice
1 cup (200 g) cooked or canned
black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup (75 g) chopped sweet or yellow onion (see notes)
¼ cup (50 g) cooked chopped potato (see notes)
2 tbsp (22 g) cornmeal
1 tbsp (15 ml) Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
2 tsp (5 g) garlic powder
2 tsp (5 g) chili powder
1 ½ tsp (7 ml) liquid smoke
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ to ½ cup (36 to 72 g) cooked frozen corn (defrosted to room temp) or fresh corn (add less or more per your preference)

TO SERVE
4 to 5 buns
Lightly grilled rings of sweet or yellow onion
Lettuce
Tomato
Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • Place the rice, beans, onion, potato, cornmeal, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt and syrup into a food processor. Pulse a few times until chunky. Add the corn and pulse a few more times. Don’t overpulse or the mixture will get too soft and diplike.
  • Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all the flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
  • To cook, shape the mixture into patties. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking. Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide your spatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer.
  • You can also bake the patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 375°F (191°C) for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side. Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.

Notes: Save some rings of onion to use as an optional topping. Cook the onion after you sauté the burger ingredients.
Any type of starchy potato works—I use red. Sweet potato is not recommended as it is not starchy enough. Cook the potato in the microwave or oven. I don’t recommend boiling it because it makes the potato too wet. Measure the potato by mashing it into the measuring cup.

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