For the Home Made/ Deprocessed Reader's Choice Challenge, I decided to make veggie burgers from scratch. I rarely ever buy them, though a lot of times when eating out at non-veg-friendly restaurants, veggie burgers are often the only choice.
My cooking buddy & I ended up making these twice (a week apart), since they came out a bit bland the first time, and we tend to have a group coming together on Friday nights anyways. I loosely followed the Simplest Bean Burger recipe from a few of my fellow Iron-Chef Bloggers' favorite cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I changed the basic recipe to veganize it, make it higher protein, and give it more of a Southwestern kick. Here's what I ended up doing:
High Protein Southwestern Vegan Black Bean Burger
One 14-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein
1 tbsp Pilsen Latino Seasoning from the Spice House
1/4 block tofu
We doubled the recipe, since we were originally expecting about 4-6 people for dinner. I pulsed all the ingredients in a food processor until chunky. The first time we did this, we put the double batch in the 10oz food processor. Bad idea. It didn't process very well. When we tried it the second time, we just repeated the recipe twice to get the double batch.
Once the ingredients are wet & chunky (but not too mushy), I formed them into pretty thick patties, and chilled them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. I found out later that thick patties were easier to handle than the thinner ones, which tended to crumble.
I cooked them on a griddle pan, about 5 minutes on each sides so that they were browned and cooked through.
I thought they were ok, but the spices didn't come through the first time. When we made them the second time, but increased the spices to 2 1/2 tbsp (per recipe) and adding olive oil for fat. They turned out better that way, but ended up a bit overspiced. The next time I make them, I'll probably saute the onions with 1 tbsp of the spice in olive oil, and add that to the beans, tofu, and tvp. That'll probably give it a much better flavor than just increasing the amount of spices.
We served the burgers with whole wheat buns, greens, tomatoes, avocados, and condiments. To make mine a bit more diet friendly (since we also had vegan pizza with the meal), I just ate mine as a salad instead of as a burger, and it was pretty good that way.