Let's Talk Veggie Burgers

by HEAB on September 11, 2009

Last night, CD and I went out to eat with my family at Bricktops here in Nashville. I pulled a Heather, and much to the chagrin of my fellow dining companions, I proceeded to order the Ahi Tuna Salad…but then requested that it be topped with a veggie burger rather than tuna.  The chef happily obliged.

Pickeled ginger + veggie burger...it worked.

Pickled ginger + veggie burger...why not? Notice the evil frisee trees peeking out. :)

CD and my brother kept getting the evil eye from me every time they tried to snag a bite of my burger.  The menu gives no clues as to what the ingredients are, but I’m thinking it’s some kind of brown rice/bean concoction.  I couldn’t quite figure out the seasonings/spices either, but it was perfect, absolutely perfect!

Although I do eat meat, I’m a huge fan of veggie burgers, and I’m not talking the Boca or Morningstar varieties.  I can’t do either due to the soy content.  If I’m going to purchase frozen veggie burgers at all, my patties of choice are Sunshine Burgers as they are both tasty and soy-free. Only problem is the price, and I keep praying they’ll appear in the freezer section at Costco.  Costco people, are you reading this?

Anyway, I used to also love the veggie burger at Houston’s here in Nashville and was almost in tears when the restaurant closed.  If you have a Houston’s near you, go there tonight and order their veggie burger with a side of couscous.  You will not be disappointed.  Several months ago, I tried recreating their recipe, and you can read about it here.  My burgers turned out okay but not nearly as good as the restaurant’s version.

My favorite recipe for homemade veggie burgers is from the Country Life Vegetarian Cookbook.  I have no pictures as I have not made them in ages, but I’ll share the recipe with you anyway.  So good, and they remind me of my beloved Garden Herb Sunshine Burgers…only much cheaper. :)

Sunburger Patties:
  • 2 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1.25 cup tomato juice
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS onion powder
Clean, grate and measure carrots.  Place in bowl..  Grind sunflower seeds in blender or food processor until fine.  Add to carrots. In skillet saute onions in water until soft. Add to bowl along with remaining ingredients.  Stir together well.  Using 1/3 cup portions, place on oiled cookie sheet and form into patties.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Turn over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
These are my go to dish when we’re having several people over for dinner and 1 or 2 of them are vegetarian.  The meat-eaters ALWAYS ask for this recipe, and these burgers usually disappear before the meat dish.  They are really good served with the following sauce.
Cashew White Sauce
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 TBSP onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2.5 cups additional water
  • 1 TBS dried parsley

Blend first five ingredients on high 1-2 minutes until creamy.  While blender is running, pour in remaining water and blend briefly.  Pour into saucepan and add parsley.  Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until thickened.

How about you? Are you super disappointed when you order a veggie burger in a restaurant, and it’s nothing but a Boca pattie?  Do you have your own favorite recipe for homemade veggie burgers?  Anyone know Houston’s secret recipe?  Please share.
Exciting news – I tried a new grain this morning for breakfast.  Any guesses as to what it might be?  Be sure to check back soon for a full report and have a wonderful weekend!