The meatless veggie burger should be a familiar one to vegetarians/vegans. Far from being boring as some carnivores might scoff, they are a delicious smorgasbord of versatile ingredients and a great way to unleash one’s creativity. The basic veggie burger typically uses beans and other starchy vegetables as a binding ingredient, while nuts, seeds, grains, tofu, herbs and spices add texture, flavour and colours. Check out an excellent veggie burger tutorial here.
My first experience with veggie burgers came from Amy’s burger range. Initially dubious, I was amazed at how tasty a mish-mash of vegetables could be. Sadly my pitiful student income could only afford them when they were on discount, and so the veggie burgers were a rare treat.
But it shouldn’t be the case. Except for some chopping, veggie burgers are simple to prepare and easily scaled up and stored for future lunches/dinner. So I thought I’d give them a go. My choice of ingredients: black beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, rolled oats and spices. I also made them into balls rather than patties just because balls are more fun!
Slightly sweet from the sweet potato, these veggie balls are also a textural treat from the doughy beans and chewy oats. Make a big batch to tide you through your studies! I learnt that patience goes a long way in achieving the perfect crispy exterior. On the first try the balls suffered in texture but after increasing the baking time to 40 mins on the second try and they came out better, with a crackly crust surrounding a slightly crumbly centre. I still hope to improve on the texture to make it more firm, which may require further adjustments to the baking time and temperature.
Everybody knows a good burger (or meatballs) should be accompanied by a great sauce. These were delectable with nutritional yeast cheese sauce, but also great naked, with the natural sweetness of sweet potato shining through. Feeling too lazy to whip up a sauce? Ketchup would do too!
Here are some additional ingredient ideas for veggie burgers (curated from my favourite Amy burgers!)
- Grains: oats, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, bulgur, rice, bread crumbs, wheat bran, wheat germ
- Beans & Legumes: black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, soy beans, chickpeas, lentils
- Starchy veggies: potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, yam
- Other veggies: carrots, corn, peppers, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes
- Nuts & Seeds: almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
- Seasonings: onion, garlic, chipotle, chili, cilantro, mustard, nutritional yeast
- Others: tofu
Save some money and make your own nutritious tasty veggie burgers!