I do like a good veggie burger. The trick is finding one. In my experience, the pre-made patties for cooking at home generally suffer from one of two things (if not both);

  • An ingredients list that I can’t even figure out phonetically and makes me wonder if it’s, in fact, written in English or if there’s some kind of Rosetta stone in the box.
  • Taste and texture can be most easily associated with compressed hamster bedding and leaves me hoping that “veggie” still means the hamster wasn’t in it at the time.

I tried a bunch of different recipes with mediocre results then stumbled upon The Great Veggie Burger Cook-Off in a back issue of Natural Health magazine. They’ve posted the top four on the website, five in the magazine. They’re all good and definitely worth trying out, but for taste, texture, nutrition, ingredients, ease of preparation, freeze and reheat-ability, the Rueben’s Veggie Burger, credited to Rueben’s Burger Bistro in Boulder Colorado, wins hands down.

It’s a Southwestern inspired patty with a lot of flavour. As they recommend, browning them in a pan works the best, but they do alright on the barbecue, just make sure you have a well oiled grill and a little brush of olive oil on the patty helps keep it from sticking.  This recipe makes a lot of food, but reheats beautifully and is actually pretty tasty cold, (I got lazy one lunch hour and just crumbled one over a salad.) They’re complimentary with buns, tortillas, pitas and most burger and burrito toppings. Personally, I recommend lettuce, a few slices of avocado, salsa and I like a little extra spice so I use two chipotle peppers in the mix.

RUEBEN’S VEGGIE BURGER
PREP: 15 min. (plus overnight chilling)
COOK: 20 min. SERVES 6

Rueben’s Burger Bistro in Boulder, Colo., makes
this Southwestern-inspired patty with roasted
red peppers, corn and cilantro as well as
quinoa, a complete protein that contains all
the essential amino acids needed by the body
to build muscles.

¼ cup quinoa
½ cup vegetable broth
2 14-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and
drained*
½ white onion, diced
1∕2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1∕3 cup cooked corn
1 canned chipotle pepper, drained and
diced
1∕4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra

1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a
saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat
and simmer covered until the quinoa is tender,
about 15 minutes. In a bowl, slightly mash the
black beans. Mix with remaining ingredients.
Chill the mixture overnight.
2. Shape mixture into patties. Brown and heat
in a frying pan with a little olive oil, about 3
minutes per side. Serve on a bun with your
favorite toppings and condiments.

Per serving (½ cup per patty): 183 calories,
1 g fat (.1 g saturated fat) 0 mg cholesterol, 10
g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 394.5
mg sodium

*I usually buy dried beans instead of canned to cut down the sodium. A cup of dried black beans (soaked, cooked and rinsed) worked just as well.