For many years, since I was a young girl, l have had an aversion to red meat. It wasn’t really a conscious acknowledgement towards veganism, it just seemed wrong for my body. The only time I would consume red meat was to enjoy and devour my grandmother’s meatballs. My mother never really worried about this because I ate very healthy and had enough protein from other sources, as I ate chicken, fish, beans and veggies in abundance.
Later as I got older, I started to enjoy red meat a bit more, I think mostly because I could make it taste much better than I had previously eaten. So, when I do eat red meat, in addition to my meatballs, and a juicy steak, one of the things I am fond of every once in a while, is a truly good burger. I am always on the lookout for places to explore for the best burger experience, and my fireman and I will seek out places known for their burgers to see if they stand up to the hype, and believe you, me, I am a tough, critic. If I am going to have a burger, it better be juicy, cooked to medium rare perfection, seasoned perfectly, and it better contain top-notch meat. No sub-par ground round, freshly in-house ground meat!
Since I have been on my quest to improve my health and have been committed to making better food choices, I started to do a meatless Monday thing. Not because it is prohibited, because my diet now is pretty much high protein, low carbs, but because I like seeking out other protein sources besides meat. I eat tofu and beans to change things up. So, I started thinking about veggie burgers, I use to eat commercially prepared ones, but the fillers they used are mostly grain sources with very little veggie taste, so I wanted to see if I could make one that tasted good and contained a satisfying amount of protein and healthy carbs. I think this burger fits the bill perfectly.
If you are looking for a way to eat less meat, or you are a Vegan, you will love this burger. It is filling, delicious, and chock full of healthy sources of protein, Vitamin C from the red bell pepper, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and Selenium, from the Sunflower seeds, and Omega-3, and Vitamin E from the walnuts, it is a “burger” you can feel good about.
I hope you give the Ultimate Veggie Burger a try, it really is a delicious alternative to a burger and a nice change of pace.
These truly are the Ultimate Veggie Burger. I mean legit, this could pass for red meat if you didn’t know better! Making use of the black beans, red bell pepper, onions, along with the ground nuts gives this so much flavor and nutty good texture I promise you won’t miss the meat, and the marinara sauce gives this lovely flavor.
Fry these for 6-7 minutes per side in a lightly greased skillet with EVOO or coconut oil on medium high heat. Top with cheese, either Vegan or cheese of your choice, I had provolone on mine. Top with your desired “burger” fixings and there you have yourself the most Ultimate Veggie Burger. This is how I eat my burgers veggie or otherwise, never a bun, who needs it? Top with some provolone cheese, some lovely homemade basil pesto mayonnaise, sweet onion, and Compari tomatoes, serve this with a nice green salad and you have the perfect meal for lunch or a light supper.
A healthy and flavorful alternative to a burger that is chock full of protein, vitamins, minerals and simply tastes amazing!
- You can substitute white, Italian, or low carb bread, to make crumbs. Just remove crusts and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. If your slices are small you may need to use three or four slices.
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup of roasted sunflower seeds and one tablespoon reserved left whole
- 1/2 cup of walnuts
- 2 slices of whole grain bread crust removed, pulsed for crumbs (if they are small thin slices use 3 or 4 slices)
- 1/4 cup of marinara sauce
- 1 bell pepper finely diced
- 1/4 of an onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
- 1 tsp. of chipotle chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. of cumin
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- sliced onion, tomato, lettuce, and vegan or regular cheese of your choice (optional)
- serve with ketchup, mustard or your favorite topping, I went rogue vegan and had some pesto mayonnaise which I made, with regular full fat mayonnaise, which is more pesto than mayo actually, and totally delish.. totally vegan if you use vegan mayonnaise!
- In a food processor or Ninja, pulse sunflower seeds, just lightly pulse about three to four times. You don’t want all seed in your mixture but a tablespoon for crunch and texture is perfect, as the ground seeds serve the purpose of a binder and excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein. Any more than three or four pulses, and you will have nut butter, not what you want here, transfer to a small bowl, do the same with the walnuts pulse about four or five times you want these a bit finer, then empty into same bowl as the sunflower seeds, just making sure to lightly pulse, add whole grain bread, and pulse to make crumbs. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add drained and rinsed black beans, breadcrumbs, marinara sauce, nuts that have been pulsed, the reserved tablespoon of sunflower seeds left whole, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, spices, season with salt and pepper. Mix well to incorporate. Using hands, form into 4 uniform veggie burgers. Place on wax paper lined plate or parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to chill and form for easy cooking.
- After two hours, if grilling indoors, heat a grill pan over medium high heat, brush lightly with EVOO or coconut oil on medium high heat, frying for at least 6-7 minutes then flip over for another 6-7 minutes. If grilling outdoors, rub grates with some canola oil (I wad up some paper towel with soaked with canola oil and with some BBQ tongs, get busy rubbing the wadded-up paper towel on a COLD grill, I shouldn’t need to tell you as it should be “obvi”, but being a firefighter’s wife, I feel I must say this…. fire and oil on an already, hot flaming, grill using paper towel, WILL CAUSE FLARE UP/AND OR A FIRE, AND YOU WILL RISK GETTING BURNED) safety first always!! Grill on medium high heat about 6-7 minutes, it is important to oil grate, so burgers don’t stick as they don’t have the fat content the way ground beef does. Check to make certain these are not burning after about three minutes. Top with cheese if you are using and let cheese melt, place on bun if using, and top with your favorite fixings. Devour!
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