Last week my hubby was traveling, again, for work. At first it was tough, especially when our second little one came into the picture. I freaked out a bit thinking it would be too much for me to handle all by myself. Looking back, it wasn't, but it sure felt like it at the time! Now though, I like to think I've got the hang of it. Our girls are a bit older and we've got the routine down.
For him though, it can be tough, especially to eat well when he's eating out all the time, often with clients and sometimes with friends he hasn't seen for a while. Before he came home I got a text saying "Too many burgers and pizza! Need some vegetables!" So I hopped on the ol' interweb and started searching for yummy veggie recipes that I thought our girls might actually like, too. That can be a tough one. Not that our girls don't like their veg, they do. It's just that sometimes, new recipes or flavors can be hit or miss. If you're a mom, or a dad, with littles you feel me on this one!
I came across what looked like a great recipe for black bean and mushroom burgers. I've tried a few of these in my kitchen. Some are good, some are kinda meh.
This one, though, this one...
Lets just say DELISH!
I wanted to pack as many veggies into this as I could and still maintain a great flavor and consistency. Those two tend to be the biggest issue with veggie burgers. They can come out either too crumbly, too soggy, or flavorless. I had some broccoli, carrots, spinach, onion, garlic so it all went in. I also got some sliced portabello mushrooms for this one, since they tend to be more meaty, hold up nicely, and are just darn good.
Yes, I should totally just buy dried beans and soak them overnight. I know, I've tried that. There is something about opening a can that is just so much easier! I am going to try to get better at the soaking/cooking though, because many of the canned goods we purchase have BPA and other chemicals in the plastic epoxy lining of the can. Don't need those in my burgers! And yes, that is broccoli you see there. I never thought about adding broccoli to a burger before, but why not?
In order to bind any bean-based burger together, I've found it really helps to mash at least half, if not all, of the beans. I had to throw this together pretty quickly since I was trying to prepare it before I left for a Ballet Phyisque class I'm trying out this week. If you haven't tried a barre class yet, holy moly! Every muscle in my body is sore! Good thing I went to town mashing before the class and not after!
Other good binders are eggs, or a flax egg if you don't eat eggs, and bread crumbs or panko. And of course, add some spices! Salt, pepper, cumin, whatever you like, but don't skimp. These turned out so good, I ate two, as did my husband. The girls? Well, they tried it, bless them, and initially the consensus was good...then they weren't so sure. We'll definitely try them again, though, maybe even on the grill next time! And, these were great heated up for lunch the next day. You could prep a bunch, cook them, and freeze for later as well. They were perfectly crispy on the outside and fully cooked on the inside without being soggy. Oh my yummy!
Recipe adapted from thekitchenwhisperer.net
The picture above is the kids version. I made some grilled asparagus to go along with this and keep it completely veggie. I also whipped up some mayo with jalapeno hot sauce, because we were out of Sriracha, and it was the perfect amount of heat to add to the burger. Seriously, you will love these. And if you bring to work with your for lunch, your friends will want some. They are THAT good!
If you don't want to go completely meatless, you can swap out 2 of the eggs and all the panko for about a pound of ground bison or ground beef. Keep an egg in there to make sure it keeps it shape, especially if you put these on the grill.
So, what do you like to put on top of your veggie burger? Leave us a comment and let us know!