It has been a while since I have bought a veggie burger from the supermarket. I’m generally against any highly processed, packaged foods, but I used to look past this when it came to veggie burgers. For some reason, it felt like a veggie burger should automatically be a “healthy” option, but once you take a look at the ingredient list on a package, they are generally just as bad as other packaged frozen meats.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect veggie burger recipe, but every time I look up a recipe, there’s always some pantry staple that I’m missing – wheat gluten, TVP, nutritional yeast, cooked brown rice (I’m not about to spend an hour cooking brown rice just to make veggie burgers), amongst others I have come across. That’s what led me to decide that I’m going to experiment with ingredients I already have and come up with a variety of recipes to use up produce I may already have in the refrigerator.
We have had an abundance of eggplant in the garden, and I decided to use this as the base for my recipe today. I started off by slicing two eggplants and roasting them in the oven.
I then fried up shallots in some olive oil, and added the cooked shallots, eggplant, and remaining ingredients and mixed it all in the food processor. I leaned on the side of keeping the mixture quite dry, and used lemon juice to add a bit of moisture as necessary – they key is to have it sticky enough so the patty forms nicely, but not too wet that it takes forever to cook.
You can’t have burgers without some fries, so I decided to bake up a pan. I always cut the potatoes and then soak them in water to remove the excess starch. After pat drying, I coat them with olive oil and bake them for about 30 minutes at 400F. I also served this burger with a quick yogurt sauce (yogurt, 2 cloves minced garlic, handful of chopped mint, cayenne pepper and salt).
2 small to medium eggplants, sliced and roasted
2 shallots minced and cooked in some olive oil
1 can of chick peas
3 tbsp hummus
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup oats (you can add more if your mixture is too moist)
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to drizzle in while food processor is running to provide additional moisture if needed
Once the mixture is perfectly blended, form patties by hand and cook on your favourite pan.