So these burgers…
Where do I begin?
As summer is winding down, the nights are starting to get chillier and our fresh produce is reaching its peak, I’m feeling the need to soak up as much of this time of year as possible. From the food I’m eating, to the daily walks I take, to eating my lunch outside – it’s all part of the experience that we get to have for only a few short months a year.
Let’s start with the grill.
Grilling is something we do on a nightly basis in my house during the summer. Whether it’s meat, fish, veggies and even fruit sometimes, we’re basically addicted to that char-grilled flavor.
Just recently I started to play with grilled corn. WOW. I’ve always been a fan of corn, especially from this local farm stand we have here in Vermont, but tossed on the grill?
My mind has been officially blown.
We’ve used grilled corn in many ways now – on tacos, in a salsa, in salads and now in these quinoa burgers.
I love everything about these burgers, but it’s the grilled corn that really makes them shine.
The base is a combination of the classic tex-mex flavors – beans, onions, garlic, peppers, corn and SPICE – except rather than just tossing them all together and shaping them into patties, I wanted to impart this rich, smoky flavor by grilling some of the veggies first.
And all you have to do is toss a whole bell pepper and two ears of corn on a smoking hot grill, let them get nice and toasty, and add it to your burgers. Simply magical.
Now I’ve found that the trick to making homemade veggie burgers (particularly with vegan burgers) is in the chilling time. I always let my burgers sit in the fridge for an hour before cooking so they can firm up. They hold their shape better and are never crumbly.
The other trick, especially if you like to grill your burgers, is that you need to bake them first. Baking your burgers will create a crispy exterior, which gives the whole patty a little more structure and helps keep it from sticking to the grill.
Plus, once you throw it on there, it only takes about 2 minutes per side to be done – just enough time to get the beautiful grilled flavor.
So…as our love for veggie burgers continue, you can expect that I’ll be experimenting with a few different flavors. This one isn’t too unique, but I’m brainstorming some super fun flavor ideas.
What would be your ultimate veggie burger?
- 2 ears of corn, husked
- 1 large bell pepper (I like red)
- 1/2 large red onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 flax / chia egg (1 tablespoon flax/chia meal + 3 tablespoons water)
- 3 - 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Gluten-free burger buns
- Fresh romain lettuce
- Fresh tomato
- Smashed avocado
- Pineapple salsa
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place corn and pepper directly on grill and cook until charred on the outside; 2 - 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- When cool, cut corn kernels off the cob. Remove seeds from the pepper and chop into 1" pieces.
- Prepare the vegan egg by mixing the flax/chia meal with warm water and set aside to gel, about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add onion, carrot and garlic to a bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ground and no large chunks remain, 10 - 15 pulses.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of beans and add remaining to the food processor along with corn and pepper. Process again until a dough starts to form. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Pour oats into the food processor and pulse until ground into a flour. Add to bowl along with quinoa and spices, mixing to incorporate.
- Add flax/chia egg to the mixture and stir together into the dough. Use flaxseed meal as needed to help the dough bind together even more.
- Shape into burgers, place on parchment lined baking sheet and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake burgers on the center rack for 25 - 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Let cool for 5 minutes to firm up before serving.
- Fix up as you prefer and thoroughly enjoy!