What Do You Crave?
Even though I haven’t eaten meat for years, I still crave a good juicy burger sometimes! I recently had a terrific vegan burger at a restaurant in Boulder. It was juicy, not dry, and it reminded me of my hamburger-eating days. It had a great texture and I thought about how I could make a similar burger at home.
Making the Base
When I crave burgers, I go for one of two ingredients – mushrooms or beans (including lentils).
For the base in this recipe I decided to use mushrooms. They’re low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, especially medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Chaga, Maitake, or Shiitake. I used a mixture of portobello and Shiitake mushrooms. Many of the medicinal mushrooms (not all are listed here) have anticancer properties in that they prevent angiogenesis (the making of new blood vessels).
Giving it That Meaty Flavor
The mushrooms alone are not enough to give a burger the substantial texture and flavor of meat. So to accomplish this I used walnuts that I soaked in water in advance, and drained just before adding to the burger mixture.
Since this burger is vegan I used gluten free rolled oats that I ground into a flour that had slightly more texture than regular white flour as the binder.
I infused the burger with more flavor by sautéing some red onion and garlic and seasoned it with more onion and garlic powder while combining it all together.
I seared the burger patties on both sides and then finished them off for 10 minutes in the oven to make sure they were cooked through. They turned out exactly the way I wanted – juicy, meaty, flavorful, and filling. Hit just the spot!
Putting it All Together
I topped off my burger patties with slowly sautéed onions, caramelized to perfection, and some avocado slices. And of course, I couldn’t do it without organic ketchup.
And I paired the whole meal with a beautiful colorful salad of red and white endive, cucumbers, and heirloom (yellow) tomato.
I hope you get a chance to make these and that you love them as much as I did!
Vegan Mushroom Burgers
2 portobello mushrooms
3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms
1 cup walnuts, soaked and drained
½ cup gluten free oatmeal or rolled oats ground in food processor
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Sauté onions until translucent.
3. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Remove to a bowl.
4. Add mushrooms to the hot pan and saute until mushrooms have given off their own liquid and it has begun to evaporate.
5. Combine mushrooms, onion, garlic, and walnuts in food processor. When smooth, add in oatmeal or ground rolled oats.
6. Season with onion and garlic powders and salt and pepper.
7. Add some olive oil to a pan, when hot form burger patties and place in hot pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side until brown.
8. Place browned burgers on prepared baking sheet and bake in oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
9. Garnish with grilled onions, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and your favorite burger toppings!