Sorry for my absence this past week – I’ve been on a serious veggie burger bender, cooking up a storm from a new book called “The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet”.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger & Chipotle Dipping Sauce
These burgers are seriously wicked! They were the first ones I tried and it honestly made me feel like the rest of the book had a lot to live up to.
They firmed up with cooking and held together impressively. They were better baked rather than pan fried. I tried both; the fried ones are pictured above. The recipe makes 8 decent sized patties that contain both gluten and soy. You could easily use gf flour, but you may need to be a little more creative with substituting the tofu if you’re allergic to soy. On the upside, if your aversion to tofu is purely aesthetic, you can’t even tell there’s any in there.
Chipotle (smoked jalapenos) aren’t common in Australia – it was great to be eating something unusual, but keep in mind that if you’re in Australia the ingredients won’t be easy to find. I had to order canned chipotles in adobo sauce from USA Foods.
I’ll definitely be making these again but may halve or omit the sugar altogether next time. This is solely a cultural preference; I know ‘mericans love to pair up sweet potatoes with sugar but Aussies generally find them sweet enough on their own.
Other than that, my only real issue was that these take hours to make and there’s no time indication with the recipe. The sweet potato took an hour to bake. After assembling the mixture quickly I had to refrigerate for 10-20 mins, bake 20 mins on one side, then flip and bake a further 20 mins. Not ideal for a quick week night meal (unless you have some already made and frozen), but definitely worth the effort!
Oh! And the dipping sauce is nice and spicy!
Potato Samosa Burgers
I was really keen to try these; sadly, they let me down. The recipe is gf but the patties didn’t hold together at all. The instructions said to fry in plenty of oil but it wasn’t working so I tried less oil and still ended up with loose peas all over the frying pan and patties that were falling apart.
Both of my attempts ended up too greasy and the raw onions, which didn’t cook with the burgers, really ruined the flavour and texture. The best part of this meal was my chickpea sakad and mint sauce!
On the whole, the idea for this burger is great but the recipe definitely needs work. I won’t be making these again.
Curried Chickpea & Broccoli Burgers
I thought these were my favourite burgers until I tried the super quinoa burgers (pictured below) – now I can’t decide!
The recipe makes 6 patties and comes together both quickly and easily. There’s more than one option for cooking these – I chose to bake them, then gave them some pretty grill marks in a griddle pan.
The flavour is mild and wholesome. You could add extra Thai curry paste if you wanted a stronger flavour, but it’s not necessary – especially if you dress these with a nice condiment like mint sauce or tomato chutney.
There burgers contain gluten, but you can actually purchase a gluten free gluten substitute made by Orgran.
Super Quinoa Burger
I enjoyed the “Super Quinoa Burgers” over a simple bed of shredded lettuce and carrot with some vegan mayo (that somehow squeezed out looking like silly string!). These burgers are quick to throw together, have a lot of flavour and are a little crispy/crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. These ones are a serious winner; I’ll definitely be making them again!
On the whole, this book is awesome. I love the concept and the way it’s divided into areas of the world. Good veggie burger recipes are hard to come by and are a good thing for every vegan to have up their sleeve. Having scored three great burgers out of four means the book has already earned every cent that I spent on it.
There’s mention of which recipes are gf and/or soy free which I find handy – although if you have the smarts, you can generally get around these obstacles. A lot of the recipes contain wheat gluten (or as Americans call it, “vital wheat gluten”), and TVP. I avoided the TVP ones like the plague (and there are many), because I generally find the stuff too chewy and uncomfortable in my mouth. Something about it is just… wrong. That being said though, it’s good that the book includes these recipes, because it means that it appeals to all sorts of vegan palettes.
At the back of the book, there’s a token dessert section which has some tasty looking stuff in it, but it feels REALLY out of place. I think the author could have skipped the desserts altogether, or created dessert burgers, in an effort to stick with the theme. Other than that, the only thing I would change is to add suggested prep/cooking times to the recipes.
This book is an excellent buy and I highly recommend it!