Sunday, May 31, 2009

how to make a frozen veggie burger edible

The carnivore loves burgers. Who doesn't, right? When I first became a vegetarian burgers were the one thing I missed. I have tried many veggie burgers over the years and some of them honestly taste like cardboard. There is just no getting around it. So here is what I have learned...

First, I should say handmade veggie burgers are best. I have not mastered this art yet, but there are a few restaurants I frequent that make a mean veggie burger from scratch. And, just like all you carnivores out there I crave them from time to time.

Now, if you do buy frozen ones stick to either black bean burgers or regular looking patties. Steer clear of any strange teriyaki, hawaiian or italian flavors. They are usually just masking a bad burger. My favorite brand is Amy's quarter pound burger. They are huge - just like a real burger. I also like Morningstar Farm's black bean burger.

Here is the most important tip - don't grill the patty. I know this may seem counter intuitive, but the frozen patties don't have much fat in them (unlike a real burger) and thus dry out on the grill. It is better to put a little olive oil in a skillet and fry it. It makes the veggie burger sorta juicy - like the real thing.

Also, toppings and condiments are key. Even the bad veggie burgers can be made more tolerable with the right additions. Cheese is always tops in my house. Any kind will do - american, cheddar, provolone, gouda, etc. Anything to give the burger a bit more fat and taste. I also usually have lettuce, tomato and red onion available. Here is another trick - instead of the usual ketchup or mustard, I always add bar-b-que sauce to my burger.

Finally, don't forget the bun. Don't skimp here. A nice fluffy wheat bun is my favorite - the bigger the better. I like the fresh made ones I can find at the bakery section of my grocery store. And, they are always better toasted.

So, now you now how to make a frozen veggie burger more edible...maybe even a few carnivores out there will like to try it. Just remember this - it won't taste like a real burger, but it will be good in its own right.

menu ideas:
On burger night in my house the carnivore heats up his beef or turkey patties on the grill while I make the veggie burger inside and prepare the toppings. We usually have fries or onion rings on the side. We finish the meal with thick slices of watermelon.

8 comments:

  1. Love the Morningstar veggie burgers. My husband would eat them non-stop if possible!

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  2. I love the MSF Black Bean burgers. Mom's fav is the MSF Griller.

    I have made veggie burgers and have posted on my blog. The Spicy Black Bean one is really yummy and we make it often..I also made a tofu one! Your making me want veggie burgers now!

    BTW, I am really happy to have found your space here. I look forward to keeping up with considering I prefer to eat vegetarian and having a carnivore hubby in common!

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  3. Thanks HoneyB. It is nice to know there are others out there who are going through the same thing. I know I will be checking in on your site often too!

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  4. I eat meat but love veggie meals and veggie burgers. I also favor the Morningstar black bean burger and Amy's burgers. Can even get the husband to eat them. Love the grilling tips!

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  5. We like to cook onions slowly so they're soft and set aside. Then cook gardenburgers in pan and remove. We throw a tortilla in the hot pan for a few moments to soften it, then wrap the garden burger (cut into pieces) with the onions, some julienned peppers/carrots/peapods, etc and a drizzle of salad dressing. Makes a quick delicious sandwich wrap!

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  6. the wrap sounds delicious! the onion trick is a good tip for burgers too. thanks for sharing!

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  7. Yum - now THAT looks like a meal!

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  8. Extremely complete and extremely good recommendations on how to make a frozen veggie burger edible.Thank you and congratulations

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