Monday, February 4, 2013

Oat Burgers {With a twist!}

When I was in high school, I worked in food service. Our cafeteria was strictly vegan and we made everything from scratch...for 55-70 people. I will never forget making huge batches of cookies or burgers, peeling 50 lbs. of potatoes, cutting pounds and pounds of onions. One of the recipes I remember most was a sunflower seed burger, smothered in a special sauce and baked. I think of it sometimes when I'm forming veggie burgers by hand. 

Recently I began experimenting with my own veggie burger. I love Morningstar Farms or Boca products, but when I realized how much money I could save by making my own...I was hooked. Now, if only I could come up with a really good substitution for Morningstar Farms Breakfast Strips! :0)

These burgers combine oats, white beans, and brown rice and are celiac friendly if you make sure that your oats are gluten free. One batch makes 18 patties.

3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (or light soy sauce)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tb. oil
2 Tb. dried minced onion
1 Tb. maple syrup
2 Tb. Italian seasoning (I made mine from a mixture of crushed rosemary, thyme, and basil)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic
1/4 tsp. cayenne or pinch of red pepper flakes (opt.)
3 1/2 cups quick oats
2/3 cup white beans, pureed slightly (still small chunks visible)
2/3 cup brown rice, cooked 
1/2 cup ground pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line several baking sheets with foil or bake-able parchment paper.

In a large pot, combine first nine ingredients (water + spices, oil and syrup) and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in oats, bean puree, rice, and pecans and combine well. You may want to grab a pinch of the mix and taste to adjust for salt if needed.Allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. It will become very thick.

Using a large ice cream scoop (about 1/3 cup), spoon mixture onto prepared sheets and flatten into patties with your hand. I made mine about 3/4-in thick. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes on one side, then turn patties with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before storing. 

These freeze amazingly well. I wrap mine in foil and place into a gallon size freezer bag. When I'm ready to use them, I take out however many burgers I need, microwave them for 15 seconds on each side, or until they're completely warm. I serve them on a bun layered with red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, ketchup, mustard (or) our favorite BBQ sauce. 

Enjoy! :0)

I modified a sausage recipe from Mary Bernt's "Best of Veggies".