Monday, July 9, 2012

Veggie Burger University and Rainbow Burgers Recipe

You may have noticed that I have been quieter than usual around the blogosphere. I'm so sorry if I caused anyone any concern! Everything is fine. I've been busy with all the usual stuff--kids, work, family obligations and catching up on some well needed R&R. And although my preoccupation with other things is likely to last throughout this very hot summer, rest assurred I am still the same Healthy Girl!

Plus, I did not want to write about anything else until I gave you all the recap on our fantastic Fourth of July Veggie Burger tasting party. It was like I had enrolled myself in Veggie Burger University in a self-study course on how to make the perfect veggie burger. And my final exam was hosting twenty adults who all enjoyed the fruits of my labor. 

The night before the party I stayed up kinda late (for me) and prepared four of the burgers, but didn't bake them. The last of the burgers had to wait for the next day because I forgot one of the cans of artichoke hearts! I baked everything off (which turned out beautifully--all of the burgers had a nice crispy exterior) and didn't even attempt to put any of these babies on a grill. I had visions of veggie burgers crumbling and falling through the grates. Nothing I wanted to risk on the big day!

The toppings were outstanding, if I say so myself! Especially that no-oil vegan Thousand Island dressing. What a winner!
Grilled red onions (hubby kinda left those on the grill too long), sprouts, lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
The winning burger was the Earth Burger. All recipes can be found in Joni Marle Newman's The Best Veggie Burger's on the Planet.
My favorite, and a close second, was the Sun-dried Tomato and Artichoke Burger.

The easiest to make, and by far the most versatile, was the Pintos and Rice burger.

Here's Marvin, my father-in-law, pretending to love my cooking. Just kidding! I think he might actually sometimes like what I make? This guy is 80 and still running almost every day.
This burger is a combination of what we loved from the Earth Burger and the Pintos and Rice burger. Adapt it any way you like. You can use any type of bean you have on hand, along with whatever raw veggies you've got. Maybe you have scallions instead of an onion? Use that instead! You cannot mess this up.

Serve on a whole wheat bun with all of your favorite burger fixin's. Or serve over a salad. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. To warm burgers, toast in a toaster oven for a nice crispy outside.

Rainbow Burgers
makes 9 burgers

print me!

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup barley flour
1 cups minced onion
1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (can be TJ's fire roasted or not)
1 cup finely diced tomato
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli florets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare 3 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Place rice, beans, cornmeal, barley flour, onion, garlic, cumin, hot sauce (optional), salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl., With clean hands, squish and knead ingredients until everything is well incorporated.

Add corn, tomato and broccoli. Gently squish together with rice and bean mixture.

Scoop about a cup of the mixture into your hands and form a ball. Place ball onto the prepared baking sheet and press down onto the top of the ball until the ingredients have formed a burger shape, about 1/2" thick.

Repeat until all ingredients are made into burgers. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip all of the burgers and place sheets back into the oven (I recommend rotating the placement of the sheets in the oven for more even baking). Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The exterior of the burgers should be slightly brown and crispy.

I love a good theme dinner party, like Taco Night or Thanksgiving in July. Have you ever hosted or been to a vegan dinner party with a food theme? What was the theme? Was it a success?
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