Those ferocious winged predators that fly up your nostrils and take a chunk of any exposed flesh while you are (finally!) gardening.
Okay – two things.
It’s well and truly barbecue season.
For people trying to eat more meatless meals, it can sometimes feel like a challenge – but it really doesn’t have to be one.
There are lots of veggie options available that are great-tasting and easy to prepare. Arm yourself with a few good meatless burger recipes, and you’ll make it through the season just fine.
With all the powerhouse recipes available now, there’s no reason to put up with bland, mushy burgers. You can make veggie options that will have even carnivores asking for seconds.
Here are a few tips to help you create great meatless burgers:
Think about texture:
Most people are turned off by mushiness. Give your burgers a bit of chew by including grains: rice, barley and quinoa are good options that help provide a satisfying texture.
Hold it together:
There’s nothing more frustrating than a burger than just won’t hold together. You should be able to scoop a handful of your burger blend and form a smooth ball without it leaving a sticky mess on your hands. You should then be able to flatten the ball into a smooth patty without it crumbling.
If a mixture is too dry, try adding an egg or flax egg (1 tablespoon / 15 ml ground flax soaked for 5 minutes in 3 tablespoons / 45 ml water). If it is too wet, you can add some oatmeal, oat flour, bread crumbs or chickpea flour. Try not to add too much, though, as this can make the burgers pasty.
Sometimes chilling the mixture for at least an hour will give the ingredients time to blend and cohere. If you have time and your burger mix isn’t too wet, this is the best option to try before adding more dry ingredients.
I always dredge my prepared patties in cornstarch for a bit of extra crispiness. The cornstarch will also absorb any residual surface moisture and keep your patties from sticking together.
Ramp up the seasonings:
Don’t be shy with the seasonings. Dried and fresh herbs, chili flakes, hot peppers, salsa, onions, garlic, a bit of Dijon… and always, always salt and pepper. A splash of lemon juice will help bring out flavors, too.
Be warned: you may have better success cooking your burgers on a pan than on the grill. If you can’t bear the thought of missing out on the grill experience, try placing your burgers on a sheet of aluminum foil first to heat through, then give them a quick finish on a well-seasoned or lightly-oiled grill.