Monday, August 15, 2011

The Perfect Veggie Burger

Angela at Oh She Glows is my top blogger-crush. She’s gorgeous, writes beautifully, and makes creative, drool-worthy vegan food. She is also honest about her own issues with food and eating disorders, and out of all of the so-called “healthy living bloggers,” she is one who really seems to have done some very challenging personal and spiritual work around how she treats her body and isn’t afraid to talk about it. Recently, she was on a quest for the perfect veggie burger, in her own words, she wanted a burger that:

  • Can’t be mushy in the middle
  • Crispy outer shell
  • Lots of flavour from fresh herbs & spices
  • No tofu (not a fan)
  • Crunchy, chewy texture is a must
  • No cracking or falling apart
  • Must cook well 3 ways: frying pan, oven, and BBQ
  • Could make a grown man shed a tear of joy (ok, that was my requirement, heh)

Well, except that Joe wasn’t shedding any tears (though he did remark, unprovoked, that they were the best veggie burgers we’d ever had), these burgers fulfill every criterion. Note that there was no “comes together quickly” criterion. These require a bit of prep work (and kitchen mess), but the batch made 8 patties, so I ended up freezing the rest for later. My mini food processor really got a workout! The nuts add so much texture and crunch, and they held up beautifully on the grill.

It was very nearly a perfect summer meal, with grilled corn and okra on the side, and it was all vegan until Joe topped his burger with some non-vegan pesto and I sprinkled my corn with some spicy Parmesan seasoning. I will definitely be keeping a batch of these in the freezer to throw on top of a salad or for a quick dinner.


The Perfect Veggie Burger
source: Oh She Glows
Yields 8 medium-size patties


  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl (I used a chia egg with the same amount of chia seeds.)
  • 1 cup oats, processed into flour
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
  • Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped (toasted if preferred)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, (toasted if preferred)
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp kosher salt)


1. Preheat oven to 350F (if baking). In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax or chia egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.

3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together.

4. Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 30-36 mins (15-18 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the grill, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side.