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Veggie Burgers

March 1, 2011

I really like veggie burgers, but I don’t have that much experience making them. Maybe it’s because I’m a little afraid they’ll call for TVP (textured vegetable protein), which is a weird soy product. (You can read a little history of TVP here and then you can read some of the criticism about soy here.)

To sum it up, most modern soy products are not traditional foods eaten by people groups. They are literally products–food processed beyond recognition–and I’m pretty suspicious of any highly processed food–vegetarian or not. Traditional soy foods include miso, tofu, and tempeh. These three have been eaten by people groups for a very long time, but they are significantly different from modern soy foods (soy milk, TVP, fake meats made from soy) because they are fermented. The fermentation process makes soy more digestible and easier for your body to absorb the nutrients from it. Though we regularly eat meat-free meals, we do not substitute fake meat for real meat. We eat alternative forms of proteins–legumes (in their natural state), eggs, dairy, nuts and whole-grains.

This recipe fits the bill exactly. In addition, it’s really easy to make once you have cooked brown rice on hand. The burgers cook up a little like pancakes. In fact, if you wanted to serve them as fritters, they’d work just as well as they do for sandwiches. This is truly a versatile recipe. (And, by the way, they’ve passed the baby test! Evelyn really likes them.)

veggie burger with alfalfa sprouts

Veggie Burgers

1 C. cooked brown rice

3 eggs

1/2 C. dry bread crumbs

1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese (Real cheese–not from a green can, please.)

1/2 t. each dried oregano, salt and pepper (Use less salt if you prefer.)

3 t. oil or melted butter, divided

1/3 C. finely chopped onion

1/3 C. finely grated carrot

1/3 C. finely chopped mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 rolls, split (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine rice, eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat 1 t. oil. Saute onion and carrot for 2 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes longer. Add vegetables to egg mixture; mix thoroughly. In the heated skillet, add the rest of the oil. Drop batter into the skillet, like a thick pancake, to make the patties. Saute 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned. Serve on buns (optional) with hamburger fixings. We like to eat these with home-sprouted alfalfa sprouts and garlic mayonnaise (below).

Garlic Mayonnaise

Mix together:

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 t. dried)

1 T. chopped fresh chives (or 1 t. dried)

1 clove garlic, crushed

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