I am the first to acknowledge gourmet homemade veggie burgers do take a bit more time to make than an all-beef patty, but any extra effort will be well rewarded.
But why not just buy your veggie burger and call it a day? With the exception of Hillary’s line of veggie burgers (her World’s Best Veggie Burger is just downright amazing), store-bought is often not the way to go when it comes to no-beef patties. Despite their virtuous-sounding name, the sad reality is store-bought burgers are typically either not all that clean or they just don’t taste good enough to eat.
It’s easy to imagine how homemade veggie burgers might be far superior to their pre-packaged, frozen cousins in the flavor department, but why would store-bought not always make it into the clean food category? Turn over a box of store-bought veggie burgers, and you’ll often find at least one, but most likely both, of the following ingredients:
- 1) Refined and pro-inflammatory vegetable oils (such as soybean oil, corn oil, etc.)
- 2) Refined soy in the form of soy protein isolate (SPI)
If you have our Clean Cuisine book, you know all about the many reasons we are not big fans of refined vegetable oils and refined soy. If you have not read the book, you can learn more about why refined vegetable oil is not healthful HERE. And you can read why soy protein isolate does not make it onto our clean food list HERE.
But for now, let’s get back to the homemade veggie burgers…
I do like to use tofu in my veggie burgers, but I suggest going with organic, sprouted tofu if at all possible. Wildwood Organic “SprouTofu” is a great brand, by the way. Sprouting not only makes tofu easier to digest, it also increases the nutritional content.
As for how to serve your veggie burgers, you can either serve them on a sprouted whole grain bun or eat them bunless, which is often the way I prefer if I’m not particularly hungry. If I’m going bunless, I like to nestle them between romaine lettuce leaves with slices of avocado. And eat with my hands, of course.
Oh! And don’t forget the mayo and ketchup. I’m not talking Hellmanns or Heinz though. Homemade veggie burgers deserve a step above. Believe it or not, homemade (and clean) mayo and ketchup are actually incredibly easy to make. And so insanely good. Click HERE for burger-worthy condiment recipes.
How to Make Homemade Veggie Burgers
- 1 cup frozen organic corn (thawed)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion (minced)
- ¾ cup carrots (minced)
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- ¾ teaspoon unrefined sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 14 ounces organic extra firm tofu (ideally sprouted (see notes below), drained, patted super dry with paper towels, and crumbled…can also experiment subbing with black beans!)
- 1 tablespoon spelt flour
- ½ cup medium-grind stone ground cornmeal (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 organic pastured egg (such as Vital Eggs, lightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Extra virgin coconut oil (for searing)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the corn, cilantro and walnuts in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized heavy skillet over medium heat; add the onions, carrots and garlic and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a large mixing bowl and add the corn- cilantro-walnut mixture, crumbled tofu, flour and cornmeal. Use your clean hands to mix ingredients together. Add the egg, tahini, cumin and measured ¾ teaspoon of salt. Knead the mixture until it holds together well.
- Form the veggie burger mixture into 7 patties.
- Lightly oil the bottom of a large skillet with extra virgin coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat; add three burgers to the hot skillet and sear for about 2 minutes each side. Transfer seared burgers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining burgers.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the burgers are firm and toasted. Serve warm.
You will definitely need extra firm tofu for the homemade veggie burgers. I always buy all soy foods organic and I also like to use sprouted tofu (such as Wildwood Organic “SprouTofu”) when possible. Sprouting not only makes tofu easier to digest, it also increases the nutritional content.