I've tried making veggie burgers from scratch several times before, and whenever I got to the point of actually frying them, they just fall apart. Chloe's Kitchen had a recipe for veggie burgers that looked good, so I tried it and they turned out great! In case anyone is wondering what the best vegan cookbook is, my vote is Chloe's Kitchen. That is, until I write my own.
Here's the recipe for these amazing veggie burgers. The "special sauce" is pretty good too and is the perfect substitute for the cheese and mayonnaise.
1 8 oz. pkg. tempeh, or 1 cup cooked brown rice (I used tempeh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup soft tofu
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon yellow or Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Optional toppings: sliced tomato, red onion, lettuce, pickle slices.
Burger: Fill a large pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. Using a knife or your hands, break tempeh into 4 pieces and place in the basket. Cover and steam for 20 minutes. Check the pot occasionally and add more water if necessary. Steaming the tempeh will remove its bitterness.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Reserve skillet for later use.
Add steamed tempeh, lentil, walnuts, flour, basil, salt, and pepper to the onions in the food processor. Pulse until the walnut pieces are very fine and the mixture comes together. If necessary, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix with your hands. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into eight burger patties with the palms of our hands. The patties should be very thin if you are assembling your burger double-double style. For a restaurant-style burger, from a thicker patty.
Heat canola oil in reserved nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and pan-fry patties in batches, adding more oil as needed. Flip the patties, and let cook until they are nicely browned on both sides. Remove patties from pan and drain on paper towels.
To make the Special Sauce: Combine tofu, garlic, mustard, ketchup, agave, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in relish and dill.
To serve: Layer the Burgers, Special Sauce and other desired toppings on the buns. Make it double-double style by adding an extra bottom bun and burger in the middle.