The Ultimate Vegan Burger (G-F Option!)

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetThis recipe created itself. Like seriously, it had a mind of its own. I just kept opening cupboards, finding ridiculously yummy and healthful ingredients and adding them to the mix. Black rice? Check. Lentils? Of course. Two kinds of beans? Absolutely. Sautéed mushrooms, onion and garlic? No question. Panko crumbs and nutritional yeast? Now you’re just showing off. This Ultimate Vegan Burger was determined to be the most delicious, protein-packed (19 grams of plant-powered protein per burger! Woot!), wholesome and hearty vegan burger on the planet, not to mention cholesterol and cruelty-free! I was amazed when all the ingredients I’d tossed in came together to form a juicy burger on the inside with that perfectly crispy outer layer that makes your tastebuds sing. I now serve this burger to my family weekly. I feel good about what I’m putting into my kids’ tummies and they literally DEVOUR them.

Give these bad boys a try and let me know what you think!

Here’s what you’ll need (makes 6 large burgers):

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 cup lentils (sometimes I use brown, sometimes green. Either works! If you are extremely gluten-intolerant, I’ve heard Arrowhead Mills brand of lentils is free of cross-contamination concerns)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 ounces brown mushrooms, washed and diced (I use the stems too)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (use gluten-free for a g-f version of this burger or omit entirely)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • oil for sautéing and grilling

Start by rinsing your black rice and lentils. Place both of them together in a pot. Add the water by using this old Chinese trick my Mom taught me and that has apparently been passed down through generations of my family… Shake the rice and lentils in the saucepan until they are in an even, flat layer. Place your pointer/index finger right on the top of the bed of rice and lentils (perpendicular to the bed of rice and lentils) then add water until the water reaches the first crease line on your pointer finger. Set the pot over medium-high heat, covered. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and set the lid askew to release the steam. Simmer until the water is gone and the rice and lentils are tender. If my Chinese measuring technique sounds too risky, you can simply measure out about 4 cups of water and pour it in. But I thought I’d share my measuring technique since it’s super easy and always makes perfect rice! : )

While your rice and lentils simmer, sauté your mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender and slightly browned.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your drained black and cannellini beans and mash them with a potato masher. Add in the cooked rice and lentils (you do not need to wait for them to cool; just be careful not to burn yourself when shaping your burgers) and then add in the sautéed veggies. Next, add the panko crumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Once all your burger ingredients are well integrated, shape the mixture into six evenly sized, rounded burgers. Don’t try to make them too flat like the shape of frozen veggie burgers as they will have trouble staying together on the pan. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Add your oil to the pan and grill the burgers, flipping them carefully, until they’re crispy and browned on both sides. At this point you can flatten them on the pan with a spatula if you prefer a flatter burger.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetServe on buns with your favorite burger toppings (sliced avocado tastes AMAZING on these) and enjoy!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetHappy eating!