Walnut Veggie Burgers

I reviewed my old veggie burger recipes and decided it was time for a new version. This week, I made some changes in the ingredients and procedure sections.

I take homemade veggie burger-making seriously because I don’t eat beef but, from time to time, I want to indulge in a burger. Also, I still haven’t found a commercial veggie burger that I like. So far, none of them appeal to me.

Made with real ingredients and without the fillers and chemicals found in most store-bought brands, these homemade walnut veggie burgers are the real thing. You feel good after eating them.

Last week, I made a vegan and gluten-free cake with psyllium husk powder and the results were excellent. This week, I decided to test the binding power of psyllium husk in the making of veggie burgers and am delighted with the results.

To your next batch of plant-burgers, I recommend adding fine psyllium husk powder specific for cooking or baking. It is widely available in grocery or health food stores and you only need to add one or a few spoonfuls at a time, so it will last in your cupboard.

When using the powder in your burger mixture, you do not need to add breadcrumbs as a thickener —only chopped oven-roasted walnuts or other nuts of choice. Here, I’ve added one full cup of chopped (not processed) roasted walnuts.

Crispy on the outside and soft with a good hold on the inside, these walnut veggie burgers are hearty, tasty and packed with natural, healthy ingredients. Made with beluga lentils and black beans, you can add for the vegetable base various options: shredded beetroot or grated carrots with finely chopped kale or mushrooms.

The recipe is below.

Enjoy!

Beetroot and walnut burger before frying or grilling
Well seared and crispy on the outside is key to a perfect veggie burger
Bag of beluga lentils

Walnut Veggie Burgers

10 patties (or more)

INGREDIENTS

Oils

  • Vegetable oil for frying/ sautéing
  • Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil for brushing patties

Burger base

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beluga lentils
  • 1/2  cup cooked black beans, strained and rinsed (one 130 gr. can)
  • 1 red or yellow cooking onion, diced
  • 2 big garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked and shredded beetroot (I used store-bought), strained and rinsed with mesh sieve * (see note for alternatives)
  • Ground pepper and some salt (miso is salty, so according to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (tbsp) psyllium husk powder
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsps cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup roasted walnuts, chopped small (can sub. with roasted hazelnuts or brown almonds)

*Note: Can also use 1 1/4 cups raw grated carrots or a mix of raw grated carrots and finely chopped kale leaves. If you want to use mushrooms, increase to 2 1/2 cups of fresh diced mushrooms as they shrink more after they are fried.

Spices

  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) brown miso paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sweet or mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • A few drops of red tabasco sauce

OPTION: Condiment/sauce for your burgers

In a small bowl, mix together:

  • 2 tbsps Dijon mustard (I used an equal mix of smooth and whole grain Dijon mustard)
  • 2 tbsps salsa dip sauce of choice ( I used a store-bought kind)

PROCEDURE

When making veggie burgers, I like to roast the walnuts and cook the lentils and rice the day or night before. If you make more rice and lentils than needed, you can freeze these in separate containers.

  1. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and place on the middle rack in preheated oven at 200°C/390°F. Roast for about 6 to 8 minutes. Take out and chop them. Set aside in a small bowl.

2. On stove top, cook in separate pots the black lentils until soft and brown rice according to package instructions. Strain excess water, measure what you need and set these aside separately.

3. Strain and rinse the cooked black beans under running water. Measure 1/2 cup and set this aside.

4. In a big bowl, add the 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils with the 1/2 cup black beans and partially hand mash with potato masher. The black beans will break up and mash more easily than the lentils and that is what you want for texture. Set this aside.

5. Place a medium-large non-stick pan on stove top and brush a small amount of vegetable oil to thinly line the bottom. Heat this up. When the pan is ready and hot, add the onion, garlic and the prepared vegetables or mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium, and fry for 6 minutes, stirring often.

6. In pan, add the partially mashed lentils and beans and fry this with the vegetables and onion for another 6 to 8 minutes, constantly turning and if needed, mashing with masher. Adjust heat. Add salt and ground pepper while frying. When done, transfer the mixture back into the big bowl.

7. Sprinkle one and half tablespoons of psyllium husk powder all over in the burger mixture and immediately mix with a big spoon so that the powder is evenly incorporated into the mixture. Add the cooked rice and roasted walnuts and mix with spoon again.

8. In a very small bowl hand whisk with fork the spice ingredients and pour this into the veggie burger mixture and mix well. Let the mixture stand for 10-15 minutes in order for the psyllium husk to gel.

9. Wash your hands and with one hand, squeeze in intervals the mixture between your hand and fingers. Do this several times until all is blended. The mixture should hold together when squeezed into a small ball. It should feel moist, textured but not mushy.

Grated carrot, kale and walnut mixture

10. Form into tight patties of about 1/4 to 1/2 cup size. Brush patties with olive oil and you can refrigerate them in a sealed container or cover the tray with foil. You can also proceed immediately to frying or grilling them. The patties also freeze well in a container.

Grated carrot, kale and walnut
Grated beetroot and walnut

11. Heat up a small amount of vegetable oil in a cast iron or non-stick pan. When hot, reduce heat to medium and fry the patties for 6-8 minutes on each side. The outside of the patty should be seared and crisp. The inside will be softer, but will hold together nicely. You can also grill on BBQ for about the same amount of time on each side. Serve as is or between buns with veggies or condiments or sauce of choice.

Crisp on the outside and soft with a good hold on the inside
Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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