We eat meat free meals at least twice a week – they often come as part of curry’s, burgers or soups because I find that the easiest way to make OH forget there’s no meat in his tea and they’re also my favourite things to eat.
This week was the turn of the not-so-inventively named ‘Veggie Burgers’, from the book ‘Hungry?’ by Innocent.
The ingredients list is vague – there are no weights or anything to go by, so I recorded the weights as I went. I mean, seriously, what does ‘1 sweet potato’ translate to? Or ‘2 large waxy potatoes’? Whose hand do I use to measure a ‘small handful of peas’? I have small hands already! I’m pretty confident in the kitchen, and I was bemused. In the end, I used a (very rough!) 1:2 ratio for my potatoes, with the rest of the vague ingredients as follows:
- 220g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 390g potato, peeled and chopped smaller than the sweet potato
- 50g petit pois, frozen
- 115g carrot, grated
- 150g courgette, grated
- 1 medium slice of brown bread, toasted & ‘grated’
The recipe says it makes 4 adult or 8 ‘kid size burgers’. With the amount of vegetables above, you’ll serve four adults easy. I’d venture up to five with no problems.
But the patties? You’ll make 8 with the ingredients above, 8 good-sized ones that easily fill out an english muffin. They’re big enough as it is.
I (try) to keep to a modest portion in the evening, so I had one pattie, the OH had two.
The taste test
Despite having mint, paprika and cumin I found these very plain on their own. Perhaps it was the amount of vegetable, but it’s impossible to say. The 1 tsp of paprika and cumin prescribed wasn’t enough for my tastebuds: next time I will be at least doubling this, and possibly skipping the egg and adding BBQ sauce or curry paste for a stronger kick.
I think texture is very important in a burger. At the canteen where I work they have a ‘burger day’ about once a week that I’ve tried out a couple of times… both times I have been disappointed, once because of the texture of the beef burger, and once because of the complete lack of taste in the veggie burger. Needless to say, I haven’t ventured back for a third.
I digress. The Veggie Burgers were very smooth, with no real ‘bite’ per se, which I guess is to be expected when you consider all the ingredients were mashed and/or grated into what was essentially a puree. I think the timings provided for the oven are incorrect, at least for the recipe I ended up making. The book says 25-30 mins in the oven at 200C, I presume that’s for the adult ones? No different time was stated for smaller burgers. My kid size ones had 40 minutes and were still falling apart.
I left the five we didn’t eat in the oven for another 30 minutes, flipping them for the last 15. Again, the flipping isn’t stated in the recipe but is definitely needed. After all that extra time, they were far more browned and so I think will have a bit of extra ‘crunch’ on that initial bite, when we get around to eating them anyway!
I liked them, I did. But I’m in no great rush to make them again, since with an hour in the oven, plus the 20 minutes chilling in the fridge first means these bad boys take about 2 hours from start to finish and require a fair bit of mess in the making and grating preparation – on a week night that’s a lot of time in the kitchen, and to be honest, a few burger patties isn’t a lot to show for it! I’d give them one more try on a weekend, with more spices. Still, they were nice enough and gave us 2 of our 5 (or is it 7 now?) a day.
Note: I’m writing this of my own free will. I bought the book from ‘The Works’ and just fancied making these burgers! No money or freebies received.