When we started this blog, Kaeli and I promised to bring you copious amounts of vegan burgers, but we somehow got sidetracked by all the other delicious food we’d been dying to share with you. BUT fear not, we are back on track with this Vegan BBQ Burger and it’s definitely one you want to save.
Too often have I gone to a braai with only a giant mushroom as my burger substitute while all my meat eating friends enjoy their delicious burgers and look on at me with pity in their eyes. I’m not the biggest fan of premade soy patties, and while some vegans and vegetarians might opt for them, I’d rather stick to my giant mushroom, or better yet create my own burger patties that can rival any beef or lamb burger.
I’ve been making this burger for a while now, trying to perfect it, making sure it holds on the grill and in a pan, and it’s finally ready to be shared. Most vegan burgers are quite fragile because of the lack of egg, but these come together and stay together perfectly. The beans and rice provide the hold while the rest of the ingredients work to create an incredible smoky BBQ flavour.
Carbohydrates have been touted as the feared food in fad diets, and they’re neither good nor bad, they’re both depending on which kind you’re consuming. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta are the ones we want to avoid, as these cause spikes in sugar levels and have very little nutritional value. carbohydrates that are full of fibre, these are the types of carbs we should be consuming. White beans, also known as cannellini beans, have significant nutritional benefits that benefit the body in so many ways. In addition to offering benefits for the digestive and cardiovascular systems, the soluble fibre found in white kidney beans helps stabilize blood sugar levels reducing the risk of diabetes. These magical beans also help you keep a healthy heart by reducing the “bad cholesterol” in your body and even has the potential to reduce blood pressure. I call them magical beans because you don’t need an entire cup of beans to reap their benefits, a 1/4 cup is enough for your body to get its daily intake and still remain “low carb”.
If you do struggle from IBS and you know beans are your trigger, try buying them raw and sprouting them before cooking them. There are cellular changes that happen in any bean/legume and grain that help the body digest them easier. The sprouting process neutralizes phytic acid that would tend to irritate your digestive system, by sprouting them your beans a lot easier for your body to digest. If you’re short on time and don’t want to go through the whole process I suggest buying organic beans and rinsing them thoroughly, this gets rid of any excess starch the beans produce while canned. In my early days of being a vegetarian (it’s only been a year) beans and legumes triggered my IBS like crazy, I actually thought it was my body withdrawing from meat, no that’s not actually a thing. I learnt to stop being lazy and actually just rinse my beans properly, eat better and now I’m able to enjoy them without any painful IBS triggers.
These burgers have been game-changing. I usually make a double batch to store in the freezer for impromptu guests who don’t give you much warning they’re visiting or when I’m being a lazy cook. They’re incredibly delicious, wholesome and hearty, and you definitely won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.
Makes 6 – 8 medium sized patties
- 1 cup Cooked Brown Rice
- 1 cup Ground Almonds
- 1 White Onion, diced
- 1 tin White Beans, drained
- 250g Portabellini Mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 60g Tomato Paste
- 4 Tbsp Vegan BBQ Sauce
- 1 Tomato, sliced into rounds
- 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Avocado, skin removed and sliced
- A handful of Iceberg Lettuce
- 2 Wholewheat Buns
- 2 Tbsp Tahini
- If your rice isn’t already cooked, add 1/2 cup raw brown rice to a pot, along with 2 cups of boiling water and bring to a rolling boil. Place the lid on the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until your rice is tender.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius, and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Place a frying pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and your diced white onion. Let your onions caramelise slightly (approximately 5-6 minutes), add your chopped mushrooms and sauté until brown (a further 5-6minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add your almonds to a high-speed blender (nutribullet) and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, you could alternatively use almond meal.
- Once your beans are drained, add them to a medium-sized bowl that’s large enough to fit all your ingredients and using a fork, roughly mash them, keeping some whole.
- Add your rice, mushrooms, onions, almond meal, spices, tomato paste, and Vegan BBQ sauce and mix to form a mouldable dough, roughly 1-2 minutes of mixing. If your mixture seems too wet, refrigerate for 30 minutes, if too dry add 1 Tbsp of BBQ sauce at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Using a rough measurement of 1/4 cup, scoop the mixture out and roll into balls, place them on your prepared baking sheet and use the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly into burger patties.
- Once you’ve used all your mixture place your patties in the oven for 15 -20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- To assemble begin with an open wholewheat bun, followed by your lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, red onion, your burger patty, sliced avo and finally tahini.
- Once cooked these burgers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- For home freezing, form your burger patties and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. To cook, place in the oven on 180 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes, or until defrosted and cooked through.