May is National Burger Month, a time to celebrate the meaty star of the backyard barbeque. But vegetarians and vegans take heart. Even if you follow a plant-based meal plan, you can still join the festivities by enjoying one of these burgers made from a vegetarian meat substitute.
1. Quinoa Burgers
This grain native to South America is a popular meat alternative thanks to its crumbly texture and nutrition profile. When cooked, quinoa has a texture similar to ground beef. According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, a 100-gram serving of quinoa packs 16 grams of protein. Make your own quinoa burger at home by combining cooked quinoa with roasted vegetables and your favorite seasonings. Press them into patties and brown them in a skillet before finishing the burgers in the oven. For a quinoa and black bean burger, click here.
2. Black Bean Burgers
Black beans make a great foundation for a meatless burger because they have the same color as cooked ground beef. A vegetarian burger recipe that uses canned black beans can have the burgers ready in as little as 20 minutes. Drain and mash the beans before combining them with bread crumbs, chopped walnuts, an egg, and your favorite seasonings. Form the patties and fry them in a skillet over medium heat until they form a brown crust.
3. Portobello Mushroom Burgers
If you're in a hurry, a portobello mushroom cap is an excellent vegan meat substitute. Since you're using the mushroom in its natural form, you don't have to worry about ingredients like eggs, which are perfectly suitable for a vegetarian diet but don't fit into a vegan meal plan. This recipe calls for a simple marinade made of vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Cook the marinated mushrooms in a skillet or in the oven, and slide them onto buns.
4. Beet Burgers
Beet burgers share the same deep pink hue of a meat burger cooked rare. You can make your own at home by roasting beets in the oven before combining them with walnuts (for added crunch), cooked rice (to bind the mixture), and seasonings (to give them some flavor). If you're not vegan, add some sharp cheese like smoked Gouda to balance the sweetness of the beets.
5. Sweet Potato Burgers
The sweet potato is a versatile tuber that makes a flavorful burger base. You can mash a cooked sweet potato with everything from black beans or chickpeas to lentils or cashews. Add tahini to the mix for Mediterranean flavor, spice it up with chili peppers, or keep it simple with salt and pepper. Fry the burgers in a shallow layer of oil to give them crispy edges. For a sweet potato and black bean burger, click here.