Part-Time Pesca-Vege-Tarian Burger Lovers Unite

Have you ever had that one food item that was just so good to your tummy that you felt like you could eat it all the time? That thing that makes your taste buds happy and leaves you feeling like you could break into song? You know, as though you were a trained opera singer and you have a microphone pinned to your big beautiful gown as you stand on stage belting out beautiful notes about the delicious morsel that just entered your mouth?

Ok. Maybe not quite like that, but you get my drift.

For me, that thing has always been a great burger. I’m not sure when the love first developed, but it was that love that made my decision to eliminate red meat from my diet in my mid 20s. (Yes, I fell victim to fears connected to mad cow disease back in ’03-’04. Yes I still drank milk. No, you’re not allowed to judge me.) And while I thought I was going to go into severe, hamburger-tastic withdrawals, I survived my decision with no harm to beef eating friends or family as I happily embraced the now-quite-common Turkey Burger. 

But now, because we needed to make our eating lives more interesting, we’ve decided to move toward this crazy idea of Part-time Pesca-vege-tarianism. With that choice comes my exploration of meatless “burger” options. Remember, a good burger turns me into an opera-singing superstar!

I know what you’re thinking… The absence of a ground meat product means that thing between that beautifully toasted bun, under the lettuce & tomato and wearing a gentle smear of dijon mustard is nothing more than a sandwich. BUT, with the right amount of love, Meatless Burger Magic is possible! 

Enter the Quinoa & White Bean Burger…

I will tell you now that I was pleasantly surprised by how hearty and fabulous this burger was (I think some of that had to do with the chipotle powder). And what made it even better is that it was SO FAST to make! 

As is almost always the case, I made some adjustments from the original recipe based on what I thought could work and still ended up with a total winner (sometimes that doesn’t happen). 

If you’re looking for an easy meatless option, definitely give these burgers a whirl! Even the picky eater in the house enjoyed it! 

Not ready to play in the land of Part-time Pesca-vege-tarianism? Find another way to play with your standard burger. Try new spices. Bake instead of pan frying. Find a recipe and just play with it to see what happens. As much as possible, you want to make cooking a fun experience both behind-the-scenes and on the plate. 

Play Things:

  • 1 c cooked quinoa (I had red, so I used that, but you can use whatever is easiest to find)
  • 1 c cannellini beans (mashed)
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2-ish tsp chipotle chile powder (could go more)
  • 1/2-ish tsp sea salt (could go less)
  • 1/2-ish tsp pepper
  • 4 Buns (I made mine following this easy recipe (halved it) but you can just buy buns)

Let’s Play:  Mix all ingredients, except for the egg, together. Taste. If you feel there’s enough of all the seasoning, add the egg. If you feel like something is missing, maybe that means you should throw in some oregano (it’s always good), onion powder or more chipotle powder. Once you feel like the taste is to your liking, add the egg and mix it all together again. If it feels a smidge too wet, add a little more panko. You should be able to get about 4 patties out of the mix. Form them just like you would a burger. Once all burgers are formed, place in the fridge for a few to chill. From there, you can either fry in a pan or bake off in the oven. 

Things to Note:  

  • The original recipe included the addition of cheese in the mix. I decided to omit the cheese there and up the bean quantity as that just felt like the better option for us. 
  • If you’re trying to sneak veggies in, chop up some kale or spinach really fine to add to the patties before forming them. Will definitely try that next time. 
  • Caramelized onions are a beautiful thing and I’m SURE would be a great addition to this burger.
  • Because I like the challenge of bread making, I made my burger buns using this recipe (scroll all the way down — it’s the 3rd recipe). I halved the recipe and made full-sized buns instead of slider-sized. If you have extras, I’d wrap them up and put in the freezer for future use. This really was one of the fastest, easiest bun recipes I’ve made.