Saturday, January 15, 2011

gluten free veggie burgers (first attempt)

Meat is expensive; good meat even more so. I have come to realization that I have yet to find a good, affordable source of meat in Maryland. There are several vendors at the farmer's markets, but they are cost prohibitive.

I have narrowed down my rules to the following: no antibiotics, all vegetarian feed, local when possible, cheap cuts over all others.

So this means, I am eating a lot less meat.
I am a recovering vegetarian. I spent a lot of time trying to make my body enjoy soy-based faux meats until I realized that soy = "bubbles" and displeasure for all. So, while there are good sources of vegetarian, gluten-free meat substitutes they are hella expensive. So I decided to take a stab at creating a veggie burger of my own. There are a ton of ingredients, and I think far from the best possible burger, but it was good enough to serve to a crowd of gluten eaters! Plus I made a ton extra to store in the freezer.

Veggie Burgers
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onion diced, ~2 cups
1 stalk celery diced, ~ 1/2 cup
2 large carrots diced, ~ 1 1/2 cups
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
1 can beans drained
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup wheat free tamari
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
3 cups cooked millet
5 cloves roasted garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup gf bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 tsp agar agar (not sure this did anything)

I started all the veggies in the oil, then added the spices to toast them a bit.
 Then threw in the beans
 I pureed about half of the mixture with a stick blender.
 In goes the millet and quinoa
 Sunflower seeds, and then the remaining ingredients when it became clear they were not sticky enough, I added the eggs and breadcrumbs and more seasonings.
 With a well greased scoop, I began making the burgers

13 burgers and one loaf
 I half froze the burgers on wax paper and then cut and stacked them before storing them in the freezer

 I baked the loaf at 350F for about 40 minutes, or until it was totally brown and crispy on the edge.
The flavor was good, really good. It did crumble and fall apart a bit. I think it needs more breadcrumbs and/or beans to help hold it together a bit better.
Not a bad first try.


  1. I like to use gram flour in veggie burgers. not sure if it's gf but I'm sure you know!

  2. Gram flour is actually a type of milled wheat flour (with larger pieces and more fiber)... but I love suggestions! I am thinking it needs more bread crumbs or more beans to create a past to hold it together. But I am open to other options!

  3. The thing I see missing is mushrooms - I usually use portabellos because they have so much flavor. But even the inexpensive white mushrooms work for me.

    The other thing I add to my burgers is cheese - usually sharp cheddar, but anything that melts well works. That said, even without the cheese in the patty they are awesome

  4. No Kristina Gram Flour is not wheat. Graham Flour is wheat flour as in Graham Crackers. Actually Gram is NOT wheat but made from ground chickpeas. It is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan flour and is available in Indian Markets or sometimes Italian markets.

    Or if you have a good grinder can make your own.

    They are the foundation for socca and Italian savory pancake made with gram flour olive oil salt pepper and perhaps other seasoning. Did you notice what is not there? Egg! It holds together without egg. And your friend (knowingly or unknowingly) made an excellent suggestion which would help your egg free veggie burger a lot.

    Just don't go over board, because then the burger will feel more starchy / pasty instead of the lovely veggie texture it looks like it is now!

    Love & Light,


  5. Such a good point! Thanks for clarifying. Do be careful because I have seen wheat, graham cracker flour mis-labled as gram, which is why I was concerned.

    I am PRO-CHICK PEA all the way!