Getting hardcore about burgers:
If there was a such thing as a PERFECT meal; it would be “The Big Macque” at Madeline’s Bistro in Tarzana, CA (just 20 mins from LA). It is so good, we’d seriously consider selling our first born for a taste. Not being particularly into burgers (pre and post veganism) – this burger has changed our life. There are no words for the taste sensation that leaps through your body after one little bite of this vegan cheeseburger. The Yogi Times said; “Frankly, Madeleine is at the top of its class in not just organic vegan food, but in food, period. Here, veganism holds the same broad scope possibilities in taste adventuring that other cuisines do – and all this while hurting no living creature in its making. Talk about love…”
Unfortunately, GirlieGirl Army HQ is in NYC, so very far from Los Angeles, and we don’t get to stuff our faces with Madeleine’s burgers as frequently as we’d like. As fabulous as some of the NYC restaurants veggie burgers are – non of them come remotely close to Madeleine’s. What’s a gal with a burger urge to do? Get cookin! No, we dont have their secret recipe… but we have some other recipes that will get you knee deep in a nosh. These recipes are courtesy of GirlieGirl Army reader Danielle Schreier. We have taste tested both, and both get a big phat thumbs up. Thanks Danielle!!
This is was adapted from Joanna Stepaniak’s Vegan Vittles, and first shared with me by a Farm Sanctuary staff member. I am calling this a “guess-ipe” because I always adapt a little when I make this; I add flax or whatever bulk berries and oats I have around, seasoning as I go. As long as you use the basic tvp-oats-peanut butter-ketchup-nutritional yeast base, it always comes out delicious. The recipe is so wonderful because it’s so adaptable.
- 2 Cups textured vegetable protein 3/4 Cup oats (not instant)
- 1/4 cup wheat berries*
- 1/4 rye berries*
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 Cups hot water (almost boiling)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (alternatively, you can use 4 tbsp of ketchup)
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter; 6 oz whole wheat flour
- 1/4 flax seed meal*
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp ketchup (omit if using ketchup alternative above)
- salt and pepper to taste.
*These items are optional, and just make for a heartier, earthier (and yummier!) burger. If not using, simply use 1 1/2 Cups of hot water (instead of 2 cups). If not using flax meal, use 8 oz of whole wheat flour.
Mix tvp, oats and wheat berries and rye berries, if using, along with all spices listed in the first batch of ingredients. Next, heat 2 Cups hot water. Seperate 1/2 C water and place aside. Using the remaining 1 1/2 C water, mix in the tomato paste and soy sauce, stirring until combined. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and blend. Let the mixture sit for five minutes. At this point, the mixture may be a little too sticky, depending on whether you used the wheat and rye berries (or added more oats!). At this point, the mixture should be moist and have a glisten, so add the extra hot water as needed. Add whole wheat flour and flax seed meal to the mixture. If too dry, add a bit more warm water. Stir in the nutritional yeast and ketchup. Taste and season (I usually consider the spices listed above to be somewhat of a base- at this stage, I usually add just a bit more dry mustard, garlic powder and oregano.) Form into patties and cook on medium low skillet for eight to ten minutes each side. If you are making extra thick patties, brown the burgers on the skillet and then place in 350 degree oven for ten to twelve minutes.
My brother always made these pork burgers that won a food network “best burger” contest and everyone always raved, begging him to make them all the time. Finally, I got sick of missing out on the fun, and just adapted it to be veggie. Using the Gimme Lean sausage here makes for a super “meaty” burger. It adapts soo well! As mentioned, this is a straight adaptation of a food network recipe, found here.
- 1 package Gimme Lean sausage roll (you can use the beef style grounds as well- the original recipe calls for 2 pounds of pork, so you just want to try to match that volume between this and the tvp)
- 1 C textured vegetable protein, see above.
- 3 oz water
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp asian hot chili sauce
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 tsp fresh ginger
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground star anise
- 3/4 C Vegenaise (not Nayonaise)
- 1/4 C chopped Thai basil leaves (I’ve used regular basil before, still good)
- 1/4 C fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
Big, fluffy rolls (homemade is great here)
6 butter lettuce leaves
Burgers: Heat water until almost boiling. Combine water with the soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili sauce in a medium bowl. Add the veggie sausage, tvp, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, and star anise and blend loosely with a fork. Let sit for five minutes. If too sticky, add a bit more warm water. Form into patties.
Sauce: combine the veganaise, basil, cilantro, green onions, and lime juice in a bowl. I usually run the onions in a food processor to make everything nice and smooth. The recipe calls for grilling the burgers for four minutes per side. At home, I usually just cook them in the skillet on medium-low, for about eight minutes per side. Again, if making thick especially thick patties, transfer burgers into 350 degree oven for about ten to twelve minutes. Place dressing on the bottom of the bun, then add patty, a generous lettuce leaf, a good amount of dressing and, finally, the top of the bun.
Veggie Burgers That Will Fool A Carnivore