Ask any American what their favorite grilling specialty is and the majority would probably tell you that it's a good old hamburger. On the contrary, though, if you asked a vegetarian what they love to grill during the summer, we doubt that many would say a veggie burger.
While a juicy and tender ground beef burger is the cat’s pajamas to meat eaters during the summer, it’s a common belief among us editors at The Daily Meal that few vegetarians actually enjoy its meatless counterpart. Usually a blend of tofu, starches, and vegetables compacted into something that sort of resembles a patty, veggie burgers can often appear flat and boring. And what’s worse, almost every time you sink your teeth into one, it’s devoid of that powerful flavor punch that you get with a real hamburger.
But just because you choose not to eat meat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beautiful satisfaction of a burger during the summer. The Cook editors at The Daily Meal want vegetarians to enjoy their burgers just as much as meat eaters do, and we’ve decided to say goodbye to lifeless and sad veggie burgers.
To get a truly delicious veggie burger filled with mouthwatering flavors and textures, we’ve enlisted the help of journalist and chef Kim O’Donnel, whose vegetarian cooking advice has been trusted by publications such as The Washington Post and USA Today, and whose cookbooks, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook series, have changed the way people think about vegetarian food for the better.
O’Donnel believes that there is such a thing as having a delicious veggie burger, and she tells us how to achieve that with creative tips and ideas for how to make them. She covers everything from the makeup of the burger and the best ways to cook it to how to dress it properly so that the end result is the real deal.
For those of you who like black beans, O’Donnel explains why using fresh, dried beans as opposed to canned is the right choice for your veggie burger, and if you thought your potato masher was just for making mashed potatoes, she tells us how it can be your newest veggie burger gadget. O’Donnel doesn’t just give us advice for how to make veggie burgers; she also shares her best-kept secrets for how to make them look and taste full of life through unique and out-of-the box ideas, like with her Southern-Fried Chickpea Burger, a Southern barbecue creation so good even a meat eater would like it.
Veggie burgers can be delicious, and they stand a chance at becoming a vegetarian’s favorite meal of the summer. Fire up the grill and get your food processor out, because it’s time we show you how to make a veggie burger that’s actually delicious.
Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce