Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Caprese Style Veggie Burgers. Yum!

I have been vegetarian for 16 years. When I first started out, you were lucky if you could find a single brand of veggie burgers in the grocery store. If you wanted one, you had to make it yourself from scratch. Granted I'm in Virginia, land of Smithfield Foods and perhaps not the most forward thinking about alternative lifestyles at that point in time, but for me, eating vegetarian simply meant eating meatless meals. Since then, you can find pretty much any meat item made into vegetarian form. There are now a ton of veggie burgers out there to choose from, but they are all ready made patties.

Lightlife has been the only company that I have found so far that makes a product similar to raw ground meat (among a ton of other products). This is great because I means that I can add whatever I want to it. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes and basil so I decided to make veggie burgers for the my non-vegetarian family using the Lightlife Gimmie Lean Ground Beef Style  found at my grocery store. Not only did I enjoy it, but so did they. The only thing I'd do different is add some kind of pesto or pesto mayo as my first layer on top of the finished burger (if you do this, let me know if it's any good). I can't wait until summer time when I can try out other options on the grill!

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested.

Caprese Style Veggie Burger:

1 Medium Onion, Diced
A Few Cloves of garlic, Chopped-your preference. I used 4 or 5-if you're like me, the more the better :)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
A Bunch of  Fresh Basil
1 Medium Tomato
Mozzarella Slices (optional if you want to make this vegan)

1) In a bowl add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 of the diced onion, the garlic, salt, and pepper to the faux ground beef. Mix well. You'll probably want to do this by hand. You're going to get messy with this :)

2) Set stove to medium. Add remaining olive oil, and onions to the pan of your choice. While this is getting going, split your mixture into into however many portions you will want. I decided to make 4 good size burgers.

3) Roll your portions into balls and then flatten. Add to your pan. You may need to add a little olive oil.

4) I made mine somewhat thick so I cooked them for about 15 minutes or so flipping every few minutes. You just need to make sure you cook until they are nice and brown.

5) Once done, top with mozzarella, tomato, basil, and the onions from the pan. EAT & ENJOY!

Oh! Check out the Veggie Falls blog at the Lightlife website for a whole bunch of recipes (and coupon opportunities). I think I'm trying a Tempeh Reuben next! :) 

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