Monday, October 26, 2009

in search of the perfect veggie burger

My son is a vegetarian. He used to love meat - meatballs, roast chicken, pork tenderloin - all favorites But then one day when he was 2 (he's 6 now) we were having roast chicken, and he looked down at his plate and the conversation went like this -

Rb - "Mom, where does chicken come from?"
Me - "It comes from the farm."
Rb - "No - where does it REALLY come from?"
Me - "Well, it comes from chickens."
Rb - "WHAT?? Chicken is CHICKENS!!??"

With that he pushed his plate away and that was it - a couple follow up questions about beef and pork, and he's never touched meat again. Beef being cows and pork being pigs was one thing - but the clincher was the chickens. You see, Rb loves chickens - like really, truly loves them. If we go to a farm and there are other kids there, we usually see them clustered around the pigs or the goats or the cows... but my son can always be found with the chickens. There used to be a farm in Epsom that sold milk, chicken, pork, veggies, etc. The first time we went there to pick up some meat, they gave us a tour of the farm. They wanted to show us the dairy cows - but Rb stepped one foot into the big old barn where the chickens were roosting (it was after dark when we arrived) and that was it - he was thrilled - stood there among his chicken friends smiling and chatting quietly with them, while we grown-ups talked with each other. One of the farmers kept asking him "don't you want to see the baby cows?" but there was no convincing him that the cows could possibly be as entertaining as the birds. Finally, it was time to go and the farmer said "well that's a first - I've never seen a child skip the cows!" Rb still talks about that barn full of birds - I think he'll remember it always!

Anyway, so long story slightly longer, we've been buying Gardenburgers for Rb, since making him beef burgers is out of the question - but I'd much rather make him something homemade. I've looked online and there are zillions and zillions of veggie burger recipes - but it's awfully hard to decide which ones sound good and which ones might come out well. So if you've tried making your own veggie burgers, and you have a recipe or a technique you'd recommend or like to share, I'd love to know!


Sponge~bob fan said...

We like the black bean burgers at Chilis and try to make them at home. I use a can of black beans, rinsed and smashed, an egg, about half a cup of flour, about a quarter teaspoon of baking powder then add some chili powder or even some of my veggie chili, enough to make a scoopable dough like mixture. I then fry them or bake them with just a little oil in the pan. I use them just like burgers with all the trimmings. Its a little of this and a little of that, hopefully you can touch it up and your son will like it :)

Colleen said...

Hi -
thank you!! that sounds like a recipe I can definitely work with - will look forward to trying black bean burgers, for sure!
:) Colleen