Burgers · Oats · Rice · Vegetarian

Renee Pottle’s Vegetarian Burgers

As I mentioned in my recent post about Renee Pottle's cookbook I Want My Dinner Now!, I recently made the Vegetarian Burgers and these were a twofold hit – first time being as sandwiches for dinner, and the second time – for my husband the next morning as a substitute for corned beef hash with his eggs.  Now, they don't taste like corned beef, it was more the texture, but regardless – I got extra mileage and an idea for tweaking the recipe specifically for breakfast some time.

Anyway, here's the recipe for the Vegetarian Burgers – I'm giving you the 6-serving version, by the way.

Ingredients are:

3/4 cup quick cooking rice (brown or white) ( I used brown)

3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/3 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup cottage cheese

1 T instant minced onion

1 T instant minced garlic

1   1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

Got all that?  Okay.

1.  Mix rice and oatmeal in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over mixture.  Cover bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.

2.  Preheat grill to highest setting.

3.  Drain rice/oatmeal mixture.  Add bread crumbs, peanut butter, cottage cheese, onion, garlic, and basil.  Mix well.  Shape into burgers, approximately 3/4 inch thick.

4.  Grill for 6-8 minutes, or until browned.  Gently remove from grill.

Serve With:  Pepper Jack cheese, sliced tomato and onion, and sesame seed hamburger buns.

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And now, if I may, just a few of my own mental notes from the process. 

First of all, get everything measured out and ready before you pour the boiling water on the oats and rice.  If the oats sit in the water for too long, they get almost too mushy, and it's harder to drain the excess water.  (I learned that the hard way.  Don't make my mistake!)

Second, keep in mind that everything is already cooked or ready to eat when you put these on the grill – you're just browning them and warming them through.  It's not like you're dealing with raw meat or eggs – so if they're not steaming hot in the center, that's fine.

Third – some changes I made because of what I had on hand:  I didn't have the instant minced garlic, but I did have garlic powder.  BUT – don't use a whole tablespoon of garlic powder in place of the minced garlic, unless you've got a vampire problem.  I'd say a teaspoon or so of the powder in place of the minced, if you need to substitute.  Also, oddly enough, I was out of dried basil, so I used oregano. 

Fourth – I used a griddle instead of a grill because my mixture was SO mushy (because I let the oatmeal/rice sit longer than 5 minutes) I was afraid it would sink down in between the ridges and I'd end up with scrambled crispy veggie burger stuff.  Which probably would be pretty tasty.

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Now, I'm thinking, if you have peanut allergies, obviously you're not going to use peanutbutter.  If it's possible for you, personally, to substitute another nut butter, then that's probably your best bet. 

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Other thoughts…these are full of protein and whole grain nutrients and calcium, for starters.  And if you're so inclined, you can probably vary or add to these ingredients and create other "flavors."  I was thinking of dicing some mushrooms and sauteeing them until all the liquid was gone and adding those into the mix some time.  Or you could vary the seasonings, too.

Anyway, go ahead and give these a try! 

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