It doesn’t matter how spectacular the bun is if you don’t have something equally spectacular to put in it. With fewer people opting for traditional red meat burgers nowadays, the grill has become a playground for culinary artists to get creative and come up with fantastic vegetarian burgers. Ingredients are as varied as Lady Gaga’s dress collection, but with a lot more taste. Here are three ways to fill that bun with meatless masterpieces.
Traditional — Sort Of
Just because beef is off the menu does not mean a person can’t still miss a traditional burger. That thick, juicy patty with aromas wafting through the entire neighborhood … once upon a time, no backyard barbecue was complete without this. Luckily, the palate that is craving it can still be appeased with the inclusion of “meatless meat,” a vegetarian option that can be substituted for beef. It is created to taste and feel like the actual meat itself. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that this alternative is used in the kitchens of trendy, successful restaurants as a mainstay for vegetarian menu items. It can be bought in a ground-up form, allowing patties to be created and seasoned specifically to individual tastes. For convenience, meatless beef patties can also be purchased.
For a filling, hearty meal, black bean burgers are a terrific way to fill the belly. There is a serious plus to this one; black beans are high in both protein and iron, two things beef can boast about. To tip the scales, though, the beans also offer a substantial amount of fiber in addition to its long list of other nutritional assets.
If texture is preferred, the beans can be added directly into the bun. However, for a smoother consistency, they can be pureed or blended with a food processor before adding them to the other ingredients. Mix the beans with bread crumbs in order to bind them together, and then add chopped onions, peppers, and garlic. Season the mix with cumin and chili powder. Add in a splash of hot sauce for a little extra something. A dash of salt and ground black pepper can be added according to taste. Once the patty is formed, toss it on the grill.
The Portobello mushroom is a vegetable with an extremely meaty texture and a rich flavor. Despite these traits, it is a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to red meat, and is a good source of fiber and B vitamins.
To grill, the only prepping it really needs is to be rubbed with olive oil, ensuring it does not crisp up on the edges. For additional flavor, sprinkle a bit of balsamic into the cap while it is turned upward on the rack, allowing the vinegar to absorb in and through. It does not take long for the Portobello to finish cooking and since there is no danger in undercooking the vegetable, it can be prepared according to an individual’s preference. Once on the bun, complement the flavors with a smattering of feta cheese, roasted red peppers, and freshly cracked black pepper for the ultimate treat.
A lightly toasted bun deserves more than the tired hamburger that it has been housing for so long. Liven up an old meal with these savory alternatives. The backyard will still be filled with fantastic aromas wafting up from the grill and taste buds will be treated to dynamic flavors.