Blue Plate Diner Classic Vegan-Friendly Veggie Burger
Taking a Guess at a Recipe From TV
Around 2010, I saw American Idol Ruben Studdard reveal that he was a vegan on a talk show. I became curious and started researching vegan recipes. I was especially interested in vegan recipes for Soul Food and classic comfort food. I stumbled across a video of a vegan-friendly veggie burger on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with Guy Fieri. Guy visited the Blue Plate Diner in Salt Lake City, Utah, and highlighted their veggie burger, which is a huge seller.
The good news is that they take us step by step through the ingredients and the process of making this famous vegan-friendly veggie burger. The bad news is that, like many food shows, they do not provide a recipe in terms of ingredients with amounts. So, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work developing a successful recipe.
Lessons Learned From My First Attempt
I drafted my first recipe in 2010, made the burgers, and took lots of photos. My biggest misstep was making my patties way too thick. When you bit into them, they were really soft, and it was obvious that they were bean burgers. They fell apart easily while cooking, and they fell apart even more when eating them. They tasted pretty good, but I knew I could do much better.
I overhauled the recipe, adjusting almost all the ingredients according to my lessons learned. I pretty much doubled the spices, celery, and onion. I increased the flour and panko. Then I published. Pretty risky, I know, but a few people got back to me and said the burgers were really good. I finally got around to making the burgers again and was very satisfied with the revised recipe. I made only a few additional tweaks.
Yield: 12 patties
- 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 cup black beans, drained
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup Japanese panko
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’s garlic with parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- Oil for frying
- Cook quick oats in 1 1/2 cups of water for about 5 minutes. Cook ahead of time and set aside to cool.
- Pulse garbanzo beans in the food processor to break up. Pour into large mixing bowl.
- Pulse black beans in the food processor. They are softer and will be mushy compared to the garbanzos. Pour into the mixing bowl.
- Add oats, flour, panko, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
- Add celery and onion. Mix well.
- Form thin patties the diameter of your bun. (Patties won’t shrink with cooking.)
- Heat oil in skillet, and fry patties on medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes each side.
Watch Guy and the Blue Plate Diner Make Veggie Burgers
Additional Tips and Comments
- I cooked my oats the day before. I used quick oats, which are to be cooked 5 minutes, but cooked them about 20 minutes, like I would cook 5-minute grits. Next time I think I’ll just cook the oats 5 minutes, as I think this could be a different texture experience for the final burger.
- After my oats cooled, I added all my spices, and mixed them into the oats, and refrigerated overnight. I figured this would be like putting the spaghetti sauce in the fridge overnight and intensify the flavors.
- I used dried beans. I soaked, then cooked the chickpeas ahead of time. I drained enough to measure 1 cup after draining, and put the rest in the freezer. I had cooked, drained black beans in the freezer, and measured out 1 cup.
- You can use rinsed and drained canned beans and peas. A can will yield a little over 1 cup of drained beans. If the yield is 1¼ cups, I’d probably go ahead and use all of them.
- These non-meat burgers don’t shrink! After my first time preparing the burgers, I learned that I needed to make the patties the size of my buns.
- It’s also important to make your patties as thin as possible. I wore disposable gloves and had a bit of trouble with the patties sticking to my gloved fingers. This turned out to be a safeguard from making the patties too thin.
- My patties from my first draft recipe broke apart easily while cooking. My recipe revisions took care of the problem.
- I fried the patties until a little crispy. I fried about 5 minutes on each side.
- I got 12 patties from this recipe and froze some. I froze most of them and have already eaten frozen and thawed burgers. They were just as good as the fresh ones.
- I tasted the patty by itself, and I could taste the panko. Funny, because Guy Fieri said in the video that the panko would help bind the patties, but not impart taste. I might try a different panko. Really though, I think I just won’t try to eat the patty like a hamburger steak. When assembled on a bun with typical hamburger toppings, these patties made a very tasty burger. I surprised myself and ate two!
Transition to a Vegetarian Lifestyle
Transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle the healthy way. Check out Vegetarian Health Institute and Trevor Justice's step-by-step program.
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© 2010 rmcrayne