Wild Rice, Lentil, Mushroom Veggie Burger, a delicious blend of flavors, combined with lots of spices and textures leaving you a crispy, moist and juicy alternative to the norm!
Wild Rice, Lentil, Mushroom Veggie Burger, a vegetarian delight leaving your taste buds with delightful robust flavors, and wonderful flamboyant textures. This gives new meaning to the typical fast food giant!
I have always loved burgers, from a child who was excited to visit the local diner, to an adult searching for the most flavorful gourmet burger. As I mature and get into my midlife, I am more aware of nutrition, and sustenance, beef cravings are becoming less and wanting to find an alternative has been quite a journey. Here is where the veggie burger comes in. I would have to say the closest to my dream burger came when I tasted Relish’s burger a local burger joint hosting wonderful gourmet burgers and amazing sides. Their veggie burger was so tenderly crisp on the outside and when you bit into it there was this melt in your mouth, juicy interior that had so much flavor. We have tried to reproduce that burger many times using chick peas, nuts, mushrooms, and lentils. They were okay, but that crispy and melt in your mouth veggie burger from Relish still lingered in my mind……………..
Nicoletta and I were invited to a cookbook launch at a really nostalgic and historical bookstore known as Audrey’s here in Edmonton. I don’t know about you but the smell of all those books just awakens my creativity. I know people say you can get online and order any book you want, but it is not the same and that goes for cookbooks also. I love the aroma of books. Turning those pages. The sound of a page turning. The creaking of a book binding, it’s the full meal deal as far as bookworms are concerned. Well, there we were enjoying a nice prosecco and a variety of pastry from Duchess, an amazing french bakery, and cafe, along with the great company of fellow bloggers. The stars of the book launch Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller of the blog Feast: An Edible Road Trip. These gals surpassed fear and took a deep dive in faith and courage to travel across Canada East to West, North to South. A four-month voyage forging the path increasing awareness of The Canadian Food Experience project. With their small car packed and bikes on hand, their goal to trek the great Canadian divide, from provincial boundary to boundary, and coast to coast, to uncover and track Canadian Food. The fruits of their labor a wonderful cookbook “FEAST”, with loads of experiential stories and wonderful recipes showcasing people, culture, and foods from our wonderful land Canada. It was lovely meeting these two brave culinary warriors and with their book in hand and excitement to create, Nicoletta and I wasted no time to dive right in. The first was the Barley Pancakes with blueberry syrup, made the next morning after the book signing. Then flipping through the book and wanting to recreate many of the wonderful dishes, we happened upon this recipe for a delicious looking veggie burger we titled Wild Rice, Lentil, Mushroom Veggie Burger.
Looking at all the ingredients we have most of them. The wild rice, these wonderful organic black lentils from B.C., and onions, which are always in supply in our kitchen. A quick jaunt to the grocery store gives us the rest of the things we need and we are set!
We added a little of our flare to the mix using some garlic shoots, and shallots, along with a few bread crumbs and Panko crumbs for some added texture. And I know these lentils are going to do the trick to give us that body we need in these beauties.
With wild rice and lentils cooked, we are ready to put this veggie burger together. To get a more formable texture, the lentils, sauteed onions and mushrooms go into the food processor for a quick pulse along with an egg until it becomes grainy. It is then mixed with the rice and some raw grated zucchini. The feel in my hands is very much like a regular burger. and with a bit of hand work the burgers are formed. I have left out a few things but you can find the totality of this dish in our recipe and procedure located below. I really want to get to the nitty gritty of these Wild Rice, Lentil, Mushroom Veggie Burgers.
One thing that I think I should mention is that after you have formed the burgers, put them in the freezer for half of an hour. This will set them so nicely and make it easier to keep them together while cooking.
The look and smell of these veggie burgers are amazing. The shallots and onions, the garlic shoots so fragrant with that ever so familiar scent that makes anyone ready to eat. The lentils and rice adding a beautiful texture along with those sauteed mushrooms. The wheat flour, bread crumb and panko giving the surface of this burger crispness and amazing color. I chose to fry these up in a pan, but grilled on a nice hot barbecue would ensure you some char marks and a bit of smokiness that would just take these to a different level.
I wanted a sesame seed bun but then was pulled in by these multi-grain crusty buns, and I thought oh this would work really well, toasted with a pat of butter melted. For garnish a nice Asian slaw dressed with a peanut sesame dressing, some wonderful organic greens, and tomatoes. To add just another level of richness some fresh organic creamy avocado. The pickle a homemade delicious recipe made by my parents, who I have to say are major canning people. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the dynamic duo, ketchup and mustard!
I can’t wait anymore, I am drooling and this smells so good. The first bite has me in heaven the star that incredible veggie pattie comes through with its nutty, starchy, earthy flavors spiked by the onions, shallots and garlic shoots, not to mention that tahini and smoked paprika. The amazing part is the crispness of the burger all caramelized and seared holding in the moisture for the center that just melts in your mouth opening the doorway for your taste buds to dance upon the plethora of flavors and textures. The condiments offering the acidity needed along with that slaw crispy, crunchy with the dressing complimenting the burger at no end. The freshness of the greens along with the plump juiciness of the tomatoes keeping our mouth fresh and alive, and just when you think you had enough, in comes the avocado like a slow sultry jazz tune tantalizing and seductive. The amazing thing is that the Wild Rice, Lentil, Mushroom Veggie burger, comes through at every bite never lost in any way and the condiments just house the flavor in such an elegant and wholesome way. I love this burger and I think we have found our winner! Next time you are craving a burger and don’t want to succumb to the urge of a drive through, give these a try, I am sure you will be as delighted as us, and may even win the hearts of some of those meat eaters.
I just wanted to say thank you to Lindsay and Dana for their passion, and drive to completion, and your wonderful cookbook that Nicoletta and I feel so inspired by, and absolutely love. Also, a shout out to Valerie Lugonja, thank you for making us a part of this fabulous community, and witnesses to your passion and eloquence for Canadian food, and lastly, to the lovely people at Audrey’s Books keeping the spirit of literature, creativity, and history alive.
Song of the day, “Big League” by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider.
P.S. I wanted to keep it Canadian, vive la Canadienne!
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