There’s a few things they don’t tell you when you decide to go vegan. Like that you’re going to start reading food labels on EVERYTHING from green tea to plain brown rice, “…just in case.” They don’t tell you that you will probably fart a lot more for the first several weeks while your body adjusts to your increased fiber intake. And they definitely don’t tell you that you’re about to double your time spent in the kitchen.
I don’t mean it in a bad way. Vegan cooking doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming at all. But when you go vegan you have to learn to cook vegan. And learning anything takes a lot of trial and error.
I used to hate cooking. But going vegan has changed my perspective. Now I get excited about trying new techniques and recipes. I want to learn to make everything that I once bought in a store—not that I’d have time to make everything from scratch, but the thought counts-right?
This recipe is a product of all my increased kitchen time and experimentation. I used to buy those realistic meatless burgers all the time. They’re delicious and convenient. But since I went into full-on veggie mode I wanted to learn to make my own vegan burgers. The problem is that they all came out mushy. I tried 10-12 recipes before I finally took parts of all my favorites and created my beet and bean burgers.
If you’re trying to think of some vegan sauce options for your burger, here’s a couple of my favorite.
Vegan Avocado Crema: Mash ½ an avocado with a few tablespoons of vegan sour cream and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix, spread, eat!
Vegan Chipotle Aioli: Mince a few teaspoons of chipotle peppers in adobo (how much depends on how spicy you like things) and mix with equal parts vegan sour cream and vegan mayo. Slather your buns and enjoy!
Playing around: You can easily alter the base of this recipe by changing the spices you add. Leave the main ingredients along: bulgur, beets, beans, panko. You could add a little soy sauce and smoked paprika for a meatier kick. Spice it up with red pepper flakes, chili powder, or cayenne pepper. You could try basil instead of parsley and add a little tomato paste for an Italian burger. Sometimes I add mustard instead of A1 for a little tang. You could also switch the beans to black beans and go southwestern with it. I have also used brown rice instead of the bulgur and it worked fine as long as it was fully drained and cooled.
These are my favorite vegan pretzel buns and I can usually find them at the grocery store!
I hope you play with this recipe the way I played with so many others and create your own cruelty-free best burger ever!