Bringing BBQ to your table the nontraditional way. No animals were harmed in this hearty meal, but all of your taste buds will party at the first bite. Slather on as much BBQ sauce as you want and grab a napkin—it’s going to get messy. Hope you aren’t wearing white!
Servings: 5burgers (4 if you make them very large)
Place the rice, beans, onion, potato, cornmeal, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, liquid smoke, salt and syrup into a food processor. Pulse a few times until chunky. Add the corn and pulse a few more times. Don’t overpulse or the mixture will get too soft and diplike.
Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all the flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
To cook, shape the mixture into patties. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking. Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide your spatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer. You can also bake the patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 375°F (191°C) for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side. Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.
For the sauce
Put the tomato paste, broth, maple syrup, molasses, vinegar, liquid smoke, chili powder, salt and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well until smooth.
People have many different opinions when it comes to the kind of BBQ sauce they like. If you fall in the spicy camp, then add more chili powder ¼ teaspoon at a time to get the level of spice you like. If you are in the sweet camp, add more maple syrup ¼ teaspoon at a time until you get the sweetness you like. But if you are in the tangy camp, add more vinegar. teaspoon at a time until you get the tang you like. This is a good middle-of-the road BBQ sauce, the perfect average mix of sweet, spicy and tangy, according to what I like and the opinions of those who’ve tried it.
Save some rings of onion to use as an optional topping. Cook the onion after you sauté the burger ingredients.Any type of starchy potato works—I use red. Sweet potato is not recommended as it is not starchy enough. Cook the potato in the microwave or oven. I don’t recommend boiling it because it makes the potato too wet. Measure the potato by mashing it into the measuring cup.Kids: Make patties into a smaller slider size or into nuggets. Serve sauce on the side as a dipper.For the sauce, you can use water instead of broth, but I find the broth gives it a bit more flavor. Add more or less broth for the thickness you like.This sauce is best if made ahead of time so the flavors are allowed to marinate. Marinating also allows the spices to fully combine with the tomato paste. If your sauce seems a little “gritty,” then allow it to sit longer. You can speed this up by heating it slightly.________________________________________________________DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? If you did, be a ☆ and let me know what you think by rating it and commenting below. Tag me on Instagram too. I am @avirtualvegan and my hashtag is #avirtualvegan________________________________________________________Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegan Burgers and Burritos by Sophia DeSantis, Page Street Publishing Co, 2017.Calories calculated are for one veggie burger with sauce and do not include the bread roll.