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The best? Really? I know some of you may be thinking the words “veggie” and “burger” are two words that don’t even belong together and especially combined with the word “best.” I used to think that too.

I had reluctantly tried veggie burgers in the past. They were always store bought frozen patties. Once cooked, they were either mushy, or like cardboard with not much flavor. I wasn’t even exactly sure what were in those patties. I just knew it wasn’t meat. Meat good. Veggies bad. But years later when I became the primary cook in our house, my food philosophy completely changed and I didn’t want to raise my kids with the same narrow-minded views I had. I wanted to branch out and expand my children’s food options and their taste buds. Veggie burgers needed a closer look. But instead of store bought frozen patties, I thought I’d have better results with homemade patties made from real vegetables.

The first couple of recipes I tried were bean-based burgers. And while I did like the flavor, halfway through eating it I grew tired of the mushy texture. Recipe after recipe pretty much gave me the same results. Good flavors, but mushy boring and sometimes overwhelming textures. But alas, I’ve found the best veggie burger recipe.

The base of this burger is brown rice, oatmeal and black beans, and then there are seven different fresh vegetables added to maximize flavor. What makes this recipe “the best” is that there is no single ingredient overpowering the medley of flavors. It’s just a choir of individual components singing in complete harmony. And the cooked crispy edges are like soloists rising above the rest just long enough for a short applause. The texture is firm on the outside with a soft interior, but not too mushy.

I like to top this burger with lettuce (my favorite is romaine for the slight crunch), tomato, avocado, stone ground mustard, and mayonnaise. If you want it to be straight up vegan, use vegan mayo, or no mayo at all. Either way, just pass on the ketchup. Ketchup has no place on a veggie burger. It just overpowers all the flavory-goodness that’s in the patty.

I know veggie burgers probably aren’t everyone’s thing. But to enjoy a veggie burger, you can’t expect it to replicate a meat burger in taste or texture. Otherwise you will never like them. If you look at it as a completely different meal, they can be quite enjoyable.

My kids like these, they freeze well, and you can even throw these on the grill. Don’t want to indulge with the carbs of the bun, slice up the patties and put them on a salad! It’s a win win for everybody!

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