One of the things I’ve learned to do since we became vegetarian is to replicate our favorite meat-based recipes in ways that are healthy and that honor our vegetarian lifestyle. It’s a fun challenge, and so far, there’s not much I haven’t been able to manage (pulled “pork” is next, which I plan to try with soy curls).
It’s been a recent revelation that you can do a lot with a veggie burger. You can make them the old fashioned way with tomato, lettuce and pickle. You can make a Mexican burger with jalapenos and spicy cheese. You can top them with sauteed mushrooms. You can serve them on rye bread with grilled onions, turning it into a patty melt.
One of my old restaurant favorites is what is commonly called a Smokehouse Burger. It typically comes with loads of barbeque sauce, onions rings (on top of the burger), and all the usual fixings. I’m not going to bother with a “recipe’, per se, because it’s pretty self explanatory. Basically, take your veggie burger of choice, put it on a great wheat bun, top it with loads of barbeque sauce, pickles and a few onion rings (I keep a bag in my freezer now and throw them into the frying pan after the veggie burger is done – takes five minutes!), and voila! You can add jalapenos, tomato, cheese (soy or milk-based) and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Side note; the right veggie burger makes a big difference. Back when we had only tried Boca brand, I wasn’t a fan. The Boca burgers are just too mushy for me (probably owing to a greater concentration of soy to grain). Now we use Amy’s Quarter Pound burgers and they are AH-mazing! They have more grain and less soy, which gives them a substantial consistency, along with a slightly smokey flavor. I’ve tried the other Amy’s veggie burgers, too, and I think they’re all head and shoulders above Boca (although the kids tell me the Boca Chick’n patties are very good). Enjoy!