Veggie burgers get a bad rap—and for good reason. They are usually thin and dry with a hint of sawdust. These kid-friendly sliders are luscious and satisfying. They deliver lot of healthy protein, fiber, and nutrients, with none of the saturated fat and all the fun of a burger.
1 15oz/425g can white navy beans
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
1 carrot, peeled
½ yellow bell pepper
2/3 cup panko or breadcrumbs, divided
¼ teaspoon salt (may vary depending on beans). Adjust to taste
1 pinch pepper
8 “slider”-size hamburger buns
Rinse beans thoroughly. Reserve in a bowl
Grate the carrot, zucchini and yellow pepper on the coarse side of a box grater. Reserve.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, carrot, zucchini, bell pepper and 3 tablespoons water. Cover with a lid and cook for 7 minutes, or until veggies soften. Stir occasionally.
Transfer contents of veggie pan to the bowl of beans. Use a potato masher or fork to mix and slightly mash the mixture. Add egg, 1/3 cup of panko, salt and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients with a fork, then use your hands to press the mixture into slider-size patties.
Place remaining panko in a shallow bowl. Roll the patties in the panko to coat.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add patties. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until cooked throughout. Serve on buns with your (or your kid’s) choice of optional toppings.
Yield: 8 sliders
Feel free to improvise and/or use veggies from your kids “preapproved” list. Minced greens such as kale, or spinach are a great addition, if they are sanctioned by you know who.
Uncooked burger mixture will last in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Formed, uncooked patties freeze beautifully and will last in the freezer for a couple of months.
For adventurous kids and adults, add some or all of: chopped garlic, freshly grated ginger, minced onion and a few pinches of garam masala to the veggies when cooking, and a few sprigs of fresh mint to the beans when mashing.