I've had the somewhat stale, microwaved and rubbery Morningstar veggie burger from a hotel restaurant. I've had the nearly burned to a crisp on a grill by a guy who doesn't know that a veggie burger only takes 3 to 5 minutes to cook, unlike a real beef burger. I've had the extremely dry, hard to chew and swallow veggie burger that cooked in the toaster oven at my parent's house for too long.
And on less frequent occasions, I've had the artisan homemade from scratch quinoa, black bean, chickpea, or beet veggie burger at restaurants like Citizen Burger Bar in Arlington, Virginia, or Vers at the Orpheum in Chatham, Ma that specialize in fresh, wholesome foods.
Needless to say, eating a veggie burger is typically not my go-to meal when I'm dining out because more often than not, it's not very satisfying. I only will order it if it's the only vegetarian item on the menu, which unfortunately is frequently the case. I'm always amazed at how uncreative cooks are. Vegetarians eat more than veggie burgers!
So naturally, my exhaustion from veggie burgers over the years has led me to dismiss them, especially if it meant making my own at home. But this week, I decided that my fiance and I have been in a food rut and we need to expand and diversify our weeknight meals. So I started thinking outside the box to try and come up with something new that wouldn't break the bank and be too difficult.
Last night I decided I'd make a vegetarian version of a typical summer all-American meal: burger, fries, and corn on the cob. It not only turned out to be delicious, but it was simple, and super affordable. Definitely a great weeknight meal that probably cost about $10 for both of us.
I used Allrecipes.com for the veggie black bean burgers. I followed everything as it says in the recipe except I probably added about 2 cups of bread crumbs instead of the 1/2 cup it calls for. It just wasn't enough to hold the burgers together.
Honestly, this recipe makes me never want to buy a frozen veggie burger patty again. My fiance, who is a big meat eater, even loved them. I melted mozzarella cheese on his burger and spread a little bit of Mayo on the whole wheat bun. While I opted out of the cheese and mayo, we both had thinly sliced red onion with butter lettuce with our burgers. Next time I make the recipe, I plan to add slices of ripe avocado.
My version of the french fry were thinly sliced red potatoes, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I roasted them in the oven for about 45 minutes. And I boiled four ears of corn on the cob. Including prep, the entire meal only took about 1 hour, which isn't bad for a weeknight. It was filling, healthy, low fat, and a good option if you are looking for meals on a budget.