Let’s face it – those frozen, boxed veggie burgers really aren’t very good. They’re filled with chemicals, taste bland and artificial, and have that lovely dry, cardboard texture. Fortunately, delicious and nutritious veggie burgers are easy to make at home, and Lukas Volger shows us how in his new book, Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.
Volger’s book provides thirty unique veggie burger recipes, and the variety of styles ensures that there is something for every palette. All of the recipes are clearly-written and easy to follow, and many include directions for how busy cooks can prepare portions of the recipe ahead of time. Best of all, many of the recipes take thirty minutes or less of prep and cook time! Also included is a section on freezing your veggie burger mix for later use and the proper storage method for making your leftovers last, especially convenient for hectic schedules and small families.
Most of the recipes call for fresh ingredients readily available at any major supermarket. Those few ingredients that are less standard can be found in health food stores or asian markets, which most cities now have. The emphasis on fresh ingredients makes these burgers both more flavorful and more healthy than the alternatives provided in the (very few) other veggie burger cook books out there. More than half of the recipes are also vegan or gluten-free, and many others are easily modified for specialized diets.
The introduction to Veggie Burgers Every Which Way outlines the typical ingredients found in veggie burgers and the most common basic cooking methods for each, making this book easily accessible to fledgling cooks. For those who are looking to further amp their veggie burger experience, the section on condiments and toppings provides an eclectic mix of sauces, relishes, and other burger essentials. Definitely don’t skip the homemade french fry section; these tasty fry recipes are surprisingly easy and varied, a great change from frozen french fries. Adventurous cooks should try the burger bun section, which includes standard, whole wheat, pretzel, corn, and gluten-free recipes for homemade burger buns.
The burger recipes are divided into three sections based on their primary ingredients: Bean, Grain, and Nut Burgers; Vegetable Burgers; and Tofu, Seitan, and TVP Burgers. The offerings range from basic burgers that anyone can love to adventurous flavors inspired by international cuisine. Don’t be scared off by an unfamiliar ingredient or spice, though; Volger knows what he’s doing, and every burger is perfectly balanced.
I have personally tasted four of the recipes included in this book. At the American Library Association Conference, Volger prepared small samples of the Mushroom Burgers with Barley; I have made the Thai Carrot Burgers, Ginger-Soy Tempeh Burgers, and Pub Grub Veggie Burgers in my own kitchen. All four have been straightforward, delicious, and satisfying to both vegetarian and omnivorous guests. My husband, the burger man and grill master, has a great time making and eating these despite his love of meat burgers – this book is truly for everyone!