Back when I was still a vegetarian, we tended to stick with Lick’s frozen nature burgers whenever we’d barbecue, because no attempt at making our own veggie burgers came close to the flavor and texture Lick’s had mastered. For those outside the Greater Toronto Area, Lick’s is a small chain of burger joints that offers up the best veggie burgers in the city. Their burgers are available in the frozen food section of most Toronto-area grocery stores. The first time I had a Lick’s veggie burger was the only time in my life that I seriously thought they had accidentally given me beef.
As good as Lick’s veggie burgers are, though, they are expensive. Not to mention the fact that it seemed silly to make our own hamburgers and then serve them with frozen patties. Although now a meat eater, we still have occasion to serve veggie burgers – sometimes due to our own mood, but also because of a few close friends who happen to be vegetarian. So when Adam decided to serve beef sliders at a party this weekend, we decided to cater to our vegetarian friends by making a vegetarian version as well.
The closest we ever came to a really good veggie burger from scratch was a recipe that included – of all things – oatmeal. That recipe is one we’ve since lost, but we remember the texture being pretty spot on. When Adam googled “oatmeal veggie burger” we found one even better than the original.
Rather than steal My Food Geek’s glory, here’s a link to the recipe. The only adjustment we made was that we made them smaller. A huge part of the flavour came from simmering them in vegetable stock. Obviously use the highest quality vegetable stock you can find, as that really would make a huge difference.
Once we finished cooking our burgers, we froze a bunch for later use. When it came time to serve our dinner guests, we threw these veggie burgers on the grill to reheat – they grilled quite well and didn’t fall apart like many of the previous veggie burgers we had tried. That, combined with the great flavour, makes these a keeper for future barbecues at 71.