Veggie Burgers Fit For A Memorial (Day)

by May 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Namita Koppa. Email her at namita[AT]


Get ready for Memorial Day with Namita’s Veggie Burger. (Namita Koppa)

I recently received a gift from my Mom. Upon hearing about it, my best friend said, “Oh… she LOVES you.” He’s right, but that’s beside the point.

Wrapped in love and nestled in sheaths of paper stuffing were two timely gifts: a 10 lb. bag of basmati rice and a new George Foreman Grill.

I nearly cried. You see, I had lost a prior model of George a few years ago to old age. With it, the opportunity to grill in my tiny studio apartment died too. Now, though, we’re back in action!!

Naturally, I’ve been grilling everything: carrots, lettuce, cheese sandwiches, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, and whatever else the grill will hold. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about burgers and BBQs, preferably near a pool and 80° sunshine.

Making veggie burgers can be complex and messy. Unlike meat burgers, the veggie burger requires careful proportions of ingredients; it can go from too dry to too wet in no time whatsoever. In the past, I’ve tried to make them at home, only to realize that 1) they will never be as delicious as my mother’s and 2) adding lots of flavors and ingredients doesn’t help. At base, these burgers only require a few ingredients: beans or lentils, rice or couscous, shredded vegetables, and a little bit of spice. Just KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The night George II arrived, I made these bean burgers using the meager contents of my kitchen. They are simple and easy to make. I hope you enjoy, play around with the recipe if you like, and come up with some delicious veggie burger recipes of your own!

Lima Bean-Carrot-Rice Burgers


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked lima beans
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice or brown rice or white rice
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sauté cumin seeds, onion, chili powder, and carrot in olive oil on medium heat. When the onion is translucent and carrots have softened, add lima beans and water. Stir the mixture once. Allow the water to evaporate and remove from heat.
  2. Using a fork, mash half the mixture (not an exact science! You just want about half the lima beans to be mashed). Stir in rice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 6 to 8 burgers. Place in a tray and refrigerate for at least an hour. To cook, allow burgers to sit at room temperature for five minutes. Grill or pan-fry in 1 tsp. oil.
  4. Serve in hamburger buns or lettuce wraps. Delicious topped with a little sour cream and hot sauce.

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