I’m quite fond of a good salad meal. The kind of meal where the salad is the star of of the show, not a sad little side vying for attention. You know what I’m talking about – it usually comes in a bowl the size of your head, and is filled to the brim with all kinds of goodness.
In my house we eat big salads for dinner a few nights a week, usually with a little bit of everything we have in the vegetable drawer plus olives, nuts, and some cottage cheese for protein.
Sometimes I’ll crumble a veggie burger patty into a salad to make it a more substantial meal. Recently I was doing just that when it dawned on me: what if that was the big idea? Not that a veggie burger patty was an addition to a salad, but what if the veggie burger was the salad?
So I went ahead and filled a bowl with all the usual burger fixings; lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions, with a veggie burger patty crumbled over the top. In place of the usual burger condiments I made a tomato vinaigrette – because ketchup on a salad would just be gross.
If your biggest complaint about veggie burger patties is that they’re often a bit too starchy to sandwich between a bun, this bowl is for you. If you dig funky salads that make for a satisfying meal, this bowl is for you. If you just plain old like tasty food, this bowl is for you. Did I mention that it comes together in about 15 minutes?
Yeah it does. Go make yourself a Bodacious Burger Bowl!
One year ago: I appear to have been busy finishing up my MSc courses. Can’t believe it’s nearly done now – two weeks till thesis deadline!
Two years ago: Broccoli Kamut Slaw
Three years ago: Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa Baby Cakes
Veggie Burger Salad Recipe:
This zippy tomato vinaigrette comes together in a flash. Just shake the ingredients together in a small jar and you’re ready to go. Beyond that, build your own burger salad with whatever fixings you like.
Makes enough vinaigrette for 4-6 salads, depending on how heavy handed you are with your dressing.
For the tomato vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp tomato paste*
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 – 1.5 Tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the tomato paste, water, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and 1 Tbsp of honey into a small jar. Screw the lid on, then shake, shake, shake it up. Taste, add a bit of salt and pepper, and taste again. You may decide you want another half Tbsp of honey to balance the acidity. If so, add, shake, and taste again. This dressing should last 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
To make Bodacious Burger Bowls, layer the following (or go crazy with whatever your favourite burger fixings are) into individual salad bowls:
Lettuce (I used a blend of gem and iceberg lettuces here – about 2 cups per bowl)
Halved cherry tomatoes (about 8-10 halves per bowl)
Chopped red onion (about 1/8 cup per bowl)
A handful of cornichons** (about 1/3 cup, chopped if you like)
1 veggie burger patty***, diced up or crumbled
A good drizzle of tomato vinaigrette, to taste
Enjoy your veggie burger salad! If you’re packing these for lunch or bulk-packing meals for the week, just leave the vinaigrette off. Pack it along side in a small container and dress the salad right before you eat.
*I like to buy the Italian tomato paste that comes in a squeeze tube. They last forever in the fridge, and when do you ever have a recipe that uses up exactly one can of tomato paste?
**Or diced up dill pickle, but tiny pickles are just so cute! (insert inappropriate pickle jokes here)
***Use whatever your favourite veggie burger patty is. May I recommend this one? But store-bought is totally fine too.
There is so much to love about this Bodacious Burger Bowl! Depending on what kind of burger patty you use, it can be vegan, gluten free, and pack a good punch of protein. Combined with the salad fixings, it makes a satisfying and healthy meal. Still, go easy on the dressing. I like to dip the tines of my fork into a side of dressing before each bite of salad – I find that way a little goes a long way.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014