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On Ryan’s Plate: Bacon Veggie Burgers

October 21, 2011

Another one coming at you from my other (better?) half!

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One of the many important lessons I’ve learned from eating less meat is that I often prefer vegetarian options to meat. Many meals, I’m happy to replace a mediocre piece of meat with a great non-meat option. But at the same time, I’ve learned that there are some meats I could never, ever totally give up. Great seafood. A really good pork chop. A juicy brat. And the meat right there at the top of the list is bacon. Sweet, salty, crispy, greasy, delicious bacon. The mere sound of it sizzling in the pan can make the strongest, burliest lumberjack weak in the knees. According to an ancient legend that I just made up right now, the Trojan War and The Norman Conquest were ultimately conflicts over bacon supply. My feelings on this important topic can be summed up by this poster making the internet rounds:

Either You Like Bacon Or You're Wrong -shirt

I’m not alone. Bacon is hot right now, and people are doing bold, experimental, potentially disgusting things with it. Bacon ice cream. Bacon mallomores. Bacon maple cupcakes. Bacon S’mores. Bacon popcorn. That’s the power of American innovation. We can put a man on the moon, and we can combine bacon and taffy. There’s hope for our great nation yet.

So I decided that I could combine my preference for non-meat options with delicious bacon. Win-win. I was inspired to create a bacon-topped veggie burger after hearing that Fatburger offers a secret menu item called “The Hypocrite” (only people at an establishment called Fatburger could devise such a glorious monstrosity. They are the Dr. Frankensteins of fast food). To create my masterpiece, I wondered which veggie burger recipe would pair well with bacon (answer: all of them). I eventually made a variation of the chickpea-spinach burger from the book Veggie Burgers Every Which Way. I figured, it has spinach, it has eggs, it’s practically an omelet. Plus, the recipe is pretty easy. Here’s the version I made:

Chickpea-Spinach Veggie Burgers


1 can chickpeas, cooked

1 generous handfull of spinach

1 half red onion, chopped

1 half zucchini, chopped

2 eggs

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 tsp bread crumbs


1) Cook onion and zucchini in skillet until soft.

2) Combine chickpeas, eggs, lemon juice, onion, zucchini, and salt in food processor. Blend into a thick, chunky mixture.

2) Cook spinach in skillet until it wilts (about 3-4 minutes)

3) Use fork to mash spinach into chickpea mixture.

4) Add flour and bread crumbs to chickpea mixture.

5) Form mixture into 3-4 patties. Place patties in skillet and cook until browned on each side.

6) Cook patties in oven at 350 for about 10 more minutes.

The patties turned out beautifully:

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Especially when flanked by sweet, sweet bacon:

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Even my lovely wife couldn’t resist bacon’s siren song:

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So the dinner was a success. And yet, it doesn’t bring me any closer to resolving my perpetual quest to solve the mystery of the bacon burger dog, Cliff Huxtable’s famous specialty. Despite years of research, I’ve been unable to discern the exact ingredients of this forbidden treat. How, dear readers, did Heathcliff Huxtable combine bacon, a hamburger, and a hotdog? We may never know. Damn you, bacon burger dog!

But I digress.

The veggie burger was perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a nice, lemony flavor throughout.  The bacon was…well, bacon.  A great meal, all in all.

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When I asked Ryan what he was going to write his blog post about, he said simply “Bacon.”  He’s a man of his word.

Have a great Friday!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 1:10 pm

    the “hypocrite” pretty much sums up my life according to food. I will 95% of the time go the veg route but never give up beloved bacon 🙂

  2. October 21, 2011 1:36 pm

    I have a friend who always orders a veggie burger with bacon when we go out to a bar!

  3. Patti permalink
    October 21, 2011 2:02 pm

    In a recent issue of food network magazine, they had a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip bacon cookies! Your veggie burger looks delicious. I have never made a veggie burger from scratch – may have to try it.

  4. October 21, 2011 2:45 pm

    Ryan- I love bacon SO MUCH that in a bacon-eating contest between you, me, and Ron Swanson, I’d guarantee I’d win.

    • October 21, 2011 2:54 pm

      I’m mentally clicking “like” on this comment.

  5. October 21, 2011 2:58 pm

    I think it’s great you’re loving food right now! My boys love bean burgers and bacon…I bet they would love them together! I should try that for them some time. Dinner looks delicious!

  6. October 21, 2011 3:56 pm

    haha! I do not like bacon… I think i’m the only one! I love that this is called the hypocrite. It looks awesome. Happy weekend

  7. October 21, 2011 4:11 pm

    Loved reading this post! And yes, everything is better with bacon. At this moment I have three different flavored bacon . . . salt! 😀

  8. October 21, 2011 4:30 pm

    Veggie burger topped with bacon = Genius.
    Wait does it count if the only bacon I eat is turkey bacon?

  9. October 21, 2011 5:45 pm

    Hmmmm….that veg burger looks great! I wonder if I can get my husband to eat more of my vegetarian meals if I just threw some bacon on it — or in his case steak might work too! The only problem is I’d be craving bacon constantly – it really is the only meat I miss since becoming vegetarian!

  10. October 21, 2011 6:54 pm

    That is hilarious! I was reading my Food Network Magazine today at lunch and there was a cocktail with a candied piece of bacon in it! I couldn’t decide it if was too far or just right…haha!

  11. October 21, 2011 7:52 pm

    I love that Ryan cooks AND blogs. Pretty soon he’ll be changing diapers too 🙂

  12. October 21, 2011 11:12 pm

    Ryan is on a roll with all these good recipes! Bacon with a chickpea burger? Why have I never done that?! Great idea!

  13. Errign permalink
    October 22, 2011 12:36 am

    I love the idea of bacon on a veggie burger! That’s totally something I’d order haha.

  14. actorsdiet permalink
    October 22, 2011 12:50 am

    that’s totally something i would do – i often put vegan mayo on a hamburger!

  15. October 22, 2011 9:52 pm

    Love the dichotomy here. Bacon (and salami) are two things that I don’t eat often but would never give up entirely!

  16. October 23, 2011 12:40 pm

    That looks like a GREAT veggie burger – I’ll try it. And, funny, when I clicked on your post, I was cooking bacon to go with pancakes – delicious! As far a Cosby’s bacon burger dog, I always assumed it was a hamburger with sliced weenies on top, and bacon on top of that. If that’s not what it is, then that is what it should be. Great post, Ryan.

  17. October 25, 2011 11:25 am

    haha oh yes so many things we do like this…burger looks great! and it is crazy the bacon craze going on


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