1. Other beans work great with this recipe. I've tried red kidney beans, black beans, butter beans and chickpeas. The bean you choose will affect the colour and you may need to adjust the bake time - look for the same wrinkly dry, splitting skin. The chickpeas give it a slight Falafel-type flavour.
2. Roasted unsalted cashews are also ok. Other nut subs - the best is macadamia nuts, similar in texture to cashews. Almonds and walnuts are also great. For people with nut allergies, sunflower seeds is the best option I can think on.
3. Normal breadcrumbs will also work here. For a Gluten Free option, use crushed rice crackers.
4. Any other cooked rice can also be used, or other rice-like grains like quinoa, bulgur and buckwheat.
5. Don't let the carrots and beans get too golden because this will dry them out too much and you'll get crunchy bits in the burgers. Just a tiny tinge of golden is ok, but the main thing is to look for is dried splitting skin on the beans. See photos and video.
6. Chunkiness of mixture: There's flex here - you can make it smoother (see first photo in post where the side of the burger has less visible chunks in it) or leave it chunky (video and remaining photos in post). In fact, most of the photos in the post are from different batches and you can see some are far chunkier than others. They are all great, and work fine so don't stress here.
Just blitz enough so the mixture holds together easily when you form the patties, but don't blitz so it becomes a uniform single colour.
7. Don't make the burgers much thicker than 1.8cm / 0.7" thick otherwise the inside ends up too soft. You need the right ration of golden crust to meat insides!
8. Cheese option: Top the patties with cheese as soon as you flip, then cover loosely with a sheet of foil or lid until the cheese melts. Swiss cheese is especially delish (pictured in post)
9. Burger Sauces: Use your favourite, whether it be ketchup, mustard, relish, BBQ sauce or chutney.
For a quick homemade one, the pink sauce pictured in the video is my Pink Burger Sauce, made as follows: Mix sour cream or yoghurt or mayo with finely chopped dill pickles and a dash of sriracha or other hot sauce, plus salt and pepper to taste.
10. STORAGE: Refrigerate raw up to 24 hours, cook cold straight from fridge. For freezing or storing longer in the fridge, cook the patties, cool then refrigerate or freeze. To reheat, thaw fully (in fridge or out on counter, don't microwave) then reheat in the pan or bake at 180C/350F for 10 minutes until crisp (don't microwave, it steams = soggy).
Reason: I found that storing raw burgers for longer than 24 hours made them a bit more moist than ideal on the inside, presumably because of the salt making the veggies sweat. This problem was most extreme with the frozen raw burgers. 48 hours in the fridge was marginally not as good as freshly made to 24 hours in the fridge (but I was being very fussy!). However, storing and reheating cooked burgers was absolutely fine, no loss of quality (both fridge and freezer).
11. I learned the technique of baking the veggies and beans from this Ultimate Veggie Burger
from New York Times and have since seen it used by other cooking authorities including Serious Eats and Cooks Illustrated.
12. Nutrition per serving, veggie burger patty only because I cannot be held responsible for how much you cram into your burger!