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Toronto's Famous Vegan Planta Burger

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gracoman View Drop Down

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    Posted: 16 January 2020 at 13:39
I decide to give these a try but without the oil added at the Planta Restaurant in Toronto. The original recipe calls to fry the required mushrooms in oil and fry the burgers in oil until a crust forms and then finish in a 450ºF oven for 10-15 minutes to cook through. I skipped the oil and airfried my first Planta burger a a test. That's when I decided thinner would be better for my purposes.

The "raw" burgers.  I can probably get 8-10 burgers out of these six that I made.

I added Good Foods Queso Dip to the top rather than make my own plant-based cheese sauce because this commercially made stuff is pretty darned good.

Good Foods Queso Dip ingredients:
Red Bell Peppers
Almond Butter
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Onion
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt
Nutritional Yeast
Chia Protein (whatever that is)
Ground Cumin
Ground Turmeric

My finished Planta Burger topped with Queso dip, charred tomatoes and caramelized onions (my contribution)

Chef David Lee's Planta Burgers

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked lentils (green or brown)
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, chopped and sautéed in a non stick skillet. No oil.
1 small beet, grated
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 T tapioca starch
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Cayenne or chili pepper flakes to taste (I used 1.5 tsp chipotle powder)

Mash chickpeas with a fork
Process separately - mashed chickpeas, lentils, mushrooms, black beans and oatmeal in a food processor. Pulse each to a coarse mixture. Add each mix to a large mixing bowl.
To the mixtures add grated beets, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, salt, pepper and cayenne or chili flakes, finrly chopped parsley, and rosemary.
Mix well with hands.
Check seasoning. Add more heat if necessary.
Form patties. You'll get 6 - 10 depending on how large you make them. Smaller and flatter is probably better.
Let rest in fridge for an hour or two to firm up before cooking
Air fry until a crust forms on the outside and the patties are cooked through.
Alternately, fry in a non stick or cast iron skillet over med to med high heat until a crust forms on each side. Finish in a 450ºF oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

from bottom to top:
Whole Wheat bun bottom
Bean or tofu based no oil vegan mayo
Green or red leaf lettuce
Dill pickle strips
Caramelized onions
Charred tomatoes
WFPB cheese sauce (I used Good Foods plant-based Queso Dip)
Yellow mustard
Whole wheat bun top

See it made here

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Hoser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2020 at 03:00
Sooooo...what's the verdict? Tongue or Dead
Go with your food!
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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2020 at 09:42
Looks pretty tasty!

Originally posted by Hoser Hoser wrote:

Sooooo...what's the verdict? Tongue or Dead

Yeah, c'mon don't leave us hangin! Wink
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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gracoman View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2020 at 10:48

Sorry for the delay and doubly sorry for the long post but I've "got some 'splaining to do".
- R.Ricardo

This is perhaps a bigger question than you folks realize because the answer depends on one’s experience and expectations. So, when it comes to yay or nay on the Planta Burger, you need to first understand where I am coming from. Perhaps we should do a quick run through of a few reasons people might decide to eat some of these things in the first place.

I’ll assume you don’t know much about vegetarian, vegan or plant-based eating beyond the little I’ve written on this forum.  That may not be true but, for the sake of argument, lets run with it.  I’ll leave macrobiotic and raw food diets out of this discussion as they really don’t belong with the other three.

Briefly, the only commonalty these three diets have is they are all meatless. 

Vegetarians eat no meat but may include eggs and/or milk products.  Vegetarians have no added fat, salt or sugar restrictions and, from my experience, most cook with added oils, butter, ghee etc.  Vegetarians may or may not use/wear leather products  The concern here is for animals welfare or it can be even more basic than that.  Vegetarians may just have a distaste for meat.  It may be surprising to you to learn that most, if not all, young children have such a distaste for meat and eating it may be a learned practice.  Some vegetarians flatly refused to eat meat from an early age and their non-vegetarian parents didn’t force meat upon them.  Many vegetarians follow such a diet because their parents or culture is vegetarian.  Health is not the concern here. 

Vegans do not eat, or wear any animal products at all.  This includes meat, eggs, dairy, butter, cheese and honey.  The #1 reason for becoming vegan, by far, is animal welfare. So vegans do not buy or wear leather or other animal products.  This includes products that have been tested on animals. If you knew how many animals are killed each day for human consumption in the United States alone, it might also give you pause. The connections between greenhouse gas production, meat production and land usage are well known at this point and, while important, most vegans think of this as added gravy, a nice bonus but animal welfare is the main concern.  While the vegetarian diet is no necessarily a healthy diet, Vegans have a class all their own which is decidedly unhealthy.  The Junk Food Vegan Diet is very real and extraordinarily large.  Today’s processed convenience food industry is only to happy to oblige. The rise of the Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage, and Impossible Burgers are two visible examples of this but the list of these vegan junk foods is already seemingly endless and growing.  These highly processed foods that are manufactured, high in fat, sugar, salt empty calories and do not exist in nature. Vegans tend to be the most vocal of these groups. Health is not the driving force here.

Plant-Based people are vegan but not all vegan are plant based.  The difference between a plant-based diet and the other two meatless diets are fat, salt and sugar consumption.  There are no added oils, or sugars in this otherwise vegan diet.  No processed foods are allowed, oil being one of the the most highly processed foods available, 100% fat and of little nutritional value.  Human health is the #1 and only concern here.  That said, plant-based diets vary but by degrees, not miles.  The more relaxed plant-based diets allow higher fat foods but in moderation.  Rich-fatty sauces such as cashew creams and high fat foods such as tofu, and high fat foods like avocados may be allowed.  It may surprise you to learn tofu can be 40% fat.  The guide here is: if the food has a list of ingredients, don’t eat it.  Everything must grow out of the ground and one must follow a well designed diet.  The most restrictive of these PB diets is the Esselstyn diet developed in the early eighties by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.  This is the only diet clinically proven to reverse heart disease.  The rule of thumb here is if you have a dietary related disease, the Esselstyn diet may reverse it.  This includes, among others coronary artery disease, hypertension and type II diabetes by repairing dietary caused insulin resistance.  Believe it or not, there are diseases of protein excess.  If one is already healthy, this diet will likely make them, among other things, heart attack and diabetes proof.  It’s a pity most people must suffer a life changing medical episode before even considering a dietary and lifestyle change. In sharp contrast to the other two diets briefly described, health is the only driving force here.

A quick point in regarding genetics.  Genetics may load the gun but diet pulls the trigger.

I’ve experienced all three of these diets and have been mostly plant-based for somewhere in the neighborhood of 10+ years.  When I’m not really going for it, I’ll allow myself to break the Essylstyn diet by one meal each week, hence my meaty posts here, but there is a danger in doing that.  It gets easier and easier to slip back into the SAD (Standard American Diet) because the love of calories, fat, sugar and salt are hardwired into us.  When that begins to happen, I jump back in, hard and head first, to the strict plant-based lifestyle.  There are an old saying that I try to adhere to.  Eat to live rather than live to eat. 

In a relatively short about of time on a plant-based, as little as 7 days, one’s tastes begin to change.  Further encouragement automatically appears when after 1 week you feel better.  Depending on you situation, sometimes a lot better.  This is the only diet I know of where you can eat until stuffed and still lose weight.  This is due to foods high in nutritive value but of low calorie density.  Pounds will melt off fast.  Very fast, in the beginning, especially if one is obese.  A pound a day weight loss is not unusual but this will stabilize.  A 100lb loss in a year, or less for the dedicated, is also not uncommon.  So the diet is self-reinforcing.  Should one fall off the wagon, sooner or later, they always come back because they remember how good they felt, how much more energy they had, and how many pounds they lost.  They have been ruined.

So, what does all of this have to do with a simple yay or nay to the Planta Burger?  Your relative like or dislike of this burger depends entirely on your experience.  A plant-based person might say it is it’s delicious.  A carnivore paleo/keto person might say it tastes worse than mouthful of dirt.  This response might happen whether it does or not. If you watched the video of this burger being made, the skinny little doctor dude, the host, said it tastes just like a burger.  That is an example of one of my pet peeves. People saying vegan foods taste just like meat when they don’t and this burger is no exception.  The host presents himself as a meat eater but his review is clearly skewed in favor of the Planta restaurant.  Such is the power of money.  Tell a lie, make a lot.  Tell the truth, make a little or none at all.

For my part, and the part of other relatively unbiased plant-based eaters, I am not looking for foods that taste just like meat.  I am looking for foods that taste good.  Preferably damned good.  These are the recipes that cross all boundaries.  I have found many such recipes.  The Planta burger, as the recipe stands, is good but not great.  I like them well enough (second one was better than the first) but my background is very different from most.  I haven't yet tried it out on a "normal" person for a "normal" person's reaction. Let’s just say they are pretty good by my standards but I wouldn’t use a Planta burger to try and win a meat eater over with.  I have made better plant-based burgers that are absolute flavor bombs and the carnivores in my family even ask for them.  Yes, I’ll make Planta burgers again after the patties I already have run out, but the recipe needs tweaking.  Perhaps a lot of tweaking but its a great base to start with.  Because the ingredient list is fantastic, it deserves tweaking and I already know what to do.  For me, the revelations here were charred tomatoes and the commercially prepared Queso Dip.  Those are both keepers.  The Planta Burger would most definitely be better vegan as the recipe is written.  Mushrooms fried in oil and finished burger also fried in oil.  I’m not willing to do that so tweaking it is.

FYI, the whole wheat bun I used on this burger is not plant-based because it has a small amount if oil in it.  Commercially prepared plant-based whole grain breads are difficult to find (Ezekiel bread is fine) and many times I must bake my own.  Dave's Bread was plant based until the recently sold the company.  Now there is oil in there to increase profitability so Dave's is now a no go. There is also one iffy ingredient in the Queso Sauce.  Chia protein.  It doesn’t say chia seeds or ground chia seeds it says chia protein.  I looked this up but didn’t find an answer. Sounds processed to me but it is 11th on the ingredient list so I let it slide.

FWIW, at 64, I take no meds. No statins, no blood pressure pills, no nuthin.  My weight is healthy and stable. This is what normal use to be.  In 2020, I'm an oddity.  It's not that I'm some sort of singularity nor does this stuff run in my family.   My dad died of a heart attack at 57.  My brother is obese, diabetic and hypertensive.  Thing of it is, this stuff is all reversible.  It's true that genetics loads the gun but diet pulls the trigger.  It's also true that while diet may be king, exercise is queen.

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connorbaker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote connorbaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2020 at 09:02
these burgers look so juicy!!!
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VictoriaMcLean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VictoriaMcLean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2020 at 09:18
I think I know what I'm going to do tonight)) I'll make burgers) Recently I really like to cook and all the recipes that interest me I save and then cook them. My husband and children especially like this idea. I think I've cooked more than 100 different dishes in the last 2 months. The only problem is that I don't know what to cook anymore...So I go to the best San Diego restaurants site and find a restaurant that I like and and see what dishes they serve...and then I make these dishes at home. I think I will soon be able to open my own personal restaurant at home ahah.
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