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Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders

with 22 comments

easy veggie burgers
This weekend was all about amusement.

Saturday night brought the demolition derby type of amusement, complete with mullet-sporting spectators, loud cars, lots of mud, and my 9-year-old thrilled to pieces over some car with the word “renegade” spray-painted on the side.

And then on Sunday there was this: rollercoaster!

Soooooooo many rollercoasters. I am a thrill-ride junkie. I love love LOVE a rollercoaster. It’s been a few years since we’ve made it over to Paramount’s Carowinds (which is, like everything else in the civilized world, about an hour from here) because it is usually pretty pricey, the heat is unbearable, and the lines are way too long. But! Our dear friend Pat, who is too adorable to even try to put into words, really wanted the boys to do something fun this summer – her treat. We waited until the summer was hanging on by a thread and picked yesterday to indulge in all things too fast, too high, and too much fun.

Armed with a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, a pile of peanut butter sandwiches, and a box of those chocolate Hostess cupcakes with the curly-cues across the top, we made our way to the amusement park, dead-set in our rain or shine mentality. It was a torrential downpour all the way up the road… I was beginning to fear I’d have to placate the children with a movie I couldn’t bear to sit through (to give you a good idea of what I mean, Evan thinks that Air Bud makes for quality viewing material). But when we pulled into the park the downpour turned to drizzle and eventually just… stopped.

As a result of our fearless drive through the hurricane-force sheets of rain, we were able to ride every rollercoaster in the park at least TWICE without waiting in one single line all day. That was a very sweet gamble.

So it’s been a few years since I’ve been on a rollercoaster, and though I am ever unafraid, I have to admit that the Intimidator rattled me. It was the first stop of the day because we just knew that bananas long lines would happen at any minute. Rather than work our way up to the tallest, fastest, longest coaster in the southeast, we just jumped in with both feet. Eyes wide open.

There are no shoulder harnesses.                                                      YIKES.

diced red onions

But ohhhh so worth the scary.

Chad, my little brother, and I spent a good chunk of the day convincing the children to get on rides they had dubbed “too high” or “too scary”. Evan quickly established that his comfort zone involves lap belts and hills, but absolutely no loops. He actually buried his face in his hands on his first go of the Goldrusher, a train ride I very affectionately remember riding with my parents when I was very super small. Five I think.

making veggie burgers

Andrew totally resisted his status as son of a thrill-seeker until …he didn’t.  When he finally got it, he was all-in. You have never seen a kid more excited or more fueled by pure happy adrenaline than mine after his third trip round on the scariest rollercoaster I’ve ever ridden.

Heart-warmingly adorable.

chick peas, black beans, BBQ, sliders

The only thing we didn’t do yesterday is eat greasy amusement park food. We by-passed every steak ‘n’ hoagie, every single cheeseburger. We did not eat even one giant soft pretzel. There were no $7 Dippin Dots or $9 soft drinks in fancy souvenir cups. Halfway through the day we marched out to the parking lot, ate our picnic lunch, and marched right back in. That’s not to say I wasn’t totally enticed by the smells of Cinnabon wafting past, but I’m the mom that brings a purse full of candy to the movie theater. And I’m okay with that.

veggie-ful

I did, however, bring thoughts of fair-like food home with me. So I indulged today, but I healthed it up a pretty good bit.

These Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders are HANDS-DOWN the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. What’s better is that they’re itty bitty, so you can have two.

Cleverly smashed into these lovely little sliders are chick peas, black beans, carrots, spinach, caramelized onions, cheese, and BBQ sauce. Ohhhhhh yeah.

Topping these with more cheese was an important decision. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much cheese.

More veggies on top of the unreasonable amount of cheese.

veggie burger sliders

If they had sold these tiny veggie burgers at Carowinds, I might have been tempted to splurge. But I think I’m glad I waited to gorge myself on park-ish food today, in the comfort of my own home, where Chad is the only person that might point and laugh if I smear BBQ sauce on my face.

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders (modified from THIS recipe at How Sweet It Is)

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

just a dab of butter

a pinch of kosher salt

15-16 ounces of cooked, drained, and rinsed garbanzo beans, black beans, or a combination of both (see note at the bottom)

1 medium carrot, grated

1/2 cup cooked greens — spinach or kale both work well, OR you can use thawed frozen spinach- just be sure to squeeze allll the water out

1/2 cup grated colby jack cheese (or whatever your preference)

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy)

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

a dash of onion powder

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

More cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and BBQ sauce for topping the finished sliders

8 whole wheat dinner rolls

Place the red onion, olive oil, butter, and kosher salt in a small saute pan over medium heat. Caramelize the onion, stirring it around in the butter and oil occasionally. This should only take a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the beans in a large bowl and start smashing them with the back of a fork. You could use a food processor to pulvarize the beans, but I like this rustic sort of texture, PLUS the chunks of beans seem to help the patties stay together. Add the grated carrots, greens, and cheese. When the onions are good and caramelly dump them in. Continue smashing everything together with the fork. Mix in the BBQ sauce, honey, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Keep using the fork to combine all the ingredients evenly. Then mix in the flour.

Using about 3 heaping tablespoons at a time, form the mixture into 8 equal-sized patties. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes (this just makes them easier to handle- it’s not completely necessary).

Heat a large skillet on medium high. Coat with just a dab of oil or non-stick cooking spray and add the patties just a few at a time so you have room to flip them (they will be a little bit soft; I like to cook 3 at a time so that there is room for my spatula in the skillet). Cook them for about 3 minutes on each side – you’re just browning them and trying to heat them through.

Slice the whole wheat dinner rolls in half, burger-bun-style. Drizzle a little more BBQ sauce onto the bottom half of each mini bun, Place the cooked veggie sliders on top of the BBQ sauce. Then top them with cheese while they’re still HOT! so it will melt. Stach each slider with lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices, finishing with the top half of the bun. You can hold them together using frill picks if you’d like.

**Note: To make 8 regular sized burgers or 16 sliders, use 1 (15 ounce) can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) and 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, and then double the rest of the ingredients. You could use all of one kind or the other, but the combination of the two beans was great for flavor AND color. If you aren’t doubling the recipe, you could certainly still use half of each can and save the rest of the beans for another dish OR you could do like I do (if you either plan ahead or have a bit of extra time) and soak & prepare dried beans — I just measure them by scooping them out of the big pot with my liquid measuring cup. All beans do need to be drained and rinsed, of course. Even those you cook yourself.**

veggie burgers

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

22 Responses

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  1. I will be trying these very soon. Don’t know if my hubby will even try one, but we’ll cross that road later – LOL!

    Pam Wolfe

    September 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    • These are so so so good! Chad is a meat and potatoes man – he’s not a picky eater but his favorite meal includes a Triple Whopper with Cheese – and he loved these. I made the burgers for dinner, we had leftovers for lunch last week and then yesterday he and I ate these sliders. They are really easy, full of veggies, tasty and awesome! Lemme know how it goes! And if you’re left with lots of veggie burgers that no one will eat but you, just go on and cook them in the skillet, wrap them tightly in plastic, and freeze for later.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 18, 2012 at 8:40 am

  2. Props to Evan and Andrew for getting wild at the amusement park!!! I wasn’t as brave as them when I was their age haha I can’t believe you went to that park and avoided all that temptation that is freaking awesome!!! Honestly if my Mom had Hostess cupcakes in the car I’d pick those over a cinnabon anyday too hahaha I literally LOL’ed when you said ‘I’m the mom that brings a purse full of candy to the movie theater. And I’m okay with that.’ Hey..if you actually buy candy at the movie theater in this day and age there’s something wrong with you…especially when you can get that sh*t for a $1 at the gas station next door lol I’m the same way!! I bring drinks too! It just made me laugh when you were like, ‘I’m okay with that’ lol Anyhow, I love rollercoasters too, although now I’m getting too old where they would hurt my hips…too much shaking haha I haven’t been on one of those in probably 10 years…maybe more, but I used to love the feeling of my stomach dropping as we plummeted to the ground haha I’m glad you guys had fun!! I just ate a veggie burger…these look MUCH better than the one I ate lol YUM!!!!

    hopefuladdict

    September 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    • Okay, so I’m older than you and I rode everything. Also my mom has been on all of these rides in the last year or so, so throw that age disclaimer right out the window. I love roller coasters!!!!! I was sooo proud of the boys conquering their fears. Andrew was ALL IN. So cute. I bring drinks to the movies, too lol. And sometimes we pop popcorn at home and put it in sandwich baggies! Last time Chad and I took JUST EVAN to the movies it was $38. If I didn’t smuggle food it would have been well over $50! I’m the oldest of 5 kids, my mom always had a huge purse, and she always took candy to the movies. Raisinets. Ohhh yeah.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

      • the cinema is soooooo espensive! When I was little, we always used to take our own sweets (are raisinets the same as poppets – chocolate covered raisins? If they are, that’s what we always had too! I am so not a popcorn girl!) Now, I don’t take sweets, but that’s because the cinema has become my excuse to splurge on a haagen daazs/ben and jerries (depending on the cinema) – and I wouldn’t want that melting all over my bag before I got in there!

        thepinkrachael

        September 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      • Ummm… are you trying to tell me that you can have Ben& Jerry’s at the theater?! Like you can buy it there?! (btw it thrills me to pieces that two ice cream making hippies from Vermont are popular over seas) If I could have Chubby Hubby at the movies I wouldn’t sneak sweets in either! And yes, Raisinets are chocolate covered raisins… poppet might be a more fun word, though.

        Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

        September 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      • YES – are you trying to tell me that you don’t get ice cream at the cinema there?! In England, it’s entirely normal (expected in fact – I’d be outraged to get to a cinema and find it were not the case!) to have an ice cream ‘bar’ with either B & J’s or HD diff flavours, sprinkles, tubs, cones, nuts, choc/caramel sauce etc. etc. Here, it’s not quite that good, but they do at least sell the tubs of B & Js (I didn’t know that was who Ben and Jerry were – I love that too!) I also completely love that chocolate covered raisins (by whichever name, though I agree, poppets is better!) are a commonplace cinema snack everywhere!

        thepinkrachael

        September 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      • I love raisinets…but I was always a JuJu Fruits kind of girl…ever since I saw Elaine eat them in Seinfeld I have loved them ever since haha Oh and for the record…you’re barely older than me! And you’re a lot smaller than me!!! It’s like a feather floating on a roller coaster!!! haha Big fat hips hit hard as sh*t lol Case dismissed!!!!!! lol Movies are so crazy expensive, I think on Tuesdays they’re only $5 or something like that, but nothing worth seeing in the theaters…I’m totally waiting for Breaking Dawn part 2…love that movie!!!!

        hopefuladdict

        September 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm

  3. That roller coaster looks so hectic! 😀
    Loving it! And your veggie sliders are delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    September 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

  4. So glad you had a great day. It sounds like it was the perfect combination. Thrilling rides, perfect temperature, and NO LINES! Spencer will want these burgers. I just know it!

    Peggy Campbell

    September 18, 2012 at 4:19 am

    • We had such a blast! Spencer will love these burgers – you’ll like them, too. The BBQ sauce makes them awesome.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

  5. Nom nom nom, I love veggie burgers. Once you slather them with cheese and ketchup, it tastes just like the real thing, mostly 😉

    Erin's DC Kitchen

    September 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

    • The super great thing about these veggie burgers is that there was so much flavor I didn’t feel like I needed to disguise anything with cheese or ketchup. They were really good.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  6. Mmmmm…I can’t wait to make these!

    thoughtsappear

    September 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

  7. Great idea Heather! Hadn’t thought about freezing them. Darrell is pretty much meat and potatoes too and a pretty picky eater on top of that. He isn’t at all adventurous about trying new things. I will definitely make them though as I’ve been wanting a good veggie burger recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂 .

    Pam Wolfe

    September 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

  8. thsi looks like such a fun weekend!! Brilliant! good on the boys for getting on the roller coasters – and for you (I’m sure it was *such* a chore for you!!) I love a good roller coaster – loop the loops and up and down, I’m a scaredy cat all the way up, but once I’m on I LOVE it! We have planned to get to the theme park here before rain and cold set in, but money is getting in the way right now! fingers crossed! Glad you had a good time aaaaaaaaand post park burgers look yum (minus the cheese – you’ll never convince me of that one!) I keep saying I’m going to try and make a veggie burger for us to try, if I can hunt down some black beans, this one’s a goer!

    thepinkrachael

    September 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    • So on the coaster pictured here, there are 4 seats per car. Two are close together in a pair and two are far apart, so you are arms length from your riding buddy which is basically like riding alone. Chad and I were side by side on our first run. That first hill is frightening, but he could hold my hand. On our second go we accidentally got into the far-away-seat spot, and didn’t realize it till we had to strap in and go. I was soooo freaked out going up that hill. Yeesh!
      On a veggie burger note, I will gladly have your share of the cheese. And if you can’t find black beans, make this with all chick peas! They are really good.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      • Ok, I will update you when I make them (this may take me a while, I’m insanely crap at getting round to new recipes! But I am going to do it!) On a roller coaster note – I would have been scared out of my mind to be sat on my own too! Don’t make that mistake again, but extra bravery points for doing it (however unintentional!)

        thepinkrachael

        September 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  9. I am obsessed with these veggie burgers!!! I’m tempted to try them with partial meat (like ground pork or beef with all of your yummy ingredients). Mmmmm! And I can totally try these on my gluten-free bread (score!).

    burlesquebaker

    September 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    • Let me know how they turn out! Especially if you incorporate a bit of meat? I’m interested in how that might be!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm


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