Katie Johnson: Three takes on plant-based burgers (recipe)

Over the past years I have continued to increase the number of plant-based meals in our household and describe our diet as a “flexitarian diet.” Put simply, this means that we only eat meat a few times a week, which is a drastic change from our childhood and young adult diets where meat was consumed several times each day.
These days I cook mostly vegetarian and vegan meals. My motivation is no surprise – we simply feel much better eating this way and, of course, it is reflected in better overall health.
One of our favorite meals has always been big, fat homemade burgers. Since making our change to a more plant-based diet, we have discovered some amazingly delicious alternatives to meat burgers.
Today I am going to share three plant-based “burger” recipes with you. One of them is more involved, but you do end up with about eight burgers and, once they are cooked, they freeze really well and can be used for several months. The second requires a bit of prep, however, it’s an outstanding treat and worth the small amount of effort. The third is a very quick and simple option which is also a super delicious alternative. As always, I encourage you to change things up to suit your personal tastes.
These recipes have come from the Love and Lemons website which is a great website for vegetarian/vegan cooking ideas. Likewise, I find the Forks Over Knives website to provide many delicious meatless recipes that are also low in fat and very heart healthy.
Best Veggie Burger
Serves 8
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil (more for drizzling)
2 shallots chopped (2/3 cup) (or any type of sweet onion)
16 ounces mushroom mix of shiitake and portobello, destemmed and diced (I use any type of mushrooms that are available)
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin or ½ teaspoon maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons sriracha, more if desired (we prefer our own favorite hot sauce)
1⁄2 cup crushed walnuts (I have used hazelnuts and macadamia nuts as well)
1⁄4 cup ground flaxseed (this really adds some good fiber)
2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (freshly cooked so that it’s sticky)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
Worcestershire sauce for brushing
Nonstick cooking spray for grilling
Hamburger buns; desired burger fixings
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, a generous pinch of salt, and sauté until soft and browned, 6 to 9 minutes, turning down the heat slightly, as needed.
Stir in the tamari (soy sauce), vinegar, and mirin (maple syrup).
Stir, reduce the heat, then add the garlic, smoked paprika, and hot sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the sautéed mushrooms, walnuts, flaxseed, brown rice, and ½ cup of the panko. Pulse until well combined.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining panko.
Form into 8 large patties or 12 small “slider” patties.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray and drizzle or brush the patties with olive oil. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until char marks form. Remove from the grill, brush with Worcestershire sauce, and serve with desired fixings.
Portobello Mushroom Burger with Artichoke Hearts
4 large portobello mushrooms
1 can artichoke hearts drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise (vegan if you prefer)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (more to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper (more to taste)
1 teaspoon favorite hot sauce (more to taste)
Panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil
Clean mushrooms, remove stem and scrape out gills. Mix together all ingredients from artichoke hearts to hot sauce. Sample and adjust to your taste. Fill each mushroom with a helping of the artichoke mixture.
Place a handful of panko on top of each mushroom and press into the mixture. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, place each mushroom bottom side down (panko and filling facing down) and cook until nice and browned (about 5 minutes).
Flip the mushroom over and cook another 5-7 minutes until the mushroom looks cooked through. Place on a bun and add all the usual fixings or eat over a bed of greens or rice. Enjoy!
Quick and Easy Portobello Mushroom Burger
4 large portobello mushrooms
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Tamari (or soy sauce) for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns warmed or toasted
Sliced tomato
Sliced red onion
Pesto guacamole
Chipotle sauce are optional
Prepare the mushrooms by removing the stems and cleaning the caps with a damp cloth or paper towel. Place the mushrooms in a rimmed plate and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari (soy sauce), salt, and pepper. Use your hands to help coat the mushrooms on both sides. You can grill them immediately or let them marinade for up to several hours. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Place the mushrooms, gill side up onto the grill pan. Cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until mushrooms are tender. Place the mushrooms onto the buns and serve with desired fixings.


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