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Veggie Burger

What’s more American than a juicy hamburger? Of course you can buy pre-made veggie patties, but none taste as good as this homemade recipe. Getting ready for a big BBQ? Note that patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days, and that cooked burgers can be kept warm in 250-degree oven for up to 30 minutes while other food cooks on the grill!

Makes 6 servings. Total preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Preparation

Bulgur

Bring 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Stir bulgur wheat into boiling water and cover immediately. Turn off heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer using a rubber spatula to press out excess moisture. Transfer bulgur to medium bowl and set aside.

Vegetables

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. On a second baking sheet, spread cooked vegetable mixture to cool then set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat over high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet with vegetable mixture and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Patties

Process cashews in food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses, then stir into bowl with bulgur, cooled lentils, vegetable-mushroom mixture and Vegennaise. Repeat process with other half of mixture and add back to bowl.

Stir in breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Divide mixture into 12 portions, about 1/2 cup each, shaping each into a tightly packed patty 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Pat dry to absorb extra moisture.

Cook

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook burgers until well browned, about 4 minutes per side, lowering heat to medium if browning too quickly. Repeat with additional oil and burgers until finished. Add to whole grain bun or flatbread and serve with favorite fixings.

Freeze

With freezing and defrosting, patties increase in moisture content. It is therefore necessary to add more bread crumbs before freezing. For each burger to be frozen, add 1 teaspoon panko or 1/2 teaspoon plain bread crumbs to the mixture before shaping. Thaw frozen patties overnight in the refrigerator on a triple layer of paper towels covered loosely with plastic wrap. Before cooking, pat the patties dry with paper towels and reshape to make sure they are tightly packed and cohesive.

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown lentils

1/3 cup bulgur, raw or 1 cup cooked brown rice

2 tablespoons safflower or grape seed oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (2 cups)

1 rib celery, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (2 teaspoons)

2 cups cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1/2 cup raw unsalted cashew or walnuts

1/4 cup Vegennaise mayonnaise substitute

1 cup sprouted whole grain bread crumbs

ground black pepper

6 whole grain burger buns, tortillas or flatbread

We realize that you may not always have the time to cook meals from scratch, and that a quick and easy substitution may be needed. We always recommend cooking the real thing, but in a pinch you can try this instead:

Buy a frozen veggie burger patty. Grill or warm on skillet. Top with fresh sliced tomato, romaine lettuce and avocado on a small whole grain bun. Season to taste with Vegennaise, pesto or Dijon mustard. Enjoy!

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