Nowadays, many restaurants serve vegetarian burgers. Besides being tasty, they boast the added benefits of being cruelty-free, cholesterol-free and vitamin and fiber powerhouses. Making your own burgers is easy and fun and it’s more economical than eating out or buying ready-made versions.


Veggie

First, you’ll need to choose the type of veggie burger you want to make. They typically fall into two general categories: bean-based burgers and tofu-based burgers.

For mix-and-match bean burgers, combine the following ingredients in a food processor until they reach burger consistency. If the mixture seems too dry, add more crackers or oats in 1 tablespoon increments, If it’s too dry, add water or soy milk in 1 tablespoon increments.A. 1 15 ounce can of beans (eg, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, cannelini beansB. 1/2 to 1 small onion, quarteredC. Either 8 crackers, 1 cup oats, 1 cup of cooked grains or 1 cup bread crumbsD. 1 tablespoon of your seasoning of choice (eg, parsley, basil, oregano, or a mixture of like-tasting herbs and spices like cumin, chili powder, and cilantro)E. Water or soy milk, as neededF. Optional: 1 stalk celery, sauteed and softened; 1/4 minced green pepper, sauteed and softened; 1/2 cup shredded carrot, sauteed and softenedF. Salt and pepperUsing your hands, form the mixture into burgers.

For mix-and-match tofu burgers, combine the following ingredients in a food processor until they reach burger consistency. If the mixture seems too dry, add more of crackers or oats in 1 tablespoon increments, If it’s too dry, add water or soy milk in 1 tablespoon increments.A. 1 16 ounce packet of tofu. (Squeeze out the extra water and drain well for at least an hour)B. 1/2 to 1 small onion, quarteredC. Either 8 crackers, 1 cup oats, 1 cup of cooked grains or 1 cup bread crumbsD. 1 tablespoon of your seasoning of choice ( parsley, basil, oregano, or a mixture of like-tasting herbs and spices like cumin, chili powder and cilantro)E. Water or soy milk, as neededF. Optional: 1 stalk celery, sauteed and softened; 1/4 minced green pepper, sauteed and softened; 1/2 cup shredded carrot, sauteed and softened; dash of soy sauce; teaspoon of mustardF. Salt and pepperUsing your hands, form the mixture into burgers.

To fry your burgers, coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray or line your frying pan with a thin coating of oil. Fry burgers over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.To bake your burgers, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, Place the burgers on an oiled baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, Flip burgers and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until golden and warmed through.To grill your burgers, cover the grill with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray. Grill burgers for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Check the burgers often, since grilling times can vary greatly.Serve your burgers on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, onion and vegan cheese slices, if desired. Sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions make wonderful additions.

For an easy, “hands-off” veggie burger that tastes surprisingly “meaty,” place 4 portabello mushroom caps on a baking sheet, cap-side down. Drizzle gills liberally with extra virgin olive oil (and a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired), then sprinkle them with minced garlic. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the juices are flowing and the mushrooms are soft. Be sure to check the mushrooms after about 10 minutes, adding more oil inf needed, They should be moist not dry.