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Hi, I'm Judy Mayer

Eating doesn’t have to be so hard, but for many confusion exists about what’s healthy and what’s not. Bombarded with so much information — much of it in the form of silver bullets and easy answers — people often don’t know where to turn...
Judy Mayer

Two Burgers for Meatless Monday!

What's For Dinner
Timely advice, tasty tips and a little tough love from Outpost's resident nutritionist, Judy Mayer. By Judy Mayer on March 26, 2012


I love veggie burgers but tend to stay away from those that are highly processed and high in sodium. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a recipe for a good meatless burger – if you’ve ever attempted to make them you know - sometimes they just won’t stick together and you end up with more of a veggie crumble than a burger.


A veggie burger has to have a binder to hold it together – eggs are a perfect binder but you can also use bread crumbs, wheat germ, oats or mashed potatoes. Egg replacers such as Ener-g egg replacer or flax meal (1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water) work well for vegan burgers.

There are hundreds of veggie burger recipes – and I’ve made my share of burgers that were tasteless and had the consistency of cardboard – but these are my “go to” recipes for a good veggie burger.  


Mushroom Tofu Veggie Burger

Makes 6 burgers


1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)

1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup green onions, chopped, including green tops

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1-1/2 cups crimini or white button mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/3 cup white cheddar cheese, grated

2/3 cup firm tofu, mashed or crumbled with fingers

2 large eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, panko preferred

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning



1. Place oats and almonds on separate baking sheets and lightly toast in a preheated 375° oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until very lightly colored. Set aside to cool.

2. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add onions, garlic and mushrooms until softened and onions are translucent. Add the oats and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool mixture.

3. Combine the onion mixture with the rice, cheese, tofu, eggs, parsley, bread crumbs, almonds, poultry seasoning salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.

4. If time permits, chill mixture for one hour.  Shape into 6 patties and sauté in a bit of olive oil or bake until golden and crisp on the outside.

5. Top with your favorite toppings and serve on a whole grain bun.


Per serving: 210 calories, 3g fat, 17g carbohydrates, 12g protein, 470mg sodium, 3g fiber

Adapted from: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/recipes/mushroom-tofu-veggie-burger/index.html


Nut Burgers

Serves 4


3/4 cup sunflower seeds

3/4 cup walnuts

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1 small carrot, grated finely

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

1-2 teaspoons ghee, butter or olive oil

4 sprouted whole grain buns

1. Grind nuts and seeds to a fine meal in a small grinder or food processor. Place ground nuts in a bowl and add cumin, oregano, cayenne, garlic and salt; mix well. 

2. Fold in cooked brown rice and oatmeal. Add tomato sauce a little at a time until you get a stiff, but workable texture. Form mixture into patties with moist hands.  If the mixture is not holding together, the nut grind wasn't fine enough. Put all of the mixture back into the food processor and pulse 3-4 times. That should do it. 

3. Refrigerate patties for a few hours if possible. Lightly coat a skillet with ghee and brown patties on both sides. Serve on whole grain buns with your favorite fixin's.


Per serving: 282 calories, 21g fat, 2g sat fat, 19g carbohydrates, 9g protein, 54mg sodium, 4g fiber

Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008) Cynthia also has a crazy funny blog - http://www.cookusinterruptus.com





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