Veggie Burger Ingredient Alternatives

Recently a viewer wrote with a question about veggie burgers. In our Veggie Planet episode, Didi Emmons and I put together a delicious burger built on a foundation of brown rice and kasha. Included in the burger are carrots, mushrooms, tarragon and walnuts. The question was concerning the addition of mushrooms. For those that don’t like them, can some other vegetable be a reasonable substitute for our fungi friends?

The answer is yes. You can substitute another ingredient and omit the mushrooms. A veggie burger is really what you make it, but the base ingredients of grains and nuts don’t change much. Mushrooms simply add a little texture and moisture to the burger, as well as a particular flavor. If you don’t like mushrooms, try adding zucchini or eggplant (finely diced and stir fried) or some extra steamed carrots.

A cup and a half of mushrooms cooks down to very little, so the recipe doesn’t depend on them. Zucchini and eggplant are both big on moisture and, if you want to, try adding more herbs to compensate for the deep flavor of the mushrooms. You can also add half a cup more of nuts. The trick here is to keep the moisture level up so the burgers are easier to work with. You don’t want the mixture to be wet, but you do want it to have a slightly sticky moist texture. If you don’t like mushrooms, give this a try and let me know how it works. Good luck and remember, everybody can cook, the more you experiment the better you’ll get.

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Vegan “Cheese” and Salad

I know you will all be looking here for an actual cheese product that is vegan. Surprise! What I am offering as a tip for cheese replacement is baked tofu. There are many cheese alternatives on the market these days and they are becoming increasingly popular. However, I haven’t found one that I really like. […]

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Strawberries with a Twist

With strawberry season upon us, here’s a tip for some of the most delicious strawberries you’ll ever eat. The classic dressing for strawberries has historically been a little sugar and a squirt of fresh lemon. While even the sweetest freshest strawberries benifit from a light sprinkling of these two ingredients, one dressing you may not […]

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Vegan “Cream” Alternative

One trick I learned in Italy while making vegetable minestrone or potato leek soup was how to thicken a soup without cream. My non-dairy option can also be added to mashed potatoes or pasta sauces to add extra protein and a rich delicious flavor. My substitute “cream” consists of cannellini beans, puréed in a food […]

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Vegetarian Island Dining

For a vegetarian, one of the major challenges of vacationing is dining out, and of course where you go in your travels can make all the difference. Recently my journeys took me to Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean, south of Cuba. My prior experience of island dining was less than impressive. However, this experience […]

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