Finally, a Simple Veggie Burger Recipe You Can Make at Home
There are certain times in our lives that “trigger” us to set the life “reset” button. Events such as a death, an illness or the start of a new year can initiate us to pause, take a deep breath and appraise our lives.
I had such a trigger during my treatment for breast cancer. I asked questions of myself like, Am I happy? Why did this happen? What can I do to make sure this cancer never comes back?
I needed to make more time for myself—for fitness and for wellness. I needed to simplify. I needed to make “me” count again. Not that I hadn’t before cancer but I was one of the heads of a busy household. I have three active children, a dog, I worked part-time and my husband is a lawyer. Before cancer, I identified myself by what freelance work I had. The writing and recipe development that I am working on, outside of being a mom, nurse, organizer, taxi driver, cleaner, dog walker (to name a few).
I don’t do that anymore. I make myself a priority. My wellness. My health. I also give back or want to give back. I am part of a clinical trial for my sub-type of breast cancer. It is through the use of clinical trials that we learn about cancer and new treatments are evaluated before they are offered to patients. It is means of contributing back to a disease that for a time, took a lot from me. I hope by my little part of giving back; to improve breast cancer care and hopefully find a cure.
A new year is a new clean slate. We set resolutions, we try and stick to them. We evaluate. We set goals. The start of a new year is often a spark for us to stop and think. To look at life and set some goals. To simplify our lives.
It also causes us to potentially look at our diets. Holidays are often a time that we overindulge. A health scare can also cause us to re-elevate our diets. A time to stop and listen to our bodies. What am I putting into my body? Is this good for me? Is this good for my family. More and more people are choosing to not eat meat. We do eat all meat as a family but often have one night through the week that we do entirely vegetable. Vegetables are taking more of a starring role in our diets.
I am a big fan of grains and try and incorporate them into our diets as much as possible. The veggie burgers below use bulgur. Bulgur is minimally processed and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is considered a whole grain, meaning that the entire grain is eaten.
We also try and eat as seasonally as we can. Squash is in season during the winter months and it’s wallet-friendly, flavourful and nutritious. I roast it up ahead and keep it on hand to eat as needed. The recipe below will give you some squash “meat” to make the burgers and some extra as a veggie side on your dinner plate. The cooking method works for all varieties of squash. Try some out!
If you are going to use spaghetti squash, cook using the recipe below and then use a fork to pull all the beautiful “pasta-like” threads from the squash. Use the squash threads where you would use pasta for a healthy substitute.
- 2 medium squash (such as butternut squash) halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Place squash on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Place 1 tbsp. butter in the middle of each squash. Use hands to rub butter all over the flesh.
- Season with salt and pepper. Roast in 375 F oven ( 190 C) for 10 minutes. Turnover and continue roasting for 20 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender. Scoop meat from the flesh and use!
Roasted Squash Burgers with Bulgur and Lime Mayonnaise
Using wet hands to make the burgers makes it easier to mold and assemble. The recipe can be easily doubled and the veggie burgers can be frozen.
Makes 4 servings
- 3/4 cup bulgur (also called cracked wheat)
- 1 cup roasted squash (see above)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs ( no stems)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced, including green parts
- 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Mixed greens
Lime Mayonnaise Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. grated lime zest
- 1/2 tsp. lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- In saucepan, combine bulgur with 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, stir in squash and soy sauce.
- In food processor, pulse bulgur mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, green onions, hot sauce, salt and pepper, until finely chopped.
- Using wet hands mix in dried breadcrumbs. Form into 1/2 cup mixture of 4 patties. Chill for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight.
- While patties chill, stir together mayonnaise, zest and lime juice.
- On heated greased grill, grill burgers, turning once, about 12 minutes total. Serve on a bed of mixed greens with a dollop of lime mayonnaise. If making these in the winter, place patties on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush, oil over each patty, on both sides. Cook in 375 F (190 C) oven, turning once, about 15 minutes.
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Kate Dowhan graduated with honours English from Huron College, at the University of Western Ontario. From there she attended and graduated with honours from the Stratford Chef School. She apprenticed and worked within several kitchens before working for magazines. She freelanced for Homemakers magazine, Chatelaine magazine and Food and Drink Magazine. She became a full time member of the Canadian Living Test Kitchen in 2001 and worked there for six years.
Kate started her consulting business in 2007, and has worked with many high-profile brands as a recipe developer and recipe editor. Kate has a passion for delicious, reliable recipes that has established her reputation as a go-to food expert.
Her easy-going style is reflected in her recipes that are both approachable for home-cooks and on-trend for the foodie at heart. As a breast cancer survivor (diagnosed in 2017) she is conscious of producing healthy, seasonal family pleasing recipes. She loves to cook for her three children, and husband.