If you want something besides a traditional hamburger on your bun but don't know where to start, there are a number of veggie burger options to consider. Not all burger options offered at health foods stores are vegan, so if you don't want dairy in your burger, check the ingredient list. The amount of fat in commercial veggie burgers also varies widely, so watch out for low-fat options.

Depending on the recipe you select, vegan burgers may include mushrooms, vegetable protein, nuts, oatmeal, or even beans as a substantial portion of the recipe. Soy protein, which offers a chewy texture, is also frequently used. Although veggie burgers usually start out in a patty form, they can also be crumbled and served as the "meat" in meat sauces and soups. Veggie burger recipes can also be formed into individual "meat" loaves or added to a chili or Sloppy Joe recipe.

Though veggie burgers are generally lower in calories and fat than hamburgers, non-vegan options may contain fat from cheese, eggs, or oil. Even the higher-fat varieties most likely have less fat than extra-lean ground beef, which generally gets more than half of its calories from fat.

Veggie burgers are a much better source of fiber than hamburgers or other meat alternatives. While meat has no fiber, most veggie burgers provide 3-4 grams of fiber per serving. Veggie burgers also generally contain no cholesterol (unless the recipe contains dairy ingredients). In contrast, a 3.5 ounce hamburger made from extra-lean ground beef would include up to 90 mg of cholesterol. Depending on the recipe, veggie burgers may also contain generous amounts of helpful nutrients such as iron, protein, or even vitamin B-12. For all their good points, veggie burgers do have one caveat: they are generally higher in salt than ground beef, and may also require more oil to fry without sticking.

For a quick veggie burger, one of the best options I have found would be the Cedar Lake Quik Burger right out of the can. The Cedar Lake Vegeburger is another tasty option. Simply open the can on both ends and push the contents through, much like a sausage roll. Slice the contents carefully (to avoid breakage), and sizzle them in a bit of olive oil. Both of the above options are vegan, and both are delicious on a hamburger bun, served mayo, ketchup, lettuce, pickle relish, and a garden-fresh, sliced tomato.

If you are looking to make your own veggie burger, try the delicious recipe below:

Wonderful Walnut Burgers

Ingredients

1 cups walnuts

3 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups firm tofu, drained and mashed

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Directions

1. Toast walnuts in oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium-size bowl, making sure that corn starch is well-mixed (not lumpy).

3. Grind cooled walnuts into a fine meal and add to above mixture.

4. Work the mixture with your hands until it is extremely well-mixed. If necessary, add enough water to make the consistency one that is not too dry, but holds together well.

5. Spray a cookie sheet and form your burgers, using the mouth of a small canning jar as a guide.

6. Bake on sprayed at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, then flip to brown other side.

7. Serve with a hamburger bun, pickles, olives, lettuce, ketchup, and whatever else sounds good!

This recipe can also be pressed into a pan and baked as a loaf. Allow to cool before slicing.

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