Love burgers, but trying to cut down on your sat fat intake? These incredible veggie burgers, made with legumes and whole grains, are super healthy and easy to prepare. Each one has a unique taste and texture, so try them all…and see if you can choose a favorite! Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipes by adding different veggies, such as chopped zucchini or even corn kernels! And don’t forget to check out the yummy and healthy sauce recipes at the end!!

ULTIMATE VEGGIE BURGER RECIPE (adapted from www.101cookbooks.com )

2 ½ cups canned organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

4 large eggs

½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium onion, chopped

Grated zest of 1 lemon (always use organic fruit for zest!)

1 cup broccoli or alfalfa sprouts

1 cups toasted whole grain bread crumbs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Place garbanzos, eggs, and salt in food processor and puree until the consistency of thick, chunky hummus. Pour into mixing bowl and stir in cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add breadcrumbs and stir. Let sit for a couple of minutes so that breadcrumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into 12 mini burgers, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Patties can be stored, ready to cook, for several days in the refrigerato). Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium low heat. Cook patties covered, for 7-10 minutes. Increase heat if patties don’t begin to brown after 10 minutes. Flip patties and cook on second side for 7 minutes. Serve with whole wheat buns and your favorite condiments.

MIDDLE EASTER VEGETABLE GRAIN BURGERS (adapted from www.recipes.howstuffworks.com )

1/3 cup uncooked dried red lentils, sorted and rinsed

¼ cup uncooked brown or basmati rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup walnut halves, finely chopped

¼ cup cilantro

2 eggs

½ teaspoon black pepper

6 toasted whole wheat pitas or buns

Place lentil in medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 25-35 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Rinse, drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Set rice aside. Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and chopped onion. Cook and stir 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are brown. Combine mushroom mixture, cheese, walnuts, lentils, rice, cilantro, eggs and pepper in large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Preheat broiler. Spray 15X10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Shape lentil mixture into 6 (1/2 inch thick) patties. Broil, 4 inches from heat, 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with condiments of your choice.

LENTIL BURGERS (adapted from www.oxygenmagazine.com )

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ cup almonds

1 large carrot, chopped into 1” pieces

1 8-ounce container sliced mushrooms

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 (15-ounce) can lentils, drained and rinsed

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Whole grain buns or pita

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. While onion cook, process almonds in food processor until finely ground. Add to bowl. Process or hand cut carrot pieces until finely chopped. Add carrots to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes with onions. Place cooked onions and carrots in large mixing bowl. Process mushrooms until finely chopped. Mushrooms should hold together when pinched. Add mushrooms and thyme to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms appear dry. Add to mixing bowl. Add lentils, flaxseed, parsley, and salt to bowl. Use hands to mix ingredients thoroughly then shape 8 patties. Wrap patties in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to cook, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite condiments.

LENTIL-WALNUT BURGERS (adapted from www.marthastewart.com )

¾ cup lentils, cleaned and rinsed

¾ cup walnuts

1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 ½  tablespoons olive oil

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place lentil in small saucepan and cover with 1” of water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook covered until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, spread walnuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven until fragrant and brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool. In food processor, combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Process until finely ground. Add lentils and 1 tablespoon oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Some lentils will remain whole. In large bowl, whisk egg. Add lentil mixture and combine thoroughly. Form into 4 patties, each about ¾-inch thick. Heat remaining oil in large nonstick skillet and cook burgers over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, turning gently with spatula, about 8-10 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel.

BULGUR-VEGETABLE BURGERS WITH TAHINI SLAW ( adapted from www.shape.com )

2 cups shredded cabbage (red, green, or mix)

2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon tahini

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ cup bulgur

1 cup boiling water

½ cup canned white beans, well-drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted unsalted cashews

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cup spinach, cut into thin ribbons

4 scallions, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

1 egg

½ cup whole-wheat bread crumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix cabbage, yogurt, tahini, and cayenne in small bowl and set aside. Combine bulgur and boiling water in heatproof bowl. Cover and let soak 30 minutes. In medium bowl, mash white beans into a paste with a wooden spoon. Stir in cashews, carrots, spinach, scallions, salt, pepper, paprika, and egg. Add breadcrumbs and bulgur and mix well. Form into 4 patties, about 4” in diameter. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook patties for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 additional minutes or until heated through and golden brown. Serve with slaw.

BULGUR VEGGIE BURGER (adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June, 2008)

½ cup chopped onion, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup bulgur

1 cup water

1 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

¾ cup walnuts

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

½ cup cilantro

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cook half of the onion with ¼ teaspoon salt in oil in small heavy saucepan over medium heat until golden, 5-7 minutes. Add bulgur and water and cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in beans and soy sauce. Process bulgur mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and remaining onion until finely chopped. Form into 4 (3 ½ inch diameter) patties. Chill at least 10 minutes. Patties grill best when you use a perforated grill sheet. Place grill sheet on grill and preheat for 10 minutes. Brush grill sheet with oil and grill burgers about 8 minutes total, turning once. Serve open-faced on toasted whole wheat bread. Burgers can also be cooked in a skillet on the stove over medium heat.

SOUTHWESTERN PUMPKIN BURGERS (adapted from www.eatingwell.com )

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup finely chopped red pepper

½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup unseasoned pumpkin puree

½ cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese

½ cup toasted wheat germ

½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

6 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups shredded lettuce

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring, 2 additional minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl and cool to room temperature. When mixture cools, add pumpkin, cheese, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well. With dampened hands, form 6 ( ½ inch thick) patties. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stack flour tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Using 2 teaspoons of oil per batch, cook 2-4 patties at a time in a large skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes per side. Wrap patties in tortillas and serve immediately, garnished with lettuce and condiments of your choice.

JAMAICAN BLACK BEAN BURGERS (adapted from www.cookinglight.com )

4 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped red pepper

2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, minced

¾ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup cooked brown rice

2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, divided

1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained

Whole wheat buns or pita

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, red pepper, ginger, and garlic and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add allspice, coriander, salt, and cayenne and cook 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Place the onion mixture, rice, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, and black beans in food processor and pulse 15 times or until finely chopped. Form 4 (1” thick) patties. Place remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs in shallow dish and dredge patties in breadcrumbs. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook patties 3 minutes per side.

TAHINI MAYONNNAISE (adapted from www.marthastewart.com )

½ cup light mayonnaise

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon tahini

Salt and pepper to taste

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Makes about ½ cup.

YOGURT-CILANTRO SAUCE ( adapted from www.marthastewart.com )

¾ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Makes about ¾ cup.

LIME MAYONNAISE (adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June, 2008)

¼ cup light mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon grated lime zest

½ teaspoon fresh lime juice

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Makes about ¼ cup.

FIERY TOMATO CHUTNEY (adapted from www.cookinglight.com )

1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 small dried red chiles

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups chopped cored tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ – ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seed, cumin seeds, and chiles to pan and cook 1 minute to bring out fragrance. Stir in turmeric and cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients: bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 50 minutes. Place in bowl, cover, and chill. Yields about 2 cups.

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