A meatless burger seems like such a good idea: a nice round of plant-based protein that fits in a bun with favorite toppings. But the manufacturing process that produces that burger may diminish the possible health benefits, observes nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, speaking for the Mayo Clinic News Network. Processed plant-based burgers may be made with an excess amount of saturated fats and contain high levels of sodium. They can also be high in calories. Still, less-processed meatless burgers with fewer additives are a good option. Why not make a batch of your own? You’ll have firsthand knowledge of everything that goes into them. Try this recipe for plant-based burgers from editor in chief Sandy Todd Webster, who recently earned her plant-based professional cooking certification from Rouxbe.com. These can be made in batches and frozen for use as needed. Mushroom-Quinoa Curry Burgers 4 medium portobello mushroom caps (about 1 pound, gills removed), chopped 1/2 C toasted walnuts 1–2 cloves garlic 2 T oil, divided use (extra-virgin olive oil, canola or grapeseed) 1/4 C chopped red onion 3 green onions, chopped 2 t rice wine vinegar 1 C quinoa, cooked and cooled 1/2 C cornstarch salt and pepper to taste cheese slices (optional) burger buns (whole grain, gluten-free—your choice) pickles lettuce tomato slices avocado mayonnaise 2 T chopped cilantro 1 1⁄2–2 T curry powder Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a shallow baking dish or large sheet pan lined with parchment paper, toss mushrooms with walnuts, garlic, 1 T oil, 3⁄4 t kosher salt, and 1⁄4 t fresh cracked pepper; spread in even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Set aside to cool. In a food processor, pulse mushroom mixture, red and green onions, and vinegar until mostly smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in cooled quinoa and cornstarch until well-blended. Seal bowl and refrigerate about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Form mixture into 5 patties (about 1⁄2″ thick and 3″ wide). In a 12″ nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 T oil on medium. In two batches, sauté patties 5 minutes or until well-browned, turning over once. Transfer seared patties to prepared baking sheet. Add your favorite cheese slices to the patties, if desired. Bake 10 minutes or until uniformly hot and cheese has melted. To make the curry mayo, combine avocado mayonnaise, 1 1⁄2 T curry powder, cilantro, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Spread curry mayo on buns, add burger patties, and garnish with pickles, lettuce and tomato.
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