Marvelous Meatless Burgers
If you’re trying to cut back on meat but are having a hard time coming up with main dish options, look no further than the trusty burger. Today’s burger alternatives bring fish, grains and beans into the spotlight with delicious results. Wheat germ acts as a perfect binding agent for your meatless burgers in lieu of less nutritious bread crumbs, while also boosting fiber, protein, folic acid, magnesium, iron, thiamin, phosphorous and zinc.
By switching your Monday dinner to a meatless meal like one including veggie burgers, you can join the global Meatless Monday campaign that began in 2003 to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Here are some fun ways to create burgers without using red meat:
Use fresh or canned salmon for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and combine it with wheat germ as in these Sassy Salmon Burgers. Fresh or canned tuna and crab meat also make delicious burgers. No time to cook? Pick up salmon burgers at your local fish or grocery store. Top with soy sauce and an Asian slaw for a burger so good you’ll forget all about ground beef!
Bean burgers using black, kidney, cannellini or your favorite beans or legumes create a fiber-rich main course that usually packs fewer calories and less fat than a traditional burger. Try these Mexican Black Bean and Wheat Germ Burgers with Fresh Tomato and Jalapeño Salsa.
Looking to increase the amount of whole grains in your diet? Try mixing quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet into your burgers to add flavor, B vitamins and texture. Combine them with sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, lentils, some wheat germ and an egg to create a flavorful and nutritious burger.
Mushrooms are another great substitute for meat. Combine chopped mushrooms with spices and other vegetables or legumes for a tasty veggie burger, or grill them whole. Meaty portobello mushrooms may make it easy to say goodbye to red-meat burgers forever. Marinate them first, as in this Cooking Light recipe, grill them and add lettuce, tomato, onion and your favorite aioli on a grilled bun.
For a meat-based alternative to ground beef, opt for ground white turkey meat burgers. This recipe for Greek Turkey Burgers with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce comes from Liz Della Croce’s blog, the Lemon Bowl. Or try our own Mushroom, Parmesan and Wheat Germ Turkey Burgers.
Don’t forget to provide all the burger fixings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, cheese and condiments such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, aioli or other favorite sauces—your family will never miss the “real” thing!
What do you serve on meatless dinner nights?