California-Style Veggie Burger


I am ALWAYS on the hunt for new recipes.  I am a YouTube chef channel junkie.  I’ll admit I watch a lot of recipes that I know I’m never going to make.  Chef Steps is a great channel, but most of what they do is made for the professional kitchen.  Fun to watch, but I don’t have the time or equipment to do it.  If you want a good example of this, watch their Gluten Free Carrot Cake video.  ‘Nuff said.  As I was checking out YouTube I ran across a recipe for California-Style Veggie Burgers.  We love a good veggie burger in this house.  The recipe looked great.  A little time consuming, but what veggie burger isn’t.  Veggie burgers, since they have a lot of ingredients takes more time to make.  I do long for the days of a great hamburger.  The only problem is, the patty alone that I make at home is over 400 calories.  If you go to a restaurant, then it goes up to over 1000.  That’s without fries!  So I’ve been working on upping my veggie burger game.  This recipe is not gluten free so I’m going to have to make some swaps there.  I plugged the original recipe into my calculator and the stats weren’t too bad either.  Here are the original stats:

  • 282 Calories
  • 15g Fat
  • 31mg Cholesterol
  • 698mg Sodium
  • 619mg Potassium
  • 31g Carbohydrate
  • 9g Protien
  • 93% Vitamin A
  • 27% Vitamin C
  • 11% Calcium
  • 19% Iron

Everything looks pretty good.  However the protein is a bit low and the sodium is a bit high.  I plan to serve this with steamed broccoli, so I’m not so concerned with the vitamin C.  Here’s what I changed:

  • I deleted the added salt.
  • I replaced the beans with a low sodium variety.
  • I replaced the bulgur wheat with buckwheat groats.  FYI – I found out from America’s Test Kitchen that you can substitute 1 to 1 buckwheat groats for bulgur wheat to make something gluten free.  Check out a list of gluten free whole grains.
  • I substituted old-fashioned oats for the breadcrumbs to make it gluten free.
  • I lowered the servings to 5 to increase the protein.
  • I added one cup of lentils to increase the protein.
  • I deleted the olive oil to reduce the calories.

Here are the final stats:

  • 234 Calories
  • 2g Fat
  • 37mg Cholesterol
  • 149mg Sodium
  • 440mg Potassium
  • 46g Carbohydrate
  • 18g Protien
  • 112% Vitamin A
  • 39% Vitamin C
  • 10% Calcium
  • 37% Iron


Gluten Free California-Style Veggie Burgers

Serves 5

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 cloves)
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) low sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 cup cooked buckwheat groats
  • 1/3 cup dry old fashioned oats, ground fine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add lentils.  Cover and cook 20 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil over high heat. Stir in spinach; cover and cook until bright green and wilted, about 1 minute. Drain and squeeze dry. Chop.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add cooking spray, then mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Stir in beans, then transfer to a large heatproof bowl; let cool slightly. Add cilantro, spinach, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and lime juice; mash mixture together with a fork or potato masher, leaving some larger pieces. Stir in egg, 1 cup buckwheat, and ground oats. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

  4. Spread remaining 1/2 cup buckwheat on a plate; season with pepper. Form bean mixture into 1/2-cup patties (about 1/2 inch thick); press each side into buckwheat to coat. Wipe skillet clean; return to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add half of patties. Cook until a deep crust forms, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook until second sides are crisp and patties are heated through, about 8 minutes more. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Repeat with remaining burgers. Serve with the toppings of your choice.

If you want to make a large batch, use the oven.  Preheat to 375F.  Place the burgers on foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through.  Then turn on your broiler and broil until crispy.



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