White Bean Burgers with Not-So-Secret Sauce

Photo courtesy Canola Eat Well

Plant-based burgers have been hot sellers over the past few years but sales figures show that the market is cooling down.

There are a number of reasons why shoppers are giving these meat alternatives the cold shoulder.

For one, the novelty is wearing off.

For others, they’re pretty pricey – often more costly than meat itself.

As a dietitian, I’m not sorry to see this downward trend.

In terms of nutrition, while they are plant-based, they’re also ultra-processed and scientific research shows that eating less ultra-processed food, vegan or not, is linked to better health. Some are significantly higher in sodium than home prepared meats while others may have a less desirable fat profile in terms of heart health. (Check out some of the comparisons here along with my thoughts on these products.)

Another question is about their carbon footprint as, in some cases, these products are transported across the continent. How does this compare to eating locally sourced meat?

As a quick alternative, these plant-based meats can be an option just as would any convenience food- just not something to include frequently.

Cooking up your own plant-based burgers and such doesn’t have to be a time-consuming prospect and making them using whole foods certainly beats out these ultra-processed choices. Experiment with different recipes to come up with some winning combos.

Here’s one adapted from Canola Eat Well. Check out their other summer grilling ideas as well. You can grill these instead of cooking them on the stove.

These bean burgers are hearty and protein-packed. If you want, the egg can be substituted for a “flax egg” by combining 1 Tbsp of flax + 2 Tbsp of water and let sit for 10 minutes.

White Bean Burgers with Not-So-Secret Sauce

½ cup mayo (can substitute vegan mayo)
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp relish
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Veggie burgers:
½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
1 ½ cups water
1 – 19 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup whole wheat panko
¾ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce or sodium-reduced soy sauce
½ tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp canola oil (for cooking)
6-8 whole wheat buns
Garnish: lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onion

In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small saucepan add red lentils and 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils have thickened and become paste-like.

In a large bowl, mash navy beans using a potato masher. Leave some beans visible for texture.

Add all other patty ingredients together with mashed bean mixture and mix well to fully incorporate all ingredients.

Form patties to desired size (there will be very little shrinkage that occurs during cooking). Place formed patties on a parchment lined cookie sheet and set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add canola oil. Once hot, add 3-4 patties and cook about 3-5 mins per side, until golden brown on outside. Repeat with remaining patties.

Assemble burgers with whole wheat buns, not-so-secret sauce, and your favourite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions.

Nutrition information per 1 patty + 2 tbsp sauce serving:
• Calories: 375
• Protein: 20 grams
• Fat: 6 grams
• Saturated fat: 1 gram
• Carbohydrate: 63 grams
• Dietary fibre: 14 grams
• Sodium: 317 milligrams

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Food Trends, Recipes, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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