RECIPES: Recipe Details

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How can you NOT eat meat? Burger

My daughter is a vegetarian and my entire family is on a perpetual diet. I needed to come up with a satisfying meatless entrée that gave us the nutrition and protein without bad fats or an inordinately high calorie count. This burger makes us feel like we are "cheating" and makes the whole family happy. It's still hard not to eat a bunch of them, but since the recipe serves 6 and there are 3 of us,we get to eat them twice. (The leftovers are even good cold.)


1/2 cup Sutter Home White Zinfandel
3 tablespoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard
6 oz. can tomato paste
10 ounces Snyders of Hanover Organic Oat Bran Pretzels (54 pretzels)
6 ounces lite extra firm tofu
1 cup Athenos Reduced Fat Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tablespoon A-1 Smoky Mesquite steak sauce
1/2 cup egg substitute (equals 2 whole eggs)
1 teaspoon Weber Gourmet Burger seasoning (or any favorite seasoning blend)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup (packed) sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 medium size sweet onion (Vidalia) - coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 cup (slightly packed) baby spinach
1 cup shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 reduced fat whole wheat sandwich buns
6 leaves butter lettuce
6 thin slices California avocado
6 thin slices tomato
6 thin slices sweet onion (Vidalia)
Vlasic Ovals hamburger dill chips


Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium (about 400 degrees).

For the sauce: Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir until bubbly. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse pretzels to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add next 5 ingredients to the crumbs and process to combine. Remove the mixture to a large mixing bowl. No need to clean the work bowl before pulsing the next 6 ingredients (carrots, dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper, celery) until they are chopped into uniformly small pieces. Pour from the processor work bowl into the large mixing bowl. Pulse remaining ingredients (except black pepper) in the same manner and add to processed ingredients in the mixing bowl. (If you try to put all of the veggies in the processor at one time they will not chop uniformly. Some will become mush and some will still be big pieces.) Using your hands, combine all of the ingredients well. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Form the mix into six - 6 ounce patties and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper to taste.

When the grill is ready, cover, and cook, turning once, until nicely brown, about 8-10 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the super sauce over the cut sides of the toasted buns. On each bun bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty, a thin slice of avocado, a tomato slice, an onion slice and 2 or 3 Vlasic Ovals. Add the bun tops and serve.


Pairing: For myself I choose the same Sutter Home White Zinfandel that I used in the sauce. My wife and daughter like Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc with these burgers.

Each 6 ounce patty has about 216 calories, 5 grams or 46 calories from fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, a satisfying 16 grams of protein, and only 7 milligrams of cholesterol.