Typically, the similarities stop there. “Meatless” or veggie burgers vary in their protein content, sodium content and overall ingredients.
Although a veggie burger has the word “burger” in it, you can not assume that it contains the same amount of protein as a meat burger. For example, a standard burger contains about 20 grams of protein, while veggie burgers can range from 3 to 26 grams. Always make sure you read the label and strive to find a veggie burger that’s higher in protein.
Another notable difference in veggie burgers is their sodium content. Some contain more than 400 milligrams per veggie burger! When scanning the shelves, look for a healthier option by finding brands with no more than 250 milligrams of sodium per burger.
Last but not least, make sure to check the ingredients list. Do not be fooled by the product’s name or advertising. Some may sound like they’re loaded with veggies, grains and legumes but they are actually made mostly from wheat gluten or soy protein concentrate and may contain “quorn,” which can cause digestive issues in some people. Whenever possible look for veggie burgers that have a short, understandable ingredient list.
Try a new veggie burger the next time you hit the grocery store.
Quinoa Black Bean Veggie Burger
Makes 16 burgers
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 onion, chopped
• 8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
• 2 cups water
• 1 vegetable bouillon cube
• 1 cup quinoa
• 2.5 cups plain instant quick oats
• 14 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 egg whites
• 8 ounces salsa
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Sauté onions over low heat with olive oil until transparent. Turn up the heat to medium, add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
In a sauce pan, bring water and bouillon cube to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, turn heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix oats, black beans, egg whites and salsa. Add quinoa and mushrooms and mix thoroughly.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Press mixture into patties and bake on sheet for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, flip burgers and bake 6 more minutes.
Nutrition information per burger: 199 calories, 4 grams fat, 33 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 80 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber
Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.