Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mushroom Pecan Burgers

While enjoying January 2nd off from work for the New Year's holiday, I got to work on my newly refreshed commitment to eating healthy, particularly by making things I would often buy myself. I love Morningstar Farms and Boca veggie burgers, but as with so many things, nothing compares to the homemade version. Most of my veggie burger experimentation has come from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger, but this spectacular recipe comes from another perennial favorite, the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics Cookbook.  I found this recipe because I was searching for a way to use the tofu and mushrooms in my fridge (other than stir-fry) and couldn't be happier that it led me to this recipe. This burger is pure umami-mushrooms, soy, and miso create a burger savorier than you ever though a veggie burger could be, playing beautifully with the nuttiness of the whole wheat breads crumbs, brown rice, and slighty chewy oats. Although I had to invest a little bit of time of the kitchen on my day off (not a big sacrifice for me), I've been more and more grateful I did each time I've plucked one of these scrumptious burgers out of my lunch bag over the past couple of weeks. While they were most delicious fresh out of the oven, the frozen extras have served me quite well for lunch. A perfect example of how little time investment can reward you many times over, hopefully this recipe will inspire you to invest a little more time in yourself, even if it isn't the kitchen.
Mushroom Pecan Burgers
from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics Cookbook
makes 6 burgers

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups chopped cremini or other mushroom
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup cooked brown rice
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon miso (optional)
1 cake firm tofu, pressed (16 ounces)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously oil a baking sheet.

2. In a medium skillet, saute the onions in the oil. Cook on medium heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the marjoram, thyme, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.

3. Spoon the mushroom mixture into a bowl. Add the pecans, soy sauce, bread crumbs, rice, oats, dill, and miso, if using. Mix in the tofu, mashing it with your hands or a potato masher. Add salt and pepper and mix well.

4. Shape the mixture into six round patties and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve on toast or in a bun.

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