MorningStar Farms (9.5 oz., $4.69), a Kellogg subsidiary, was one of the first to introduce veggie burgers. They're still around, offering a dozen meatless burger options, from Asian to Mediterranean, and one vegan variety. Dense, with a nicely peppery finish, it's non-GMO and made with organic quinoa, textured soy protein and lentils. Though light on the veggies, it's rich in flavor, thanks to roasted garlic, yeast, spices and natural smoke flavor. Each burger contains 130 calories and 8 grams of fat. Other MorningStar Farms veggie burgers can include egg whites, corn syrup and soy isolates. Check the label.
Winner: Dr. Praeger's Kale Veggie Burgers (10 oz., $3.99) are vegan, soy-free, non-GMO and defiantly green. They're made from just a few ingredients, including quinoa, brown rice, millet, canola oil and a veg-intensive blend of kale, carrots, peppers, onions and corn. They're not trying for meaty but to be the best veggie patty they can be — and that's pretty good. Each burger contains 130 calories, and 6 grams of fat.
All three veggie burgers are quick-cooking and available at supermarkets. Let the evolution continue. Meanwhile, let’s fire up the grill.
MOROCCAN VEGGIE BURGERS
Veggie burgers love condiments, so dress them up with your favorite fixings. Or go really wild, and lay on Moroccan spice paste that takes your basic veggie burger from boring to bodacious.
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. paprika
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 veggie burgers, thawed
Mix together crushed fennel seeds, coriander, paprika, optional red pepper flakes and minced garlic in a large bowl. Stir in tomato paste and olive oil to form a thick paste. Gently mix in chopped parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Paint burgers liberally with the spice paste. Grill, bake or panfry as desired. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving (spice paste only): 38 calories (78 percent from fat), 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, .5 g protein, 1.7 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fiber, 35 mg sodium.