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The Dish on Burgers Part 2: Meat Alternatives

Whether it’s more suited to the budget, health goals or sustainability practices, people are relying more heavily on meatless meal options. Meatless burgers—made with seafood, vegetables, grains, tofu and more—fit right into this trend.

Last month, The Dish focused on elevating your meat burger game. This month, it’s all about the meatless burgers.
The simplest way to create a meatless burger is to use a whole fish fillet. Salmon or halibut portioned into burger-sized servings, brushed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and fired on the grill are extremely satisfying. If you’d like to make things a little fancier, you can always use pesto in place of plain oil or use a marinade or glaze. But do take care when grilling fish fillets that are oiled or marinated and seasoned; they will stick to the grill and burn more plain fish.

If you decide you want to chop or grind your fish and form full burger patties, you’ll have to resort to using a cooking method other than grilling. Fish burgers don’t hold up well at all on the barbecue. Don’t despair! Rely on a frying pan or flat top to cook. You can even foil or broil.

In the world of strictly veggie patties, your creations can go on forever. Beans, lentils, grains, chickpeas, tofu and tempeh (taste- and nutrition-wise) are all amazing foundations for your veggie burgers. Mash up whatever base you choose then toss in other items like shredded carrots, zucchini, onion, yams or sweet potatoes. Add fresh herbs, shredded cheese of your choice and eggs for binding and mix for a tantalizing alternative to basic meats.

Last—but certainly not least—marinated Portobello mushrooms are a divine way to replace your meat burgers. They are delicious and so easy to prepare. Once you go that route, it’ll be hard to look back.

When it comes to burger toppings, again, the sky is they limit. I like to top my veggie burgers with tzatziki, even spicy mayo, chutney or salsa.

That’s enough burger chat from me. Happy experimenting (and dining)! \

(Read Part 1 Here)