Veggie Burgers: How They Stack Up

Are veggie burgers really meatless? Yes, it is exactly as the name suggests—no meat. Yet in the eyes of many meat lovers, comparing the taste and texture of veggie burgers just does not stack up to its meat counterpart. While some are made to mimic the taste, texture color and feel of meat burgers, veggie burgers aren’t just a meat substitute. Veggie burgers are available for those who may not like the taste of meat (but still want something hearty and healthy), have dietary restrictions, share different beliefs or simply just prefer the flavor and ingredients that make veggie burgers stand on its own.

Veggie Burgers

Gone are the days when veggie burgers were the lonesome, meatless option at a backyard barbecue. With the rise in vegetarianism and veganism in recent years, came an increase in consumer demand for more veggie burgers. In turn, the market for veggie burgers has also become widespread. They have successfully made their way on to fast-food menus like Burger King and McDonald’s and are even served by upscale restaurants.

For many vegetarians/vegans, people who are watching their intake of saturated fats or simply prefer the taste of it over a beef or turkey burger, veggie burgers can be a great option! However, if you have ever tried a veggie burger and are still eating veggie burgers today, odds are that you’ve probably tried many. There are dozens of varieties and flavors. Some are too dry or beany, too salty or contain fillers and tastes like cardboard. Then there are some that contain a long list of ingredients that you’ve never heard of before and probably can’t pronounce. On the other hand, there are those that contain less than 5 ingredients, contain wholesome ingredients like vegetables and grains like quinoa, which make it flavorful and savory. Let’s see how these meatless burgers stack up!

How These Veggie Burgers Stack Up

Veggie burgers can be quite delicious, and make for quick go-to lunches. But with so many options in the grocery aisles many are left to wonder, “Which brands are the best?” Not all patties are vegan or soy free. As some of the more familiar ones on the market are Amy’s Garden Burger, Boca, Morning Star, we thought we’d point out some of the ones that are lesser known and reason why we like them (in no particular order).

De Cantos

Vegan: Yes
Dairy, gluten and soy free
Fairly new to the market, these burgers deserve some spotlight.
Each burger contains 5 raw veggies and no fillers like wheat, gluten,
soy, dairy or added sugar. It is “meaty” in the sense that it is fulfilling,
but does not have a “meaty taste.” While the company delivers
locally in New Jersey, if you’re having trouble finding this product,
try looking at Whole Foods!

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers

Vegan: Yes
Soy Free: No
Certified Kosher
Ingredients: Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Soybeans,
Zucchini, Peas, Broccoli, Corn, Soy Flakes, Spinach, Expeller Pressed
Canola Oil, Red Peppers, Arrowroot, Corn Starch, Garlic, Corn Meal,
Salt, Parsley, Black PepperSome people prefer the taste and texture of “just vegetables” in their
veggie burgers. If that’s the case, then Dr. Praeger’s is just that. Only
downside is that it may be flimsy and may not hold up as well if you’re
throwing it in the microwave. To make sure the patty holds its shape,
it’s best prepared on a grill or flat pan.

Hilary’s Eat Well

Vegan: Yes
Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, yeast free, egg free,
and nut free.
Plus side: They’re packaged in biodegradable plastic pouches!
Ingredients: Water Millet Quinoa Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil
Spinach Onion Garlic Psyllium Husk Powder Arrowroot Sweet
Potato Real Salt Apple Cider Vinegar Sunflower Seed OilThis burger is packed with great spices and tastes close to a fresh
veggie burger. For those who are big on texture and don’t like to
be left wondering “Is this a veggie burger??” Well this one holds
its shape and has a balanced texture, not too chewy or soft.

 

Sunshine’s Organic Quarter Pound Original Veggie Burger

Vegan: Yes
Soy Free: No
Gluten free
Ingredients: Organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw
sunflower seeds, organic carrots, organic spices, sea saltThis burger is rich, savory and packs a slightly nutty flavor. If you
are a fan of sunflower seeds, this is the burger for you.

Are Veggie Burgers Better for You?

When dining out, be mindful that the nutrition content of a veggie burger may vary depending on its cooking process. While the veggie patty itself may be a healthy option, as with ordering any burger at a restaurant, any fixin’s like cheese, condiments, or a side of fries alongside the bun can sometimes stack up in terms of calories and fats.

Our Favorite Veggie Burger

What’s our favorite veggie burger? Ideally, it is the one we can make ourselves!  While making veggie burgers from scratch can call for a bit of time and preparation, if you make them in big batches, you can simply freeze them and voila! You’ve got veggie burgers on the ready, made with your favorite vegetables and grains… ingredients that you yourself know and can pronounce! With a little research, you can find tons of recipes on the Internet. Or, if you want to start with an easy but homemade classic, try Portobello mushrooms. With light marinade, they can be hearty and mouthwatering.

If you haven’t found your “perfect veggie burger” and making one from scratch doesn’t sound very appetizing, don’t give up just yet! With a little patience and perhaps a lot of tastings, it’s possible to find a veggie burger that is more flavorful and delectable (if not more) as its counterpart!

Laura's Lunches

Here are three recipes to get you or your kids hungry for lunch. The three lunch ideas are all diabetes friendly. So whether you have diabetes or just want to prevent diabetes, use these recipes for lunch time options. They are all lunchbox safe too. No spoiling with this unpredictable weather. Find the third recipe on Laura’s mom blog MDIO Chicken Burritos — this recipe has been featured by Disney as well.

Hummus and Pita Wedges with a Side of Veggies and Milk


1 Whole grain pita (cut into wedges)
Sabra hummus
½ sliced apple hint – squeeze lemon juice on apple slices so they don’t turn brown
½ sliced carrot
¼ sliced orange pepper
1 small 8 oz. box of aseptic organic 1% milk 

Pb&J With A Side of Cheese and Fruit

Natural peanut butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted bread, toasted

Hint: change to sunflower butter or almond butter if peanut free school; use 1 tbsp nut butter and ½ banana
A laughing cow cheese (in the wax)
¾ cup strawberries
1 glass of water

Chicken Burritos with a Side of Fruit and Soy Milk
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 oz. chicken
¼ cup beans
¼ c cooked, chopped spinach
A side of salsa for dipping (2 tbsp)
2 clementines
8 oz. unsweetened Silk soy milk

Low Cost, Effortless Lunches

Healthy and Effortless Pack Ups

By Carlo Pandian, Guest Blogger

I’m not sure how Japanese mothers find time to create the mini-masterpieces for their children called Bento. To us that means packed lunch – but the Japanese take the cultural tradition of ‘presentation’ to the extreme with these works of art. Shaped to resemble teddy bears, pandas or cartoon characters kid’s packed lunches in Japan not only manage to look incredible but they’re even full of all kinds of foods to fuel healthy, energetic kids. I could probably knock together a Telly-Tubby mashed potato sculpture if I was pressed, but this level of dedication is beyond me, especially at half six in the morning! In my case, I’m afraid that quality, not presentation, is difficult enough to achieve on a daily basis. For those of you who sympathize, here are three packed lunch ideas to turn the kids away from crisps and chocolate. These are focused on three essential ingredients for mums; cost, effort and vegetarian/healthy options.

Vegetarian, Low Cost and Low Effort Ingredients

A vegetarian packed lunch is a good idea to include in your weekly pack-ups even if you and the kids are not full-time vegetarians. With health warnings about the risks of too much red meat in our diets ringing in our already overloaded brains, it makes sense to include a vegetarian choice now and then. It also adds variety to the menu – which is half the battle.

• Hummus is great source of protein and energy and can be added to wholesome pita bread with green salads. Tasty and slightly messy this should appeal. Add chunks of cucumber for additional sources of five a day. A fruit Fromage Frais can be included for dessert along with grapes and a milk.
Cost is on everybody’s mind at the moment and pack ups are the original money saving lunch idea, which have been common for centuries. Low cost doesn’t mean unhealthy. The following are useful ideas:

• Toasted sandwiches fall into the low cost options. Tuna with canola oil mayo or low fat cheeses are excellent fillings. The toasted effect keeps the bread from getting too mushy for our picky kids. Whole grain pasta is another great, low cost buy to keep handy. Beans or vegetables can be added to make a tempting pasta salad and this can be prepared and packed in advance.

As mentioned, half six in the morning is not a good time to design and implement a food sculpture. Half six in the morning is the time for battling with the cat over the familiar issue of her food and your coffee. For those with several kids to coax downstairs as well, effortless pack ups are a godsend.

• Pita breads are an excellent pocket lunch and unlike bread they don’t need cutting! I use them a lot. Fillings can include bean salads, or egg salads and green salads. Teach your kids to love dried fruit like apricots, at an early age and brook no resistance; they’re healthy and preparation is limited to taking them out of the packet. String cheeses are just as easy and a great source of protein and calcium.

These of course are just a few ideas, but some of the ingredients, particularly pita bread and pasta are fantastic basics for a range of easy lunches. Your imagination is the only limit. Keeping packed lunches varied can be a chore of a task, but using staples as mentioned above and varying the ingredients daily can help to break away from the boredom of meat based sandwiches! Keeping kids interested is, as we all know, more than half the battle.

 

Author

Carlo is a freelance writer and blogs about food, culture and technology covering everything from grocery shopping to contemporary art. He loves gardening and can’t stay a week without his fruit boxes and Italian wine. Carlo loves to eat with his niece, Clotide.

Love Your Heart With Oats

Love Your Heart With Oats

The oats found in oatmeal are a rich source of beta-glucans which provide a source of dietary fiber to the body. The beta-glucans found in oats and other grains such as barley and rye contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and can also regulate blood glucose levels due to the way it is digested in the body. The insoluble fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular! Beta-glucans have also been claimed to boost immunity.

 

5 Tips for Getting the Grains:

Add oats to a cookie or muffin recipe.

Include barely in soups and stews.

Swap sprouted barely bread for other sandwich breads.

Hide oats in your turkey meatloaf.

Start your day with hot oat bran cereal and slivered almonds.

Recipes to Rave About:

American Heart Association’s Oat Recipes – http://bit.ly/y8KOq9

Heart Healthy Living has a list of 21 oat and oatmeal recipes so you can have a nutritious breakfast that never gets boring. (Oatmeal also makes a great snack!)

http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/cholesterol/lower-cholesterol/healthy-oatmeal-oat-recipes_ss1.html

Picture: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=901″>Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

This is a big week for holiday parties and holiday planning. Read my 7 tips to get your through the next weeks leading up to the New Year!!

Staying Healthy During the Holidays
By: Laura Cipullo RD CDE

  1. Be the Tupperware Lady– bring Tupperware to family events to pack leftovers or “seconds” and  bring home to eat another time.
    • Rather than overeat on delicious food, plan to use hunger fullness cues. Pack the remainders up for a mini holiday dinner part II.
  2. Healthy Cook Book Exchange(rather than cookie exchange)
    • Holidays typically revolve around gifts and food, so why not give a gift about being healthy and moderate? Healthy cookbook ideas are the Mayo Clinic Williams – Sonoma Cookbook and Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook
  3. Favor family over food– make festivities about seeing family and not about eating food.
    • Serve a simple meal and focus on entertainment like music and or trivial pursuit.
  4. Stretch your dollar, save your waist – Use Intuitive Eating to portion your restaurant meal.
    • Be economical and bring leftovers home to eat at the next day’s snack or meal.
  5. Eat your favorite food– skip the appetizers and save room for dinner.
    • If dessert is your favorite, don’t fill up on apps and entrees. Make sure you are still hungry for your chocolate cake!!
  6. Secure a snack– before leaving make sure you are not starving, eat a snack to prevent overeating at the party.
    • Restriction cause binging, don’t restrict the day of a special event. You are likely to overeat or even binge later that night.
  7. Wine, beer and liquor on a full belly. If you drink on an empty stomach you are more likely to make poor decisions and overeat.
    • Take your sip of wine with your entrée. If you drink on an empty stomach you will not be mindful of your internal or external cues.
    • Most importantly, don’t drink and drive.

Give thanks for a healthier Thanksgiving:

Are you counting down yet? In less than 22 days you will either be making or eating some yummy stuffing. Start planning now. Here are 3 recipes to make your Thanksgiving heart healthy. There is a recipe to meet everyone’s food preference –    the meat lover, the vegetarian and  of course the vegan. Use low fat, low salt broth in the following recipes to make them even healthier.

 

Low Fat Bread and Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:

4 ounces chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound day-old artisan bread cubes

1 14 1/2–ounce can fat free, low sodium chicken broth

1 egg, lightly beaten, or 2 egg whites

 

Directions: Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook sausage meat until browned, breaking it into chunks with a spatula. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil to skillet. Add onion, celery and mushrooms, and sauté until tender. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes with cooked sausage, vegetable mixture, herbs and pepper. Whisk together broth and egg, and pour over stuffing mixture. Toss well to coat. Spoon stuffing into 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until browned.

Serves 12

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 134 Calories; 2.7g Fat; 0.6g Sat Fat; 21.8g Carbohydrates; 6.5g Protein; 1.6g Fiber; 23mg Cholesterol; 341mg Sodium

http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/holidayrecipes/r/breadstuff1104.htm

 

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ingredients:

8 slices whole wheat bread

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cup chopped celery

¼ cup granny smith apples (finely chopped with skin on)

1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon fresh sage

2 tablespoons light butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions: Start by drying out your bread. You can either do this by toasting in the oven, or by leaving the bread sit out at room temperature overnight. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium pot, combine chicken broth, onions, celery, apples, butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and sage. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Meanwhile, break up your bread into small ½” pieces by chopping or just breaking apart with your hands. Put bread into a large oven safe dish. When broth mixture is ready, slowly pour onto bread, making sure to cover all the pieces. Next, mix in the egg substitute and make sure to cover all pieces. If bread cubes do not seem wet enough (they should be moist, but not saturated), add a tablespoon or two of warm water until appropriate texture is reached. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Cover dish with foil and transfer to over. Cook for about 25 minutes. Then, take out stuffing, mix it around and fluff it a bit and put back in the oven, uncovered for about another 15 minutes.

Serves 4
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 229 Calories; 5.1g Fat; 2.4g Sat Fat; 32.5g Carbohydrates; 13.8g Protein; 5.7g Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 637mg Sodium

http://www.laaloosh.com/2009/11/20/low-calorie-thanksgiving-stuffing-recipe/#ixzz1csvpvywI

 

 

 

Brown-Rice and Cranberry Stuffing

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

3 medium carrots cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cup long-grain brown rice

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

4 cup dried cranberries

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, fennel, celery, and onion, and cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in rice, chicken broth, cranberries, salt, thyme, pepper, and 4 1/4 cups water. Cover and heat to boiling. Pour rice mixture into 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil and bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates and rice is tender

Serves 6

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 135 Calories; 2g Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 28g Carbohydrates; 3g Protein; 2g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 265mg Sodium

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/brown-rice-and-cranberry-stuffing-2947

How do you cook for someone with Diabetes?

One of the mantras I remember learning while studying for my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) exam in 2002 was “A carbohydrate is a carbohydrate.” The message is one can still have their cake and eat it too even if they have diabetes. Timing and quantity are key to eating all foods in moderation.

Read my newsletter to learn Diabetes Cooking 101: http://www.lauracipullollc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/newsletter2006mar.pdf.

Women's Health Magazine

Congratulations to Beth for winning an Initial Nutrition Consult with Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE.

Thanks to everyone who participated in nutrition counseling at the September Women’s Health Magazine  Are You Game event!!

To have a chance at winning a free consult, “like” Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

on Facebook. Help us get 200 Likes by Thanksgiving.

Pumpkinlicious

Tis the the season of pumpkin. Pumpkin is delicious and a great source of Beta Carotene and Vitamin C. So go ahead and try these pumpkinlicious recipes.

 

Pumpkin Hummus

 

Ingredients

1 15-ounce canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Directions

In a food processor, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy. If hummus is too thick, you can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 102 Calories; 5.5 g Fat; 0.9g Sat Fat; 13.1g Carbohydrates; 2.8g Protein; 4.4g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 306mg Sodium

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Ravioli

 

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

24 wonton wrappers

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Chopped parsley

 

Directions

Combine 1 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water and bring the 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 7 minutes. Drain in a colander. Place 1/2 cup broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in pan and bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 162 Calories; 5 g Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 22g Carbohydrates; 6g Protein; 2g Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 505mg Sodium

 

 

 

Pumpkin Enchiladas

 

Ingredients:

3/4 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-ounce can of red enchilada sauce

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1cup black or kidney beans

Large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup shredded cheese

5 ounces 0% greek yogurt

5 6” whole wheat tortillas

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté onion and garlic in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Stir in enchilada sauce. Add pumpkin and stir until combined. Add cilantro, cumin and chili powder.  Spread a light layer of sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Fill tortillas with an even amount of sauce and beans. Roll tortillas and place in the pan with the folded edges facing down to keep them closed. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 235 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2.52g Sat Fat; 33.6g Carbohydrates; 12g Protein; 7.9g Fiber; 11.9mg Cholesterol; 604mg Sodium

 

Need a new and healthy chicken recipe?

Chicken Marsala: THE MODERATE MAMA WAY

Ingredients:

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

4-6 thin organic, thin, chicken cutlets

1 tbspn olive oil

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine or Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup low fat, no added salt chicken broth

1/2 lemon, juice

2 cups sliced mushrooms (can use different varieties)

MAKING THE MAGIC:

1. In a Ziploc bag, shake the pepper, salt and whole wheat flour together. Then add the chicken cutlets and shake until they are evenly coated.

2. Heat the olive in a non stick sauté pan (I love Caphlon). Brown the chicken cutlets on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth to the sauté pan. Stir until heated and then add the mushrooms. Simmer about eight minutes.

4. Add the browned chicken back to the skillet and simmer in the sauce for the next 5- 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Idea: serve over steamed spinach with quinoa for a side.