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Beyond the burger: Alternatives to meat

Our nutrition expert discuses options for going meatless. She also shares a recipe for a vegetarian black bean burger.

DENVER — This month our nutrition expert is focusing on sustainability. That applies for sustainably sourcing our food too.

As a result, many people have become interested in sustainably raised meat or meat alternatives. And there are some good alternatives on the market these days.

Many Denver area restaurants serve some type of veggie burger. Some have the Impossible Burger, some have the Beyond Burger, and some make their own veggie patties with beans and rice. 

And there are many different brands, these are just the newer brands and they’re made to look, and “bleed” like a real burger and have similar “mouth-feel” to real meat. They look red because they have beet juice in them, not food coloring. But, you have to be careful and ask questions if you have special dietary needs, like intolerance to soy or wheat as some burgers are made out of soy and others use wheat as a binder.

In addition to burgers, which are popular at restaurants, new companies are starting up annually that offer so much more than the soy-based products of the past that we are used to seeing.

There are hot dogs and sliced “meats” that taste remarkably similar to the real deal!

There are also vegetable burgers you can buy premade so that you just warm them up and are ready to go! But if processed foods are not your preference, here's a really easy to make black bean burger that you could easily assemble at home in minutes!

Vegetable Burgers


  • 1 ½ cups matzo meal
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric, ground
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup mixed mushrooms (porcini, shitake, Portobello)
  • 1 15-oz can black beans (I used a mixture of chili beans)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseeds, ground
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a small bowl combine flaxseeds and 6 Tbsp water. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

2. If mushrooms are dehydrated, rehydrate in some hot water. Reserve liquid if needed.

3. Combine matzo meal, pumpkin seeds, and turmeric in a food processor.

4. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, beans, prepared flaxseed egg, parsley, salt and pepper.

5. Combine all ingredients in food processor until a thick mixture forms. If it is too dry add some reserved liquid from mushrooms. If it is too liquid, add some more matzo meal.

6. Form into patties and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7. Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes.

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