Brown Rice-Mushroom “Burgers”


by: Laura

I am not a fan of faux burgers or other faux meat dishes, but when a friend insisted that we try her sister’s recipe for a nut loaf at Greens restaurant in San Francisco, I was surprised at how tasty it was. And no wonder! It was loaded with cups of cashews and walnuts, more than 1/2 pound of cheese, numerous eggs, and even cottage cheese. Nonetheless, the nut loaf proved to be such a versatile and popular dish on our menu that I’ve long wanted to make a modified version that’s more suited to how we eat today. Here it is. It’s hardly noncaloric, but it’s vastly improved over the original and designed to be made into “veggie burgers,” which you can serve with sautéed onions, mustard, and tomato. For nuts, I find that a combination of cashews and pecans or walnuts is best. You can make this a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it before finishing. It’s vegan if you use soy cheese and replace the egg with 1/3 cup mashed tofu.


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serves: 6

1 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower seed oil

1 large onion, diced

1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves

2 pinches of dried thyme

1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce or to taste

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup cooked brown rice or bulgur

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 egg (or 1/3 cup drained mashed tofu)

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Nutrition Facts
Brown Rice-Mushroom “Burgers”

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount per Serving

Calories: 284

  • Total Fat: 18.3 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 61.8 mg
  • Sodium: 213.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 21.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 3 g
  •     Sugars: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 10.3 g

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1.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, crumble in the herbs, and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is seared in places and starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released and then reabsorbed their juices, after several minutes. Stir in the tamari and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Transfer this mixture to your food processor, add the rice, cheese, egg, and bread crumbs, and pulse so that the mixture resembles ground meat. Fry a dab in some olive oil to check the seasonings and correct if needed.

3.  To cook, film a wide nonstick skillet with oil. Scoop out 1/2-cup measures, then add them to the skillet and press down on them with a spatula so that the patties are about 1/2 inch thick. Fry over medium heat until brown, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn and finish cooking the second side, another 4 minutes or so.

Cooks' note:
If you haven't a cup of leftover rice or bulgur, make it first. Then cook the onion-mushroom-nut mixture. Put everything together in a food processor and pulse to a meatlike texture.

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