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Gardenburger Fire-Roasted Vegetable Veggie Patty

By Todd Wilbur


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Paul Wenner started his company in 1985 when he developed a meatless hamburger from leftovers at his vegetarian restaurant. Even though his Gardenburger was a hit, Paul was forced to close the restaurant due to dwindling sales. On the bright side, this gave Paul more free time to develop and sell his delicious puck-shaped plant patty. Today Paul's Gardenburger brand is thriving, with an estimated fifty million patties served in restaurants, cafeterias, and concession stands in 1998 alone.

To make this clone, you'll need a food processor and a hot barbecue grill. And if you're looking for an interesting way to serve it, the manufacturer suggests you slap the veggie patty onto some focaccia bread and top it off with marinara sauce, grilled squash, and a little Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 patty
Total servings–8
Calories per serving–150
Fat per serving–3g

Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1 head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons bulgur wheat
  • 2/3 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1 ear yellow sweet corn
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 small tomato
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (2% fat)
  • 1/4 cup Kraft Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Gardenburger
    • Instructions

      1.Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

      2. To roast the garlic, cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic head. Cut the roots so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove most of the papery skin from the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Place the head of garlic in a a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over it, and cover it with a lid or foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it.

      3. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water to the bulgur wheat in a small bowl or measuring cup and let it sit for about 1 hour. Prepare the brown rice according to the directions on the package.

      4. To fire-roast the vegetables, use a barbecue grill preheated to medium. Rub olive oil on 1/4 of a red bell pepper, an ear of corn, 1/4 of a red onion, and 1/2 of a small tomato. Place the vegetables on the hot grill with the skin of the pepper and tomato facing toward the flame. Turn the corn and red onion as they cook. Grill for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. The skin of the red bell pepper should turn black so that it can be quickly peeled off. Also remove the skin from the tomato. (If you don't have a grill, you can roast the vegetables in your oven set to high broil for around 15 to 20 minutes. Face the skin of the tomato and pepper toward the heat and be sure to turn the corn and red onion as they cook.) Dice the pepper, onion, and tomato when cool. Keep separate.

      5. Steam the quartered mushroom for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the mushrooms from your steamer and replace them with the white onion. Steam the diced onion for 10 minutes or until the pieces become translucent. Keep these two ingredients separate and set aside.

      6. Add 1/2 cup of water to the rolled oats and let them soak for at least 10 minutes, until soft.

      7. Drain any excess water from the bulgur wheat and oats, then combine the grains with the steamed mushrooms, rice, cheeses, corn, and spices in a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times until the ingredients are chopped but not pureed. You want a coarse texture with some identifiable chunks of grain, mushrooms, corn, and cheese.

      8. Pour the mixture into a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

      9. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and set a large skillet over medium/low heat.

      10. Spray the skillet with a light coating of olive oil cooking spray. Measure 1/2 cup at a time of the patty mixture into the pan and shape it with a spoon into a 3 3/4-inch patty that is approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cook the patties in batches for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until light brown on the surface.

      11. When all of the patties have been cooked in the skillet, arrange them on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven. Be sure to turn them over halfway through the cooking time. You can serve the patties immediately or freeze them, like the original, when they have cooled.

      12. If you freeze the patties, you can reheat them several ways. Spray a light coating of olive oil cooking spray on each side and heat each patty in a pan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side until it is hot in the center. You can also use a grill to prepare the patties. Just be sure to spray each frozen patty with the oil, and be sure the flames are low. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Those are the best cooking methods, however, you can also prepare a frozen patty by microwaving it for 30 to 35 seconds, the turn the patty over and zap it for another 30 to 35 seconds. Finally, you can heat a frozen patty in the microwave for 30 to 35 seconds, then place the partially defrosted patty in a toaster or toaster oven and cook it on medium heat until it's hot in the center.

      Makes 8 patties.

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