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A Guide to Low Fat and Veggie Burgers 
 
by Nancy Berkoff May 24, 2005

SIDE BAR: TOPPINGS

Separate your burgers from the other burgers on the block. Offer a wide assortment of toppings to add that extra accent. No one will even notice the fat is missing!

Veggies: cucumbers (sliced lengthwise), shredded carrots, broccoli, radish, alfalfa and soy bean sprouts, bell pepper slices, shredded and leaf iceberg, chilies (of various “heat”) red leaf, romaine, Bibb lettuces, fresh spinach, endive, , yellow and red tomatoes, red, yellow, white, sweet onion slices, minced fresh garlic, raw and sautéed button mushrooms, thinly sliced jicama, and yes, fresh, thinly sliced pineapple and peaches.

Pickled stuff:: cucumbers (sweet and savory chips, slices, spears), carrot slices, green tomatoes, green and black olives, cabbage (kimchi), Daikon radish, baby corn, celery slices, gardenia (a mixture of pickled vegetables), pepperocini (sweet Italian peppers), artichoke hearts, heart of palm, capers, watermelon rind

Cheeses: Part skim mozzarella, shredded veggie cheeses ( made with soy milk), specialty low fat cheeses.

Condiments: tomato ketchup, flavored ketchup, mayonnaise, flavored mayonnaise, red and green Tabasco sauce, various hot sauces, selections of salsa, chutneys, mustard, flavored mustards, grated horseradish, salad dressings, such as ranch, thousand island, russian, green goddess, creamy French, pickle relish, pepper relish, steak sauce, soy sauce, flavored vinegars, barbecue sauce, chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary), fresh cilantro.

SIDE BAR: The Five Commandments of Moist Low Fat Burgers

Moistness rules when it comes to burgers; follow these six rules and should have perfect results every time

1. To add moistness to lean meat or seafood, add some mashed fresh avocado or thawed frozen avocado pulp. Avocado has a neutral flavor and a rich, creamy texture which will make lean meat moist. Yes, avocado contains fat, but it is the unsaturated, “good” kind of fat.

2. A touch of tomato puree, ketchup or chopped, deseeded fresh tomatoes helps to ensure moistness.

3. When preparing low fat burger mixtures, add small amounts of cold water, stock or tomato juice.

4. Experiment with a moist stuffing, such as chopped and steamed mushrooms or onions, barbecued or baked beans or black beans

5. Include moist toppings, such as thick slices of beefsteak tomatoes, salsa or chutney

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