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Big Bertha

January 30, 2011

Photo by Gerik

“You just have to try it!” my friend Bonnie said.  So after she left I opened up my laptop and typed in “Big Bertha Burger”.  What a surprise, the recipe looked very tasty.  Also it’s a recipe from the well known CHIP (Coronary Health Improvement Project) program (, so I tried it.

I’m mostly vegetarian in the foods I eat and I’m also concerned about eating healthy so this recipe looked really good to me on all points regardless of the images that my mind came up with as I read the words “Big Bertha”.

The first batch was made exactly like the recipe says and yes, they were very good but so small on the bun that I wanted to scream “Where’s the beef!”  It was time to revamp the recipe to suit my family and lifestyle.  So here goes!

The first change I made was to enhance the flavor a bit.  I used quick oats (for the little people in our house) and added extra nutritional yeast, dried chopped onions for more concentrated onion flavor and fresh parsley.  For looks, I cleaned up a large tuna can to shape the burgers into a size that would fit my burger buns.  I cut a piece of foil to fit the bottom of the can so the formed patty would come out easy.  And there you have it!

This recipe makes 15 large stick-to-the-ribs burgers that are just as delicious eaten fresh as those frozen for a later date.  It’s vegetarian, vegan and chocked full of good for you ingredients so give it a try.  Those meatless Mondays will never be the same!

Big Bertha Burger
~Adapted from CHIPS
Makes 15 large burgers

½ c Braggs Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
½ c. nutritional yeast flakes
2 T canola oil
1 T. flaxseed meal
1 T. dried sweet basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried sage
1 cup chopped nuts (cashews, walnuts, or pecans)
⅓ c. dried chopped onions, crushed in hand
4 cups water

4 cups quick oats

Place the first list of ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a low boil on a med. heat.  Take off heat and stir in the oats until blended.  Cover and let set until the mixture is cool enough to handle.

Cut a piece of foil to fit the inside bottom of a large tuna can.  Uncover the burger mixture and mix in the fresh parsley – probably best with your hands.  Don’t mix too much.

Use a #12 scoop (1/2 cup) to portion the burger mixture into the tuna can and press down firmly.  Slid a paring knife around part of the burger to loosen and tip out the burger and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Reuse the foil insert.

Bake burgers in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes on each side. Cool first if you plan to freeze them.  I usually slip a piece of wax paper between the burgers as I wrap them for freezer storage.  Heat in the microwave, covered.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    February 3, 2011 11:22 pm

    I am going to try your version of these. Hopefully you have perfected them!
    Can you tell me why you use dried onions in addition to a whole chopped onion?
    Have you ever tried adding mushrooms?

    Are you back home in Columbia yet? Would hate to see you miss out on all this awesome snow!

    • February 4, 2011 2:49 am

      Good idea about the mushrooms. Joe doesn’t like mushrooms so I would try mushroom powder. It’s mostly the texture he doesn’t like so that should give the flavor without messing with his world. Let me know if I improved on the original recipe!

  2. Ann permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:23 am

    Hi Pat! I know this is an old post, but I made these awhile back and they are fabulous! I’ve tried a lot of vegeburgers (and love Dave’s burgers), but these have a wonderful flavor that belies the simple ingredients. A new favorite….Thanks for sharing!

    • June 23, 2011 1:28 pm

      Good to hear from you, Ann! I’m glad you like the burger and thank you for letting me know that you tried it. It’s always fun to hear what people think.

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