Impromptu Meaty Veggie Burgers

Gluten-Free, Candida Diet, Sugar-Free Meaty Veggie Burger Recipe on

As an ex-Montrealer living in Toronto for the past 30 years, I’ve discovered over time that other ex-Montrealers think I’m, well, weird (okay, fine—so it’s not just ex-Montrealers).

It’s not because I love the sound of an authentic joual accent (which I do); nor because I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid more than 40 times after I discovered it in my teens (which I did), nor because I love okra (which I do), nor because my first boyfriend’s name was “Burger” (which it was). No, the reason ex-Montrealers think I’m weird is because I absolutely adore Toronto, I don’t miss Montreal at all, and I have no desire to ever move back there. And yes, that is blasphemy coming from an ex-Montrealer.

That said, the one aspect of life I’m not crazy about in Toronto is the weather. I mean, where else in Canada could you have 29C (84F) weather on Friday, and 11 C (51F) on Saturday? It went from shorts to scarves, ice cream to oatmeal, patio to fireplace in less than 24 hours.  I hear it will be 34C (93 F) tomorrow.That’s the kind of quick turnaround of which I’m not too fond.

Then again, when it comes to cooking, the phrase “quick turnaround” is all I need to hear to try out a recipe. These days I’m delighted if I can manage to eat anything that isn’t some variation of my Toronto Sandwich (see, even my food pays homage to my adopted city), mostly because it’s ready in less than 10 minutes; or if I manage something from a can without the word “Amys” on the label. With the launch of Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free only a few days away (Wahoo! Yummy allergy-friendly desserts for all on the way!!), I’ve had precious little time for cooking up new recipes. And while I have enjoyed mixing up a few things from other people’s cookbooks recently (I’ll be sharing those anon), I haven’t really created much that’s new in my own kitchen.

Until yesterday, that is.

Gluten Free Meaty Veg Burger REcipe on

[Yesterday’s burgers–Instagram edition.]

After a busy weekend working, the HH and I made the trek downtown to spend some quality time with Heather and Allyson, who were both in the city for the Vegetarian Food Festival. We had a raucous time gabbing, eating great vegan food at Lola’s Kitchen, and taking Instagram photos of our food (good bloggers that we are!).

Heather Nicholds, Ricki Heller and Allyson Kramer on

[Heather, moi and Allyson enjoying some blogger bonding at Lola’s Kitchen (pity the poor HH).]

Yesterday, it was more work for me, and by dinnertime, I was pooped. The HH was craving anything that “isn’t obviously so veggie.”  Hmm! Then I remembered a stash of my Meat Crumbles in the freezer, and the coup de foudre hit! (See, other ex-Montrealers, I haven’t entirely forgotten my French). I could turn that “meat” into “meaty” burgers! I decided to treat the crumbles sort of the same way I’d treat actual ground beef, and fashion some patties. We threw together some sweet potato fries and a classic kale and avocado salad, and within 30 minutes, dinner was served.

Well, I hadn’t intended to post that recipe, but you know what? It was so darned delicious that, despite having just a few Instagram photos to share with you, I decided to put it up here anyway. Then, when I dined on the leftovers this afternoon, I managed to snap a few more pics.

Candida Diet, Gluten-Free, Sugar Free, Meaty Veggie Burgers on

[Today’s meaty burger leftover. Complemented by some organic corn on the cob we got from our CSA!]

I just couldn’t let this burger pass you by. It’s brown and crispy on the outside, moist and meaty on the inside, and would be equally at home nestled in a bun with some vegan cheese, mustard and onion rings as it was on my plate today with sliced red pepper and sriracha.

I must admit that in this case, the result of a quick turnaround was just super. Or, if you speak joual, “SUPER.”

Elsie and Chaser on

“Mum, we think they look super, too! Hey, Elsie, maybe we could get some if we learn to obey commands in French! What do you think, huh? I bet I could jump for “La Frisbee,” and then Mum will let me have a burger or even–“

“Zip it, Chaser. Fuggedaboutit. Don’t you know that those burgers have onions in them? Oh, right, that’s oignon to you.”

Candida Diet, Gluten Free, Vegan Meaty Veggie Burgers on

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  1. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to create a vegan meat without using gluten, but maybe I should just stop and use your recipe instead. The burger sounds really good. About mercurial weather changes, Madison Wis. is kind of like you described, but it still remains my favorite place, in spite of the crazy weather. And the mosquitoes. Does Toronto have mosquitoes?

    • The psyllium and flax here (and I suppose the oats) bind the “meat” perfectly. 🙂 And mosquitoes? Well, it depends whom you ask. The HH says “I don’t see any mosquitoes!” I say, “Look at the 5,742 bites all over my body.” I have one of those skin types they love. . . encounter them all the time. HATE them.

  2. These look so great Ricki! I still haven’t tried your crumbles yet but knowing they freeze well means I’ll definitely be doing so. I even ordered some psyllium in anticipation of your new book so I’m all prepared for these burgers 🙂
    I’d love to visit Canada some day, both Toronto and Montreal, especially as a French student. Although, I knew a couple of people from Montreal and admit I was not a fan of the accent…
    Glad you had a great time at the veg fest, can’t wait for the London one coming up.

    • I’m so chuffed that you got psyllium! Yay!! 😀 The crumbles are great for things like lasagna, nachos, or topping pasta, too (my fave is actually the nachos!). And you’d love Toronto! It’s such a pretty and vibrant city. Have fun at the London veg fest!! I was in London MANY years ago to visit and had such a great time. . . so much history, so much going on, so much to look at!! 😀

  3. I would be right there with you watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! The hubby is going to Toronto this weekend! I can not believe I can’t go. Next time – I can’t wait.

    • I happen to have the DVD, so when you do finally come to town. . . we’ll watch. 😉 Sorry you couldn’t make it!! Hope the hubs has a great time (has he been before? I’ll hope that the good weather holds out for him). 🙂

  4. Wazoo!!!! THANK YOU!!! I made your meat crumbles a year or so ago to first try with the lasagna. Now they are a STAPLE in my freezer. I’ll make 6 – 8 batches of them and freeze them. My hubby has now made the best vegan pizza for me using them and the pesto that’s also used for the lasagna. He now will put some meat crumbles into a bean wrap, along with veggies. And we did try to make our own burgers and they fell apart – we liked the flavor of the ones that had more of the meat crumbles in, but we gave up. (My hubby is a natural cook and is not vegan or vegetarian, but he tries to fix me good food with all the restrictions.) I can NOT wait to try these burgers!!!!!!

    • Yay!! That’s so great to know! I have never used them in a wrap, believe it or not (I love them on nachos, though)–so I’m thrilled with this new idea–thank you!! I hope you love the burgers as much as I did. They taste almost like the meat crumbles. . . except in burger form. 🙂

  5. Oh, meant to ask. Do they “hold up” well on the grill or do they tend to fall apart?

    • I think they’d do well on a grill (I just baked mine), but I’d bake them about halfway first to create a bit of a dry crust, THEN put them on a grill. I’m going to try them that way this weekend! If you do give them a try, come back and let me know how they worked! I also found that they were even firmer the 2nd day (though just fine the first, too).

  6. Guess who’s eating a NSGF cookie right this minute? Guess who? 😉

  7. That looks so good! How exciting about your book!


  8. ha! I’m a montrealer and the weather is exactly the same this week.

  9. Do you think chia would work in place of the psyllium? I’ve never tried either as a binder, I usually use just flax and something like oats or breadcrumbs.

    • You could certainly try ground chia, but I find it often makes things like this rather gummy. Maybe try a little less chia than psyllium and see how it goes? and let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  10. Yum! I love the leftover factor with veggie burgers! I need to make some of these meaty crumbles tout de suite 😉 Did I spell it right?

  11. I love easy recipes like this one. Your hair looks so good in that picture! Love the length. I have to admit, I love Toronto just a little more than Montreal 🙂

    • Thanks, Alisa! I love easy recipes, too these days! 😉 And thanks re: the hair. . . it’s totally random. That happened to be a good day! You need to come visit so we can love Toronto together!! 😀 xo

  12. I just had to let you know:
    I live in Oklahoma, today out high was 65, our low was 38.
    We have been known to have temperature changes up to 100 degrees in 24 hours!
    I know!!! Totally crazy!!! But true!
    Also, I am loving your blog and recipes! My little brother almost died from a yeast overgrowth when he was 7 (He’s 29 now). So I love what you are doing! At the time no one knew anything about it!!! So glad I found you!
    ADD (yes my real initials!)

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