Made-from-scratch veggie burgers with kale salad and maple-tweaked fruit crisp will set you up right. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Those veggie burgers from the freezer department at the grocery store are OK if you’re in a hurry. However, if you want a truly delicious veggie burger that’s nothing like you’ve ever had before, take the time to make up these savory patties.

These can be baked and kept in the freezer to reheat as needed. Serve them on a toasted bun, top a salad or break them up for tacos.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at

To go with, we have concocted many versions of kale salad in our extended family. When I make this, I follow a couple of rules: I always use curly kale from a local farm and I always take the few extra minutes needed to massage those dark leafy greens with a bit of olive oil and salt until they are tender and shiny.

The addition of crunchy bits along with the sweet chewiness of dates (I use medjool dates) and lemony dressing is a lovely combo.

To finish, I always have a stash of frozen blueberries from a farm Downeast in my freezer, and this is the time of year I plan to use them up to make room for the next fresh 10-pound box. If you don’t have any on hand, grab yourself a bag of Wyler’s frozen blueberries and put this quickie treat together.

This blueberry dessert can be engineered to be quite healthy and can be made with ingredients to keep it gluten-free. Of course, you can make it in an 8-by-8-inch baking pan, but the ramekins are cute!


THE Veggie Burgers

3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/3 cup warm water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup sweet potato or carrot, grated
1/3 cup parsley and cilantro, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
3/4 rolled oats, spun into flour in a food processor
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine flax seed with warm water and set aside for 10 minutes until thickened.

In a large bowl, mash black beans into a paste, leaving a few intact for texture. Stir in remaining ingredients and flaxseed mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste, if desired. Using a slightly wet hand, mix well until combined. Shape mixture into six patties. Pack tightly so they will hold together during cooking and place on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake burgers for 15 minutes, carefully flip them and bake for 20 more minutes or until burgers are firm and golden. Yield: 6 servings

Kale Salad II

1 large bunch curly kale, destemmed and torn
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup celery, diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
6 dates, pitted and diced
1 cup walnuts pieces, toasted
Freshly ground pepper


In a large salad bowl, combine kale, olive oil and salt. Massage with your hands until the leaves are shiny and tender. Toss in the remaining ingredients, add the dressing and toss some more. Yield: 4 servings

Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, zest and honey. Whisk in olive oil and season to taste. Yield: 1/2 cup

Blueberry Maple Crisp

4 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons flour, tapioca flour or corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or use coconut oil) four 1-cup ramekins and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


In a medium-sized bowl, toss together blueberries, tapioca flour, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, walnuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a fork, mash the butter into the oat mixture.

Spoon 1 cup blueberry mixture into each of the ramekins (pile it in because it will cook down). Spoon two tablespoons of topping onto each one.

Bake until juices are bubbling and topping becomes golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Yield: 4 servings

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