Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers

Revised 02.24.18 (see below)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ, toasted
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 medium zucchini shredded
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or trans-fat free margarine
  • 4 hamburger buns



  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
  2. Stir in wheat germ, cheese, mushrooms, onion/garlic powders, thyme.
  3. Place the shredded zucchini in the middle of two paper towels.  Fold the paper towels over and gently squeeze out as much moisture possible.
  4. Add the zucchini to the wheat germ mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  (optional)
  6. Chill for one hour in the fridge.
  7. Shape into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick.
  8. In a nonstick saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the burgers and fry  until golden brown.  Flip and brown the other sides.
  9. Serve with buns and your favorite toppings.

“Why don’t you make those veggie burgers that you used to make?”

Sure.  That was only a quarter of a century ago and I can’t remember the recipe.  The only thing I remember was that my homemade veggie burger of days past had wheat germ in it.  Maybe carrots.  So after reading too many recipes online, I decided to start experimenting using this recipe as the starting point.

The end result was pretty good.  I’d forgotten how much better tasting a homemade veggie burger was when compared to the frozen varieties.

Tips and Pointers

Other vegetables would work well.  Be creative in your selections.  For example, if you have leftover broccoli, chop it up and use instead of the zucchini.   Carrots, sweet potatoes would be good too.  You can use fresh garlic and/or fresh onion.  I have learned that powders provide the same flavor punch without the harshness of fresh which sometimes doesn’t get cooked thoroughly enough.


There were some nice zukes at the store.  It was February so I surmised they came in from Mexico.  But they were small and buying just one became a problem when preparing burgers.  So I shredded some organic carrot for around 1/4 cup.  When added with the tiny squash the total vegetable content came to around a cup total.  I ended up using 1/2 cup of mushrooms and the mixture didn’t get too loose if you know what I mean and I think you do.  I had time to chill the burger mix and this makes it easier to shape and fry.


Your Grandmother’s Dressing (this is the real deal)

Here’s the real deal.  This handwritten recipe is your Grandmother’s dressing recipe.  The picture was provided by a reliable source and confirmed as authentic.  Note the date of the copy, November 2001.

Well the mystery is solved.  But when I’ve made Grandmother’s recipe it was never this one.  It was (Not) Your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Dressing.  See?  You can change traditions while remaining traditional.

And the cornbread had to have been Jiffy.


Aunt Charlene’s Cornbread Dressing

  • 1 pan cornbread
  • 1 large loaf white bread (no heels)
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • broth from boiling neck, gizzards, and liver of the turkey
  • canned chicken broth, as needed

My wife’s Aunt Charlene was a hell of a cook.  After Aunt Charlene passed her granddaughter compiled a booklet of family favorite recipes.  This dressing recipe was the first recipe listed.  At Thanksgiving this year I asked several family members to tell me what ingredients were in the annual dressing.  Well, this is what Sherlock uncovered:

  1. Before the age of convenience, packaged seasoned dressing mix was not used.  Just an old simple loaf of white bread and sage, salt, and pepper.
  2. Somewhere down the line packaged dressing mix replaced the plain white bread.
  3. Three eggs!!!  ugh…
  4. The gizzard broth gets used for gravy and not the dressing.

And there you go.  The annual Thanksgiving dressing recipe is now (Not) Your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Dressing because I think Charlene’s recipe was identical to your Grandmother’s dressing recipe.

An unconfirmed recollection from an unreliable source noted Grandmother probably used Jiffy cornbread mix.  If you don’t know Jiffy it was a a small box mix to which you added eggs, milk, and baked.  Boom.  Cornbread.

Fascinating to see how traditional family recipes change yet curiously remain the same.

(Not) Your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Dressing

  • One Texas Corn Bread recipe
  • Two 14 ounce packages dry traditional seasoned stuffing mix
  • One large sweet onion, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • one stick butter
  • 1-2 quarts chicken broth, low sodium
  • Sage, thyme, salt and pepper
  1. Prepare a dish of Texas Corn Bread the night before you make the dressing.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Saute the onion and celery until soft, about five minutes.
  3. Cut the corn bread into large cubes.
  4. In a very large mixing bowl gently mix the corn bread, dried stuffing mix, vegetables and chicken broth.  Add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer dressing to a very large baking pan.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until heated through.

This is really not your Grandmother’s recipe but a close approximation.  I know it’s not the “real thing” because Grandmother (yours not mine) didn’t make a fresh tray of Texas Corn Bread for her dressing.  I have no idea what corn bread she used but the important take away is you want a 50/50 ratio between corn bread and dried stuffing mix.  Grandmother also added a couple of beaten eggs and some neck meat to her dressing.  I prefer to leave these ingredients out but the family won’t let me.

Cheats and Tips – Use Pepperidge Farm dried stuffing mix.  If you don’t Grandmother will hurt you.  If you are pressed for time substitute corn bread from a bakery.  If you are pressed for time AND lazy, Pep Farm has corn bread stuffing mix.  One stick of butter may not be enough and three may be too much.  You can always add more melted butter but once you add it, you can’t take it out.  With the chicken broth allow the texture to be your guide.  You want your dressing moist but not too soggy if you know what I mean and I think you do.  Go easy at first with your herbs, salt, and pepper.  Remember the dried stuffing mix is already seasoned and the broth will have sodium in it as well.

Is it dressing or is it stuffing?

Dressing because you don’t want to stuff the cavity of the bird for a number of reasons.  I’ve always baked my dressing in a separate pan.  And speaking of pans, you might need more than one baking pan.  This recipe makes a lot of dressing.

And while we’re sort of on the topic of Thanksgiving don’t forget the Squash Casserole.

Texas Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 8 tablespoons margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Beat eggs.  Add butter, margarine, and milk.
  4. Add wet to dry and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into an 8 x 12 greased baking dish.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top and/or the sides are brown.


Adapted from a recipe in Delicioso! a cookbook from the Corpus Christi Junior League original copyright date December 1982.  The only change I’ve made over the years was to substitute light brown sugar for white sugar.  This is the family’s go to corn bread recipe.