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November 03, 2012



This recipe looks fabelous! Thank you so much. I started the Esselstyne diet in September 2012 and your web site has been such an inspiration for me. Was wondering if the Creamy Chipotle Cashew Topping could be made with walnuts or would the dressing be less creamy? Just wondering as the Creamy Chipotle Chia topping looks great too. I will be making this soon.

Thanks so much for all your great recipes.


Ellen (Gluten Free Diva)

Pitchkey Potchky indeed, but it looks SOOOO good! I can't wait to try it! I will, of course, make sure all the ingredients are gluten free:).


I made this yesterday- a food processor makes it easy. It was delicious - even my 80 year old father liked it! Also, I've been reading about "cashew cream" for about a year in various cookbooks and recipe posts. Made it for the first time in the blender. Definitely worth the effort and just as good without the chipotle, for those who don't like so much heat.
I did not have tomatoes with chilis, so I just added a few teaspoons of "Happy Hal's Jalapeño Relish". This is a great product that is all natural and meets all the Esselstyne-diet requirements. Available at some Whole Foods and online.



Thanks for the recipe - I've been looking forward to it. I tried them yesterday, and was happy to find that they hold together and are actually a little crispy, unlike my earlier experiments. Taste good too. I wondered if I had done something wrong (like not drain the tomatoes enough?) when I was forming the patties, as they were fairly mushy at that point. Are they supposed to be a little dry when you're shaping them? It's going to be so useful to have a batch of these in the freezer! (And what does the El stand for? The mystery is playing with my brain.....) Thanks again for a very useful item in the arsenal.

Healthy Librarian

@Carol--mine weren't at all mushy when forming them--& I'm wondering if you used 2 cups of garbanzos beans, drained of course! If you used only 1 can of garbanzos--it's not enough--& they will be mushy. The Lab Rat made that mistake! If 2 cups still wasn't enough to prevent mushiness--use 2 1/4 cups of beans. Definitely drain the tomatoes--but I didn't squeeze them or anything.

Re the "El"--it's my little secret!

@Ellen: You can totally make this gluten-free by using something other than spelt flour--but, you're the gluten-free maven & diva!

@Elena: Thank you so much for sharing your results--loved hearing that your 80 year old dad liked the burgers! I completely agree about the cashew cream as a template for other toppings & spreads. Don't need the chipotle--& can add any mixture of herbs or spices.

@Joan: I haven't tried this with walnuts, but, I have made a very delicious creamy balsamic salad dressing using walnuts for the creaminess. Cashews are just so mild tasting-& faintly sweet. Walnut skins have a slight bitterness to them--but, that's part of their health benefit.

Stephen Albers

Your Eli Burger got good reviews not only from consumers in my household, but from the cook too, (me).

I immediately recognized a potential substitution for the shredded carrots on the ingredients list. I use my Green Juicer vegetable pulp (one for one) which is a great use for the pulp juicer fanatics would normally throw out. I just hate to think of all the pulp fiber and nutrition I am flushing down the drain when juicing. Now I have a use for it!

An additional comment would be helpful in how to best reconstitute the burgers from the freezer for best flavor and mouth feel.



I'm looking forward to making these but I have two questions - For the creamy chipotle dressing, I can't do nuts and I don't have a vitamix to grind the chia seeds so I was planning on using your recipe for Creamy chipotle ranch dressing, would that be a good substitute? Second - how do you make the roasted cajun potatoes?
Thanks so much!

Sadie Dodson

Thanks for the recipes. I made the tomato and avocado salad you recommended from Food Network. I tossed that salad with lettuce, mixed greens and cilantro then drizzled the whole thing with this chipotle sauce. It was fantastic. I took it to a dinner party so I was sure my husband and I would have something plant based to eat. Everyone raved about it. I love when omnivores fall in love with plant-based dishes! Thanks

J. in Michigan

Thank you so much for this recipe. I have tried many many veggie burger recipes and I am often the only one in a family of 7 who will eat them. But the ratio of family members who will eat these is more than those who won't! These were nicely crisp, without being dry or crumbly. To make these gluten free, I successfully used ground Perky's brown rice cereal for the ground oatmeal and I have tried both chickpea flour and sorghum flour for the spelt. It still resulted in a crisp burger. Thanks for yet another great recipe. I am so excited to find something I really like to eat again!


Recipe Trials: El Burger--Excellent; Squash Onion Tacos--Very Good; Cajun Kale Soup--Excellent; Pumpkin Pie Squares--Just okay.
2 Families coming for Veggie Thanksgiving on Sunday. Will try: Mac and Cheese; Veggie Loaf, plus other fixings.
Then to try: Mama Pea's Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, Belgian Style Seitan Stew; Satay Sandwiches.
Do you still use Upton's?
Thanks and keep them coming.

Healthy Librarian

@Lisa: You DON'T need to grind the chia seeds for the chipotle topping! Totally unnecessary--I just use the Vitamix to blend up all the ingredients. You could do it with an everyday blender. If, however you want to ever grind the chia seeds (but unnecessary)--you can now buy them ground--or do it in an inexpensive coffee grinder.

@Sadie Dodson: That wasn't me who recommended the Food Network avocado & tomato salad--but, I'd love to see it, all the same. I love the chipotle dressing on any kind of salad.

@J. in Michigan: So glad you figured out an acceptable gluten-free version. Also, pleased to see more of your family liked these burgers--than ones you've tried in the past.

@Penney: Yay, for the El Burger!! Glad you liked "most" everything else. What did you find lacking in the Pumpkin Pie squares? Not sweet enough? Did you try them with or without walnuts & raisins (or even maybe some chocolate chips?) One reader added a couple more dates & a little stevia to hers to get them sweet enough. Hope you like the Mac n' Cheese, if you're making the one I made. You might want to add a little dry mustard to the mix--or even some Penzey's !Forward no-salt seasoning to "salt" it up a bit. I do still use Upton's--but, not that often--mostly for the Chorizo in Mexican Lasagna or some of my soups, or for pizzas which I haven't made for a while. So many recipes to try--I kind of lose track. Would love to hear of your faves.


Thank you so much for the reply about not needing to grind the chia seeds and just using a regular blender. I look forward to trying the recipe this week! One final question - how do you make the cajun roasted potatoes or where can I find the recipe you use?


I just finally tried this recipe. Mine looked a lot more moist than the picture. I cooked for 45 minutes at 450 and they were still moist in the middle. I used the measured amounts as noted. The only difference was I had to use instant oatmeal and I blended the oatmeal into almost a flour. I have a Vitamix and no food processor. Not sure if the oatmeal woud make that much of a difference?

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