Holy Cow, Veggie Burger!

Makes 6 burgers

You may be wondering how I might have the audacity to put a veggie “burger” on the blog after not too long ago singing the virtues of the grass-fed burger.  I wouldn’t blame you.  Though they both share the same “burger” name, they really shouldn’t.  Nothing can compare to or replace a grass-fed burger and this veggie burger has no intentions of doing that.  This veggie burger has its own attitude and quite confidently stands alone.

It took me a good 7 years before finding and perfecting this beauty.  I was so sick of the Boca Burger and others like it.  It always seemed unfair to me that just because I was vegetarian, it meant that for Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July or any other summer BBQ, I’d have to eat mediocrely while my omnivore friends feasted on some real, good, most likely whole food.

This veggie burger is for you, my vegetarian friends.  It’s real, it’s good and it’s whole.  No TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) here, thank you.

And for my omnivore/flexitarian friends, it’s for you, too.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy it in all it’s veggie-ness glory.

What makes this such a substantial “burger” is chickpeas.  Chickpeas should be a staple in your pantry.  This versatile bean holds up well in stews, burgers, pastes/dips, soups, etc.  Not surprisingly, they’re super healthy for you, too.  The insoluble fiber (a boatload of it, specifically 12.5 grams/cup which is 50% of the daily recommended value) does wonders for our digestive tract.  They flush toxins from the body and leave behind some short chain fatty acids that energize the colon and leave it functioning even better.¹  That translates into reduced colon cancer risk.  They have a great supply of unique antioxidants that mean all good things for our cardiovascular system.  They’re a super source of protein and they regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.

See, I told you these are for everyone.  (For my vegan friends, please scroll to end of recipe.)

Have a great weekend everyone!

You’ll need:

1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas (about 1/2 cup dried chickpeas)

1/2 C pecans, roughly chopped and toasted

1/4 C sunflower seeds, toasted

1/2 C parsley, rough chop

1/2 onion, diced (about 1/4 C)

1 carrot, shredded (about 1/4 C)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 t cumin

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2-3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more for frying)

To make:

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until pretty smooth in texture.  Refrigerate mixture for 15-30 minutes to let it set before making the patties.

2. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat.  Cook each burger for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Be careful when flipping burgers over, because they are a bit delicate.

3. Serve and dress however you love your burgers!  (I put this one on a multi-grain roll with herbed mayo, micro greens, avocado and sweet potato fries:)

4. Enjoy!

For my vegan friends:  Apologies that this is almost, but not quite there.  I never tried a vegan version because I enjoyed getting the extra protein and fat from the egg.  Plus, it’s such a great binder.  Anyway, I hate to leave you out of the party so check out this recipe.  I’m dying to try it, too.  Next time!

¹http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

 

I make one version or another of hummus weekly.  It’s delicious as a dip or spread for sandwiches.  It’s my go to lunch with avocado, tomato, and something green and leafy whether it’s baby spinach or micro greens.  YUM!

In addition to the traditional ingredients, I up the health ante by adding a tablespoon of miso.  Miso is an anti-carcinogen that also reduces the effects of environmental toxins, such as air pollution.  It is a concentrated source of protein containing all eight essential amino acids and is an incredible digestive aid because it is naturally fermented.  Miso is a good source of manganese and zinc and is also an important source of several phytonutrient antioxidants.

By the way, the chickpeas pack their own nutritional punch, too.  It is also a wonderful source of protein and provides more Vitamin C, iron and fat than most other legumes (except for soybeans).  They are also great blood sugar and cholesterol regulators and because they are high in dietary fiber, they do a great job at flushing toxins from the body.

You’ll need:

1/2 C dried chickpeas, soaked (or 1 can of organic chickpeas)
2 garlic cloves
1 red pepper, roasted
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice (usually 1 juicy lemon will do)
3-4 T tahini
1 T white miso
1 T ground cumin
Sea salt to taste

To make:

1. Cook chickpeas – drain and rinse and then add chickpeas to a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and partially cover.  (Feel free to add an 1″ of kombu or a bay leaf here, too.)  Chickpeas take a while to get soft so check once in a while to make sure water hasn’t completely evaporated.

2. Once chickpeas are done and cooled, add everything to a food processor and whiz away.  You may need to add a bit more oil or water if the hummus is too thick.  Taste as you go and adjust seasonings to your liking.

3. Enjoy with crudite, rice crackers, pita bread, etc. etc.