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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Homemade Veggie Burgers

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY OPTIONAL | DETOX-FRIENDLY


Veggie burgers are easy to make at home and much healthier than store-bought patties full of processed soy and additives like maltodextrin, caramel color, hydrolyzed protein, modified vegetable gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum.

These burgers are full of everything a good meal should contain: protein, healthy fat, fiber, and lots of flavor.  They're made from raw walnuts, cooked chickpeas, aromatic vegetables, and spices. Unlike other recipes, this one doesn't contain any grains, bread crumbs, flour, or starchy binders, which makes them detox-friendly.

In a pinch you could use canned chickpeas, but I like to make them from scratch. I soak dried chickpeas overnight, cook them in bone broth, season them with sea salt, then allow them to sit in the seasoned cooking liquid overnight for maximum flavor. This recipe only calls for a cup but I always make more. I like to have them on hand to add to salads and soups (along with the cooking liquid) or serve them as a side dish, whole or puréed with some of the cooking liquid for an alternative to mashed potatoes.

Veggie burgers are very versatile so feel free to make substitutions and use different kinds of beans, nuts, vegetables, or herbs. For example, I used oregano but basil, thyme, cilantro or parsley would also work well.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking the patties
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped crimini mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes (or substitute a pinch of cayenne)
  • 1¼ cup cooked chickpeas 
  • 1¼ cup raw walnuts
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese (optional)

Directions:
  1. Warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes depending on how finely you chopped the vegetables.
  2. Grate the garlic into the pan. Stir in the salt, peppercorn, oregano, cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper. Cook for one more minute, until the spices become aromatic. Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the vegetable mixture to a food processor along with the chickpeas and walnuts. Pulse to combine. Add the egg and cheese, then continue pulsing until the mixture is homogenous.
  4. Form a small patty and cook it in a small amount of olive oil until browned on both sides. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments.
  5. Divide the mixture into quarters and form 4 patties. Cook them in a little bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.
  6. Serve the veggie burgers on a bun or a bed of lettuce leaves (detox-friendly). Garnish them with your favorite fixings like garlic aoli, tomato, avocado, and/or sprouts.



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