I've always wanted to make homemade veggie burgers.
This is for many reasons. I love them, for starters. But the ones at the store have always seemed too processed, and processed never taste quite as good as homemade. And of course, they can make for a very healthy, complete vegetarian meal. They're great on a whole wheat bun, or simply eaten straight as photographed with a little organic ketchup (one of the best condiments in the world, don't you think?).
These burgers are made with lots of healthful things. The base is quinoa (I love a tri-color blend that I buy at Trader Joe's) and chickpeas, both protein powerhouses. I also use a little yam and egg white as a binder, but if you want to go vegan on these, just eliminate the egg white and turn them a little more carefully. I also throw in sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (healthy fats and protein).
For the veggie part of the burger, I used a mix of sautéed carrot, shallots, and bell pepper and raw spinach, which I chopped in a food processor. Finally, I love adding sesame tahini, lemon juice, and cumin, and hot sauce.
This recipe is fungible. You're welcome to play around with different combinations of beans, whole grains, and vegetables. I know I do. For inspiration, here's a great veggie burger recipe round-up.
Chickpea Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Makes about 6-8 patties
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Vegetarian (with easy vegan conversion); dairy-free
- 1 cup quinoa, prepared per package instructions
- 1 14 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 yam, cooked and skin removed (this can be done quickly in the microwave)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach, tightly packed
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
- 1 egg white (optional)
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- flour for dusting
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a saute pan, heat one tablespoon of the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the shallot or onion and cook for a few minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the carrot and bell pepper and cook for a few minutes under just becoming tender. Remove from heat.
- In a food processor, chop the veggie mixture. Add the raw spinach. Process a little more until combined. Place the veggie mixture in a mixing bowl.
- Next, add the chickpeas and tahini to the processor and pulse until broken down.
- Place the chickpeas, veggie mixture, quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and yam in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, cumin, egg white (optional), and hot sauce (optional). Stir with a spoon until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Using your hands, shape the mixture into individual patties. Dust each one with flour.
- In a heavy-bottomed saute pan or cast iron skillet that can transfer to the oven, heat the remaining one tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Place the burgers in the pan and cook until nicely browned (about two minutes). Carefully flip the patties.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another ten to twelve minutes, until the patties are nicely browned on the bottom and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and serve with or without buns and ketchup. Enjoy!
Advance Preparation: The patties can be shaped up to 3 days ahead of time and kept tightly wrapped in the refrigerator until you're ready to brown them. They can also be made in advance and then reheated in a low oven or on the stovetop.