For years now, I have been on a quest to find the best veggie burger. If I am in a restaurant that offers a veggie burger I have yet to try, my mind is immediately made up. Along the way, I’ve tried dozens (read: perhaps hundreds) of different varieties of veggie burgers, from black bean to seitan. While I’ve enjoyed many of them, I’ve also been faced with some serious veggie-burger disappointments.
The case is the same for every recipe I’ve tried to create for my own homemade veggie burgers: some are too dry, others too bland, but veggie burgers do NOT have to taste or look like bird seed. It can take a lot of trial and error, but veggie burgers can be simple to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost of the frozen hockey pucks you’ll find at the store!
The recipe I will be sharing with you today is probably the easiest, as well as the most delicious, I’ve mastered – even my most carnivorous friends enjoy these! I make a batch of them when I have leftover rice from a stir-fry night. They are rich in protein and vitamins and minerals, including JoJo’s topic this week, thiamin. If you do not eat eggs, try using a different binder for the mixture. This recipe is also delicious when you use pureed sweet potato in place of the eggs – plus you get an extra boost of vitamin A!
Confetti Chickpea Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
2 cups canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), strained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 clove garlic, minced
½ small white onion, diced finely
1 carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1-2 eggs, whisked
Pinch of salt and pepper, each
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Olive oil or cooking spray
In a large mixing bowl, mash chickpeas with a potato masher until they become a thick paste. Stir in rice, garlic, onion, carrot, and zucchini. Add 1 whisked egg and all seasonings, mixing until well-moistened. If the mixture is crumbly, add another whisked egg and mix. You could use a food processor to mix these ingredients, but I like to keep the chickpea mixture lumpy because I find that they stay together better when you cook them!
Score the mixture into four portions; form patties with each portion. Heat oil or cooking spray in a nonstick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve immediately or store up to 3 days in the fridge.
Because these are already pretty starchy, I like to serve them atop a salad, in a lettuce wrap, or a small pita instead of a bun. Have fun with toppings and sauces! I usually pair them with tomato, avocado, onion, and homemade honey mustard.
That’s it for this week, so have a delicious weekend!
Until next time, remember that… there are no excuses when it comes to your health!