Your summer gets a whole lot healthier when you cook veggie burgers instead of meat.
Photo: Glenn Fay
Nothing says Independence Day like a back yard cookout. And nothing says healthy back yard cookout like veggie burgers! Vegetarians are heroes, because veggie burgers use less energy than meat, they are less expensive and they are much healthier than eating meat. But lately I have been getting tired of the frozen varieties we find in our local health food store. And healthy food should never be boring. Voila! Veggie burgers that are actually good for you. In the past I have scored home runs with my romantic vegetarian Mediterranean pasta but these veggie burgers are just as good and they are as American on the Fourth of July.
We whipped up four veggie burgers in just a few minutes, and quicker than you could say “fireworks,” they were on the grill. The cool thing is they don’t really need a long grill time, since they have no meat and only good-for-you vegetables. They only need light time on the grill to lightly brown and warm up and season through and through.
I tend to like my veggie burgers with ketchup but I tried mustard this time and it was delicious! A down-to Earth, nutty, clean taste, with plenty of room for other seasonings if you wish. And no gastronomical after-effects like you get from dark bean dishes either! They would be sensational with salsa or a slice of Spanish or sweet onion! This recipe was inspired by the chickpea cutlets recipe in Veganomicon. Let me know how yours turn out! Happy summer!
Here is the simple quick recipe:
Chickpea Veggie Burger
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 medium burgers
1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used canned ones, which worked fine. Extra credit for fresh organic!
2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 TB Braggs Amino Soy
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried sage
In mixing bowl, mash chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed. Now comes forming into patties.
I divided the mix into 4 equal parts, kneaded a little in my hands, then formed into 4 half-inch patties, brushed both sides with a little olive oil, and grilled for 5-10 minutes on each side on a medium grill. Or you can bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes, or until brown on each side.
To pan fry, you should divide dough into 4 pieces. Knead a little in your hands first, then flatten and stretch each one into rectangular cutlet shape. Add a thin layer of olive oil into pan and cook each side 6-7 minutes. Cook until lightly browned and firm to touch.
Did you know?
Home grown chickpeas have been found at 9,000 year old French archaeological sites. The Romans grew several varieties and many recipes have been discovered for broths, roasted snacks, rice dishes and even chickpea desserts throughout ancient Europe. The pea (also known as a garbanzo bean or chana from India) are a type of pulse with several peas in a pod and they grow in subtropical or tropical climates with lots of rain.
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