It recently occurred to me that for people tuning in to this very new blog, I must come across as a total carnivore. Those that are close to me know that I love vegetarian and even vegan cooking as much as I love meat. I find that vegetarian cooking unlocks a whole new level of creativity while recreating and perfecting the flavours and textures of everyday favourites- and as an added bonus, often yeild much healthier results.
Apparently, January was a time to indulge in the meaty comfort foods- hence the recent basics- pizzas, ribs and chili. This month is also the beginning of the new year, and along with that come new fitness related goals- including eating more protein. Interesting! To observe evolving trends in ones eating habits and changing preferences over time!
So, as not to alienate any vegetarian readers, and also just ’cause I love ’em, tonight’s mission was to create the perfect veggie burger.
The beauty of veggie burgers is that they can take on countless incarnations. Homemade are always superior to store-bought, which are often filled with highly processed soy byproducts and artificial flavours-
disgusting not healthy. Why go there when making your own is so satisfying? I served these with a kale salad and topped them with sharp organic cheddar and avocado!
- 1 can lentils
- 1 can black beans
- fresh cilantro
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (can sub quinoa, have done it-works well too!)
- 1 medium onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion salt
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- black pepper to taste
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (or however much is needed to solidify)
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- Rinse lentils and beans and in large bowl mash with fork or potato masher
- In food processor, combine garlic, onions, and celery ( used for crunch, could also use bell pepper or carrots) and combine with beans and lentils. Add fresh cilantro.
- In small bowl, combine eggs with spices, and then add to bean mixture
- Add bread crumbs and flour to mixture until it is firm enough to make patties (don’t forget, they will firm up when cooking!)
- In medium hot pan melt coconut oil ( about 2 tablespoons) and add burgers. Make sure the pan is nice and hot! Sprinkle the tops of the burgers with cornmeal, and fry until golden brown, repeat on other side.
- Grease baking pan and transfer burgers to oven- cook at 350 for about 10 minutes.
This makes about 8 burgers. The frying crisps up the outside and the cornmeal adds a bit of extra crunch. The baking then properly cooks the onion and garlic, and results in a nice soft center! These could easily be made vegan by substituting the egg with ground flax seed and water as a binder.
Equally as satisfying as meat, and lighter too