Meatless Meals: Veggie Burgers with Chickpeas

Vegetarian BurgersI have a love/hate relationship with veggie burgers. Most of the time when I order them, they are tasteless and I tend to long for the juicy “meatiness” in regular burgers. However, the other day I was perusing through Martha Stewart’s latest cookbook “Meatless”  and I found a recipe for a chickpea vegetarian burger. I quickly glanced at it and then left (I read recipes, but never follow them). The wheels in my head kept turning, thinking of how I could take chickpeas and make them into a delicious burger for dinner – one that even my husband would enjoy (a very difficult task).

Now I am a huge fan of spicy black bean burgers. I enjoy making them, but sometimes you want something different, something even heartier than black beans and more like a classic burger. I decided I would go ahead with the chickpeas and add a side salad. The result? A vegetarian delight!

Food for Thought: For those of you who just buy veggie burgers from the frozen food aisle, I would be cautionary. Please always read the ingredients of your food. If you don’t understand what an ingredient is, it’s probably not that great for you! I find that Morningstar’s spicy black bean burger is the best, with not that many ingredients. 

Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Avocado Cream 

1 can chickpeas (or 8 ounces dried chickpeas prepared in water overnight)Chickpeas and Ginger Veggie Burger

16 ounces brown rice (cooked)

1 small red onion

1 carrot, peeled and shredded or finely diced

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon grated ginger

zest and juice of 1 lemon

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 avocado

4 ounces sour cream

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

Multi-grain bread (toasted) or rolls

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the finally diced onion until translucent then toss in the ginger, lemon zest, cumin, 1 tablespoon of the cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper. Once you smell the spices, take them off the heat and combine them with the rice, chopped parsley, and flaxseed.
  • Smash the chickpeas until lumpy (there should still be some whole chickpeas) then combine with the rice mixture. Zest and juice the lemon into the mixture. Mix together and form into patties. 
  • Heat a skillet with olive oil (enough so that the oil comes up 1/4 way of the patties). Place the patties into the skillet and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side, then flip.
  • Meanwhile, put the avocado, the sour cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, lime zest and lime juice in a small blender and blend until smooth.
  • To make the sandwich, put some of the avocado cream sauce on the patty and the roll. You can add some shredded lettuce and tomato and serve with a salad.

A meal both vegetarians and meat lovers will feel satisfied with! And if you were wondering, my husband said it was both delicious and filling – A+!

Side Note: This post is also an ode to my vegetarian sister whose birthday is today!

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