Chickpea Burgers

>> Friday, April 30, 2010

We wanted to make something different for dinner the other night. Falafel was on the top of the list. But thinking about eating all that fried food made me sick to my stomach. It's interesting, really. I've been eating more veggies (not so many fruits, though) and simple meals . . . and when I look at any processed foods, when I consider eating store-bought anything, I cringe just a little. I haven't had this problem until recently.

However, I guess it can't really be considered a problem because it's healthier than the alternative. Back to the "burgers" now. They are definitely falafel-inspired. Chickpeas abound with a nice crop of seasonings. We chose to bake them after dipping them in some of that irresistible roasted walnut oil. Smothering the patty with brie is entirely optional, so it would also serve as an excellent vegan dinner option. What you may not expect is our other condiment choice, which is a balsamic almond butter I whipped up on a whim.


What you'll need . . . (for six sexy burgers)
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 small green chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Put EVERYTHING in a medium bowl and mix together.
  3. Then transfer to a food processor and pulse until incorporated, but still chunky. There's no right or wrong texture, really.
  4. Shape into palm-sized patties. Dip in a shallow bowl of oil (we used roasted walnut oil for extra flavor). Space evenly on your cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the patties brown.

If you'd like to make them fancy, serve with this divine balsamic-almond butter topper and some slices of fresh avocado. If you love brie, add some of that, too. What does this topping taste like, I bet you're asking. Well, much better than it sounds. Just make sure you don't use sweetened butter, or else the whole savory aspect of it will be lost. It's definitely a refined taste, but it's something I plan to make again -- it was THAT good.

Here's all you need to do . . .
  1. Combine equal parts balsamic vinegar and natural, unsweetened almond butter. Stir until well incorporated. We used about two tablespoons of each per six burgers.
  2. While the burger are still on the cookie sheet (and out of the oven) switch your oven to the broil setting.
  3. Spoon over each burger with the balsamic-almond butter and spread until you have a nice, thin layer. Then place some slices of brie (if you wish) and broil until bubbly. You'll notice that the butter hardens, but it still tastes AMAZING.
  4. Then top everything off with some fresh avocado. Of course, don't forget to enjoy!
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