buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeño pesto

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-2

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-24th of July is around the corner and it’s time to fire up the grill. Here’s a great burger recipe that celebrates the American West.  This is a lean mean tasty burger. I say lean because buffalo has 70 to 90% less fat compared to beef, and 50% less cholesterol. Buffalo is also leaner than both pork and chicken, and has fewer calories to boot. On top of that, buffalo is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids. We’ve been fans of buffalo meat for years, going back to the mid 90’s when we were introduced to our first buffalo burger at Joe’s Garage in Minneapolis. You can pick up buffalo pretty much at any grocery store or Whole Foods. Because buffalo is high in protein, it’s also very filling, so 1-pound is perfect for a family of 4.  We serve these burgers up on mini brioche buns and they’re the perfect size.

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Nepenthe’s ambrosia sauce for burgers and fries

Nepenthe's ambrosia sauce

Nepenthe's ambrosia sauceRemember that tofu burger that I raved about having at Nepenthe in Big Sur?  I swear it was the best tofu burger that I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_4230Unfortunately, I  didn’t find the actual tofu burger recipe yet, but I’m still on the hunt. I did find the recipe for their amazing ambrosia sauce that they slather all of their burgers with, as well as serve up with their shoestring fries. We all devoured and raved about this secret sauce. The kids loved it, the in-laws loved it, and John and I loved it. It gave each of our burgers a pop of flavor, and was also a great and addicting dipping sauce for our fries. I replicated the sauce at home and honestly couldn’t believe how simple it was. We served this sauce up on a thin, lean burger patty and used the extra sauce to dip our onion rings into. My kids said that this sauce made their burgers, and the sauce turned their boring old baked onion rings into a gourmet experience. Seriously, it’s a simple 3 ingredient sauce that will give some real flavor to your next beef or buffalo burger. Burgers and ketchup equal boring, but burgers with ambrosia sauce equal flavor.

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Thai style chicken burgers

Thai style chicken burgers

Thai style chicken burgersBurgers are a staple in our house come spring and summer. To me, burgers say spring is here, and summer is around the corner. They make such an easy weeknight meal because all you have to do is pair them up with a side salad or vegetable, and voila, dinner is served. We love all types of burgers from turkey, chicken, to buffalo and veggie. I’m always on the hunt for a new burger recipe to add to our recipe box. I’m currently in the process of testing some new veggie burgers, so for you vegetarians, stay tuned.

I saw this chicken burger in Gwyneth’s new cookbook and decided to give it a try. I thought if Gwyneth likes this burger, then I’m sure I will as well. I became a fan of turkey burgers last year and figured why not try a chicken burger. I mean there really isn’t that much difference between the two meats, right? Turkey and chicken burgers get a bad rap for being dry, but I find that when you mix the turkey or chicken with some spices, onions or cheeses, then you get a nice flavorful and juicy burger. This chicken burger is a lighter and leaner burger for those nights where you don’t want a heavy cheesy burger. This burger is chock full of flavor from the garlic, red chili and shallots. We of course love it paired with our favorite burger condiment, cilantro lime mayonnaise. This mayonnaise really brings out the flavor of the cilantro in the burger.

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quinoa cakes

quinoa cakes (1 of 1)

quinoa cakes (1 of 1)Ok, so remember when I was obsessed with kale and everything kale?  Well, I’m still pretty obsessed with kale, but now I’m obsessed with quinoa as well.  I have figured out my favorite way to eat quinoa, and that is warm, liked warmed up in patties or a cereal rather than cold like in a salad.  I’ve made more quinoa dishes in the last few months than I have in the past year that I’ve been blogging.  First, there were these quinoa patties.  Super yummy, easy to make and healthy.

quinoa patties

Then I tried quinoa for breakfast with steel-cut oats and goji berries. Say what, quinoa for breakfast?  Oh yes, try it!  It’s my new favorite way to start the day.  It’s a power house of a breakfast.

hot quinoa and oat cereal with goji berries

Now, I ventured into a crispier and cheesier quinoa cake.  Hey, I was thinking of my kids here, because they were not the biggest fans of the other quinoa patties. Kid verdict?  Zoe liked them better than the other ones, (that’s a step in the right direction, still working on her) and Eli LOVED them, so I would say that this recipe was a success. Dry toasting the quinoa before simmering it in the broth adds such a depth of flavor, and the quinoa gets all browned in color and forms into these tiny little balls. The mozzarella cheese gets all melty and crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. These cakes remind me in a weird but healthier way, of mozzarella cheese sticks. I know that’s a strange way to describe them, but they are crispy, cheesy and chewy cakes. I mean who said that healthy foods have to taste healthy, right?  Just give them a try and if you like quinoa and cheese, then you will love these.

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quinoa patties

quinoa

Happy day after Halloween!  Are you all candied out?  Are you putting yourself on a diet of kale salads and quinoa dishes till Thanksgiving? I’m not going to go that far, but I do need some sort of cleanse from all the sugar I’ve been eating lately. It’s not candy that I need a break from, but baked goods. I have been baking way to many pumpkin muffins, cupcakes and bundt cakes lately, and I need to stop!  Maybe with all of this new candy in the house, I won’t be asked to bake anything. I think the trick-or-treat candy will give me about a week off before the kids start getting sick of it and start asking me what I’m going to bake up. 

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favorite turkey burgers

favorite turkey burgers

favorite turkey burgersSummer has officially started in our house.  We’ve hit the pool, Six Flags, played board game after board game and spent some time chilling out with friends this week.  We’re doing what we do best in the summer, and that is relaxing and taking a break from all the running around we do during the school year. It’s so nice to be able to wake up and go with the flow rather than having your day all planned out for you.   

My friend Andrea sent me her family’s favorite turkey burger recipe a while back after I posted my turkey burgers.  She said it was a family favorite and that I should give it a try.  Well, we tried these last weekend and they were a HUGE success.  These turkey burgers rock and they’re one of the kids’ favorite dishes now (ranked in the top 5).  My kids loved them so much that they asked for them again last night.  I happily obliged, as I loved these burgers as well.  They are packed with so much flavor from the Gruyere cheese, mustard, scallions and garlic.  I also love that the cheese is in the burger!  These burgers are now a family favorite in my house as well as Andrea’s, so I am positive that they will be one in yours.  

favorite turkey burgers

favorite turkey burgers:

recipe adapted from Andrea per Martha Stewart
serves 4
Note:  These burgers taste AMAZING topped with some cilantro-lime mayo

  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark meat) 
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese 
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced 
  • 3 hefty tablespoons dried breadcrumbsI used Ian’s panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
You can make this a make-ahead meal simply by assembling the patties in the morning, and covering and refrigerating them till dinner. 
DSC_0086-2
In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) the turkey, scallions, mustard, grated Gruyere cheese, breadcrumbs and minced garlic; season generously with salt and pepper.  
Note:  When you mix your seasonings into the meat, it’s important to remember that the more you handle the meat, and the more you squish it around, the more dense your burger will be. You might also squeeze out some of the juices and end up with a drier burger.Gently form the mixture into four patties. 
Note:  If you find that your patties are not holding together, then add a bit more breadcrumbs till they do.

Tip:  use your thumb to create a dimple or well in the center of the patty, as this will ensure the burgers cook evenly without plumping up.  Start cooking the burgers indentation side up.

You can either grill up the burgers 5 to 7 minutes per side or cook them up in a skillet.  If you’re going to cook them up in a skillet, then heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the patties until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side.    

Tip: Don’t press down on the patties or you will squeeze out and loose the flavorful juices. 
Andrea’s favorite bun to use is a toasted english muffin, and it’s now our favorite as well.  The english muffin retains all the warmth of the burger.  I broiled the english muffins with a  bit of butter to keep them moist.  We topped these with my cilantro lime mayonnaise and some spinach the first night, and paired them with some roasted cauliflower and these amazing beet chips from Whole Foods.  Have any of you tried them?  They are so good and so addicting.
Another night we topped the burgers with an heirloom tomato, some cilantro lime mayo (of course) and since I was eating some lacinato kale salad, I threw some of that on top as well.  
The burger was amazing both ways. I mean you could literally top these burgers with just about anything.  John topped his with some homemade guacamole as well as an heirloom tomato.  
It’s funny how I always seem to have a vegetarian recipe on Monday and then either a burger or meat inspired recipe on Friday.  I guess you can really see that we eat both equally.

buffalo burgers with chipotle mayonnaise

buffalo burger with chipotle mayonnaise
Tomorrow is my kids’ last day of school!  Yippee!  Summer is officially here!  I have never been more excited for summer than this year.  It is time to kick back, sleep in, read trashy novels, hang by the pool for hours on end and get together with friends that we never seem to connect with during the busy school year.  Tomorrow I’m picking up the kids (swimsuit on) and heading to the pool for some much needed play time, and that much needed glass of wine, or two.  

Summer in our house is all about burgers, salads and grilled foods.  It’s hot, so I don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen with the oven or stove on. When it comes to burgers, I prefer sauces rather than ketchup or mustard.  My favorite sauce thus far is my cilantro lime mayonnaise.  I wanted to try a different and spicier sauce for the buffalo burgers, so I found this chipotle mayonnaise recipe from Bobby Flay.  This sauce is spicy, and John and I loved it paired with our burgers.  The kids thought it was a bit too spicy, so next time I may cut back a bit on the chipotle pepper for them.  If you’re making this for adults, then keep the sauce as is.

I’m not going to show you how to cook buffalo burgers.  I just wanted to throw out another meat to consider using the next time you make a burger.  We love using buffalo meat in lieu of ground beef for most dishes, as buffalo has 70 to 90% less fat compared to beef, and 50% less cholesterol. It is also leaner than both pork and chicken, and has less calories than all three.  On top of that, buffalo is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids.   There are also no growth hormones, steroids or sub-therapeutic antibiotics used.  You can research more on the health benefits of buffalo, if you want.  I think for all of its nutritional benefits, buffalo meat is worth a try, wouldn’t you say?   You can pick up buffalo pretty much at any grocery store or Whole Foods.   We get a pound of buffalo and its plenty for 4 burgers.  Buffalo meat is very filling so you don’t want your burgers to big.  My favorite way to make up these patties is to put 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese into the patties.  It makes the burgers so juicy!

chipotle mayonnaise:

recipe from Bobby Flay
serves 4-6
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce – You can also use a 1 tablespoon of chipotle paste and omit both the chipotle as well as the 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce as shown below. 
  • 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • juice from 1/2 lime (approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Note:  If you want to cut the spiciness down, you can use 1/2 chipotle and use 1 1/2 teaspoons of adobo sauce.  Try it like that and then if you want it spicier, add a bit more of each.  
I also make this sauce using a chipotle paste as shown in the below picture. To me, it’s so much easier than opening up a can and dealing with the mess and hassle of mincing up tiny chiles. All you have to do is insert your measuring spoon and voila, you’re done. I also love that I can store the leftovers in the fridge and re-use it again and again. When I use the paste, all I have to do is stir the mayonnaise, chipotle paste and lime juice together in a small bowl, it saves cutting up an adobe chili as well as getting out the mini prep.
DSC_0033
Add the mayonnaise, chipotle and adobo sauce to a food processor and puree.  
Squeeze on some fresh lime juice to taste, and then add some salt and pepper to taste.  I added a pinch of salt, but didn’t use any pepper. 
Time saver tip:  You can make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it till needed.

Place the burger on a mini brioche bun (that is what we like to use) and top with chipotle mayonnaise, and any other desired toppings.
I’m looking for some good summer reads to sink my teeth into while I chill out by the pool.  
My genre is science fiction and historical fiction.
Here are some of my favorite past reads so you can get a clue as to what I like.
The Twilight series, (sorry, I read this series years ago and liked it).
Harry Potter, Hunger Games, the True Blood series, 11-22-63, by Steven King, the Game of Thrones series & Gone with the Wind.
As you can see, I like young adult science fiction as well as historical fiction.  I have also read tons of Henry VIII books, so I have finished that genre.
Any recommendations?  

couscous cakes

couscous cakes

couscous cakesDid you ever have one of those Mondays where you get so much done and have tons of energy?  I had that day yesterday and it was an amazing way to start up the week.  I accomplished more in 2 hours then I had the whole weekend.  Whoo hoo!  I even had some extra time to write up this post, so you’re getting 2 posts already this week and it’s only Tuesday.  Bonus!  Who am I?  I don’t know, but I like this new me (don’t get too excited as this is not normal for me).

So I cooked up some salmon last week and whenever I cook up salmon my kids ask for couscous as their side dish.  Basically my kids equate salmon with couscous.  Anyway, I was getting bored of the traditional couscous fare.  Couscous reminds me of white rice, just plain and unassuming, so I was excited when I saw this recipe for couscous cakes in Fine Cooking magazine. These cakes sort of reminded me of my chickpea veggie burgers.  

These patties are so easy to make and require a few simple pantry ingredients, AWESOME!  I even made the patties earlier in the day and then sautéed them up right before dinner, the perfect make-ahead recipe.

couscous cakes:

recipe from Fine Cooking

makes 8-9 patties

  • 3/4 cup couscous – I pack a hefty 3/4 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf or italian parsley leaves 
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten – I found using large eggs not extra large works best here.  
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – you will use this later to cook the cakes

Put the couscous and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan.  Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.  

Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor.  Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.Here is what your mixture will look like after it’s been chopped.Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.  In a large bowl, add the couscous, the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate.  Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 8-9 cakes. 

I always throw my mixture in the fridge for a bit before I make the couscous cakes, so the mixture can gel together.   Note:  To make these a make-ahead meal, you can refrigerate the patties ahead of time and sauté them up right before dinner.  You can also refrigerate the mixture as is, and make the patties right before you sauté them.  Either way works.Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  

Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and then use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they’re about 3/4 inch thick.   Just take a spatula and gently press down on the cakes once they’re in the skillet to flatten them. Cook, flipping once, until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides. The recipe said 2 to 3 minutes per side, but mine took a bit longer, like 5 minutes per side.  Just make sure to cook them till they are golden brown on each side.  Transfer the cooked patties to a paper-towel lined plate.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way. You can serve these up with just about anything. I gave the kids a couscous cake and some broccoli along with their salmon.  John and I paired one with a spinach salad and some salmon.  I also love serving these alongside a soup, such as my cauliflower soup.  These would even be great topped with my tzatziki yogurt sauce as a lunch-time entree.  Feel free to jazz these up anyway you choose. I could see adding some red or green onions to them as well as possibly substituting cilantro for the parsley leaves.  This is a great and basic couscous cake recipe.  

Family verdict?    These were rated a 10 in my house and I will definitely be making them again!  Got leftovers?  Just throw them in a 250 degree oven to warm them up.

couscous cakes

couscous cakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup couscous - I pack a hefty 3/4 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf or italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten - I found using large eggs not extra large works best here.
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - you will use this later to cook the cakes

Instructions

Put the couscous and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan. Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.

Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, add the couscous, the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 8-9 cakes.

I always throw my mixture in the fridge for a bit before I make the couscous cakes, so the mixture can gel together.

Note: To make these a make-ahead meal, you can refrigerate the patties ahead of time and sauté them up right before dinner. You can also refrigerate the mixture as is, and make the patties right before you sauté them. Either way works.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.

Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and then use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they're about 3/4 inch thick.Just take a spatula and gently press down on the cakes once they're in the skillet to flatten them.

Cook, flipping once, until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides. The recipe said 2 to 3 minutes per side, but mine took a bit longer, like 5 minutes per side. Just make sure to cook them till they are golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a paper-towel lined plate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way.

Got leftovers? Just throw them in a 250 degree oven to warm them up.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/05/couscous-cakes/

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slawYou’re all in for a treat as you’re getting three recipes in one post here.  You heard me right, three recipes in one post!  I treat you well, don’t I?  Also, I want to let you know that all three of these recipes can be made ahead of time.  Now, that’s really treating you well.

Lets start the talk with turkey burgers.  To be honest with you, I have never been a big turkey burger fan because most of the ones I’ve tried have either been dry or lacking in the flavor department.  What’s the point of eating a meat burger if it tastes like cardboard? When we do eat a meat burger, we use buffalo meat because it has 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef and 50% less cholesterol.  It’s also higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids, so you actually feel a bit better about eating meat.  Anyway, I decided to give turkey burgers a shot after this recipe from Real Simple magazine jumped out at me.  This turkey burger is not dry at all and it’s full of flavor.  Now, I must admit that the cilantro-lime mayo and the kale slaw help to knock this burger out of the ballpark.  I have sort of become a cilantro-lime mayo addict lately, which is probably not a good thing.  I have been substituting Greek yogurt in place of the mayo on occasion just to make myself feel a bit better.

Eli is typically not a burger fan at all.  When its burger night at the Grandy house he tends to cringe and sulk, but not when it’s turkey burger night.  He actually loves these burgers and I really think it’s the cilantro-lime mayo that has made the difference.

We like to use these mini brioche buns below for our burgers. They are smaller than a regular burger bun so you don’t have all that extra bun hanging off the side, and they tend to fancy up the burger experience.  I toast them up a bit under the broiler or on the grill.

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw:

recipe from Real Simple
serves 4
  • 1 pound dark-meat turkey (93 percent lean or less)
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced - I used 3 scallions, one time I even used 4, rebel, I know!
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, leaves pulled off stem and chopped
  • salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) the turkey, scallions, mustard and thyme.
Note:  When you mix your seasonings into the meat, it’s important to remember that the more you handle the meat, and the more you squish it around, the more dense your burger will be. You might also squeeze out some of the juices and end up with a drier burger.Form the mixture into four patties and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Look there is a daddy burger and next to it is the little bitty Eli burger.
You can make this a make-ahead meal simply by assembling the patties in the morning, and covering and refrigerating them till dinner. 
Tip:  use your thumb to create a dimple or well in the center of the patty, as this will ensure the burgers cook evenly without plumping up.  Start cooking the burgers indentation side up.
You can either grill up the burgers 6 to 8 minutes per side or cook them up in a skillet.  If you’re going to cook them up in a skillet then heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the patties until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side.
 Tip: Don’t press down on the patties when you grill them, or you will squeeze out and loose the flavorful juices. 

cilantro-lime mayonnaise:

makes enough for 4 burgers

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise – regular mayo not miracle whip
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
This mayo has a bit of a kick to it and I have been using it on tons of sandwich recipes.
Anyway, I really think this mayo has helped Eli to become a turkey burger fan.
cilantro-lime mayonnaise ingredientsIn a small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the mayonnaise, minced cilantro, lime juice and garlic until combined.
mixing together the cilantro-lime mayonnaiseYep, that is all there is to it.  Refrigerate mayo until needed.  This mayo can even be made a day ahead of time.
cilantro-lime mayonnaise

creamy kale slaw:

recipe adapted from Real Simple
makes enough for 4 burgers
  • 3-4 lacinato kale leaves (depends on size), washed, de-stemmed & thinly sliced – the original recipe called for 2 romaine lettuce leaves, but I only had kale on hand so I used that instead and loved it.
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise – regular not miracle whip
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the sliced kale and grated carrot and toss to coat.
Refrigerate slaw until needed.Get out your toasted buns, dab some cilantro-lime mayo on the bottom, put your burger on next and then top it with the kale slaw.

We tend to pair our burgers with just a side vegetable or kale chips as the burgers are filling enough.
Like turkey burgers?  Then you need to try our favorite turkey burger.  It’s the bomb!
If you’re not a fan of meat burgers, then try my chickpea burgers.
They are just as satisfying as any meat burger in my opinion!

chickpea veggie burgers & tzatziki yogurt sauce

chickpea veggie burgers

chickpea veggie burgers

I know this blog is about family friendly meals but I am also going to introduce you to “mommy” meals.  Mommy meals are meals that I typically eat for lunch while the kids are in school or on the weekends.  Mommy meals are nutritious, whole grain, chock full of vegetable meals.  I know most of these meals would not appeal to my kids yet so I eat them for lunch or dinner on those nights where there is an acceptable leftover for them.  

Anyway, I have had Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Cooking for about a year.  I love this cookbook as well as her blog, 101 cookbooks.  She is a local gal, just 15 minutes from me (somewhere in SF), so I feel a sort of local kinship with her.  This cookbook has so many beautiful recipes and photos that I often just browse through like I would a picture book.  My hubby was commenting to me the other day as I was paging through the book, how I still have not made a recipe from it.  I told him I have not made anything from it because most of the meals would not appeal to our kids.  He told me, in a loving way, to stop with the excuses and just make something from it. He also promised that he would happily eat anything I made from the book. I decided he was right, so I opened up to page 155 and got ready to make Heidi’s chickpea patties that I have been wanting to try for so long.

These are not your typical burgers that you put inside a bun.  These burgers are the bun!  You insert the goodies inside of the burger.  Genius!  I made these burgers the first time for lunch and they were so tasty that I decided I was going to make them for some friends that were coming over for dinner the next night.  We served them up with some Tzatziki sauce (recipe below), fresh avocado, sprouts, chopped tomato and my kale salad.  It was a fabulous vegetarian meal! I felt so refreshed and light after eating this dinner, that is until I had a huge piece of chocolate cake, ugh! This is a great do-ahead meal because you can make the burgers, tzatziki yogurt sauce earlier that day or the day before.  All you have to do when your guests arrive is heat up the patties and chop up the fresh ingredients to put inside.

I wanted to simplify this recipe so I did not get sprouted garbanzo beans nor did I make my own bread crumbs.  Sometimes we just have to cut corners and make things easier on ourselves. I kept Heidi’s recipe the way she wrote it below and noted my changes in green.

chickpea veggie burgers

chickpea veggie burgers:

Recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking
makes 8 hamburger-sized patties
printer friendly version
This is a great do-ahead meal; you can store shaped, ready-to-cook patties in the refrigerator for a week’s worth of lunches or dinner.  Just cook them up when you are ready to eat them.

  • 2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed – I used the boxed variety and 2 boxes gave me 2 1/2 cups plus some leftovers.  I’m assuming it would take 2 cans as well.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 onion, chopped - I used a yellow onion on the first batch and a red onion on the second batch.  I loved both, but really preferred the red onion as it had a bit more flavor.
  • grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (either broccoli, onion, clover or alfalfa sprouts) - I used clover sprouts
  • 1 cup toasted whole-grain breadcrumbs - I was to lazy to make bread crumbs so I just used Ian’s whole wheat panko bread crumbs and they worked perfectly
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter  for sauteing the burgers- I used 2 tablespoons here, one for each batch that I sauteed
I found these chickpeas at the market and grabbed them as they were in these BPA free and recyclable boxes.  I also use Eden Organic chickpeas which are in BPA free cans as well.  If you don’t have the time to soak beans its nice to know that there are great alternatives out there that are BPA free.  
Isn’t the packaging cute?
If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until tender, about 10 minutes.  If you are using canned or boxed beans (which I did), jump right in.  Combine the chickpeas, eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. 
Note:  I used my mini-prep so I added 1/2 of the chickpeas and 2 eggs plus the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pureed it, and then added the rest of the chickpeas and the other two eggs and pureed it again.Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus.
Pour into a mixing bowl and add in the cilantro, onion, lemon zest, and sprouts. 
Mix all the ingredients together.
Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for about 5 minutes so the crumbs can absorb the moisture.  This is where I clean up the kitchen a bit.
 After about 5 minutes or so, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into patties.  
I formed mine into 8 hamburger-sized patties.  
These patties are moist but will hold their form quite well.  You can always add more breadcrumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if needed.  
 Heat the tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.  I happily got out my cast iron pan for this culinary adventure.  Add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown.  Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes.
Note:  If you are just making one burger for lunch or dinner then just pour enough olive oil in the pan to coat the bottom and cook up your burger.  The cooking time might be less per side as there is only one burger.       
Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and cool patties on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.  I added another tablespoon of olive oil before I put in the rest of the patties, as I did not want them to be dry.  
Carefully cut the patty in half, insert your favorite filling and enjoy! 

 I filled mine with some of the tzatziki sauce, avocado and some clover sprouts. 

tzatziki yogurt sauce:

Note:  It’s recommended that this sauce chill in the refrigerator for a few hours in order for the flavors to blend together.  You can even make this sauce the day before.  This recipe makes a lot of yogurt sauce, so please feel free to cut it in half.  

  • 1 pound (1 pint) plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar – we used champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill – I added a bit more to flavor it up
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


This yogurt sauce is also great to use as a dip for veggies for a healthy after school snack or with pita chips.  Peel and grate the cucumber.  Wrap the grated cucumber in a paper towel and squeeze it to get out the excess water.  You may have to re-wrap and squeeze it a few times to get out all of the water.

Scoop out the yogurt into a bowl.  Add the grated cucumber, 3 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil,  1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced dill, and a pinch of pepper. 

 Mix the ingredients together.Cover and put the tzatziki in the refrigerator for a few hours so that the flavors can blend together.  

That’s it, easy peasy!Hubby Verdict?  He loved these and was actually the one who suggested that we serve these up for dinner for our friends.  This is coming from a Midwestern meat and potato guy.

He has had one for lunch the past two days as well. 
Kids Verdict?  Eli wouldn’t even try one, Zoe tried it and liked it, but could only handle a few bites!Have you ever made a veggie burger before?  

Do you prefer a beef/buffalo, turkey, salmon or veggie burger?