Chickpea Veggie Burgers & Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce
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
Recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking
makes 8 hamburger-sized patties
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 sea salt
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium red onion, small dice
- 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 – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter for sautéing the burgers
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’re 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 olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there’s 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
recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa
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?