We had a brief couple days with some really wonderful sunlight lately that gave me hope spring is eventually coming. It also inspired me to whip up a summery lunch. Ever since I started my meatball kick, I’ve been trying my hand at more “meaty” recipes. I’ve thought about trying to make my own burgers for a while, but have just never gotten around to it until now. I also wanted something a little different than the lentil-based meat replacement and had a can of chickpeas rolling around the cupboard (because let’s be honest, I always have a can of chickpeas rolling around for emergencies or simply on hand for when I’m feeling inspired).
What inspired me this time was the thought of having a slightly spicy, hearty burger that reminded me of summer. (Can you tell I’m really getting cabin fever over here?) I was lucky enough to have a ripe tomato and avocado on hand as well, and I figured this was as good a time as any to make up a summery tasting meal. I made up a spicy aioli for the top and it was a huge hit (with our small taste tester team of two…). We devoured the burgers in no time. There were even enough leftover to keep lunch interesting for a few days at the office.
What you’ll need:
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 large (or two small) sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- whole wheat hamburger buns (for gluten free, sub gluten free buns)
- tomato, for topping
- avocado, for topping
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by cooking the quinoa, and make sure to rinse it. I find that if I’m lazy and don’t rinse the quinoa, it can sometimes upset my stomach. I really don’t know why this is.
Next, sautee your chopped onions with a small amount of oil and cook until they turn translucent. Then set aside. I went really impatient when it came to the sweet potato – I microwaved it for a few minutes until it was cooked. Cheating? Yes. Quick and easy? Yes!
Once the quinoa is finished and you have all the ingredients ready, start loading them into your food processor. I had to do mine in batches since my processor is small, so I made sure to evenly distribute everything. But I ended mixing everything back up anyway, so if you prefer to pulverize everything before putting it all together, that works too.
When everything is mixed together and the consistency is burger-ish form the burgers and place them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then flip the burgers and cook for another 5-8 minutes. For the last minute or two, turn the broiler on to get an extra browning on the top.
While the burgers were cooking, I also whipped up a spicy aioli from veganaise and hot sauce. It was a perfect topping to compliment the southwestern-style burger. Simply mix the two together until you have the right consistency and spice you’re looking for.
Then all that’s left is the assembly. Add the tomato, avocado, and burger to a bun, top with aioli and you’re done! Sit back, and enjoy. If I shut my eyes it was almost like summer. Do you have a favorite vegan burger? What’s in it?