April 14, 2010

Simply the Best

I was a fairly typical teenage girl; my high school years were marked by the milestones of wearing make-up, dying my hair, going to concerts and becoming a vegetarian.  And while most teenagers drift with the trends, quickly dropping one for the newer and shinier, for some reason the vegetarian thing stuck with me for nearly 6 years.  Maybe I was being stubborn.  Who knows.  In those 6 years I passed up nearly half the offerings at Thanksgiving, walked away from bacon and ate countless Gardenburgers.

Oh why couldn't Heidi Swanson have been around when I was in high school?  Because, you see that veggie burger up there?  That veggie burger blows my teenage-vegetarian brain.  Garbanzo beans mashed and mixed with sprouts, cilantro, onion, lemon zest, bread crumbs and held together with a little bit of egg.  No weird processed ingredients with unpronounceable names, just food.  And then the burger is the bun (and if you've ever eaten a veggie burger on a bun, you know how bready and dry they can be).  You simply cut it open, stuff your fillings of choice in and maybe a little mayonnaise, and tuck into the wholesome goodness.  I may not be a vegetarian anymore, but it doesn't mean I appreciate this burger any less.

Plus, I feel a bit more grown up now, eating my veggie burgers with a fork and knife.

Ultimate Veggie Burgers
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

4 servings

1-14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
Grated zest of half a lemon
1/2 cup micro sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Thinly sliced onion, tomato, avocado and extra sprouts for filling

Combine the garbanzo beans, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.  Form into 4 equal sized patties that are about 1 inch in thickness.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add the patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown.  Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, or until able to handle without being too hot. Carefully cut each patty in half and insert fillings, serve.


  1. This one is going on my "to make someday" list. Thanks Hillary.

  2. "Someday" should be sooner rather than later, they are seriously delicious! (Try it with a curry yogurt sauce too!)

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  4. this is the vegetarian version of KFC's Double Down and i can tell you from personal experience, this is about a thousand times better (and better for you).