Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spicy Chickpea Burgers

Vegan and vegetarians alike are always looking for something that comes close to replacing the hamburger. For myself, I realize that a hamburger is a hamburger. Nothing is going to really substitute for it. Which is just fine with me! I never really cared for hamburgers with the exception of In n Out Burgers.

For the vegan there are many things that we call "substitutions" for the burger. The veggie burger is the most popular. Like many, I don't really care for the store bought varieties. Most of them are not vegan anyways, having cheese and eggs in them. But these are easy to make at home (I believe I have my own recipe on here, months back). Black bean burgers may look more like beef does. But it definitely does not have the same texture. I made them once and wasn't even impressed with the flavor. I was so disappointed that I haven't attempted them again. If anyone has a recipe that they like, feel free to send it my way!

I love chickpeas (garbanzo beans). They are very versatile and are used to made a variety of meat substitutes that are pretty close to the real thing in texture. So when I saw a recipe for Spicy Chickpea Burgers I knew that I would have to give it a try. You can find the original recipe here. Of course I did make a change or two to the recipe.

Makes 12-14 burgers.

1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
30 ounces or 2 cans chickpeas (drained)
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. flaxmeal w/6 tbsp. water)
2 tbsp cumin
2tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
4 tsp (or more) thai spice or other hot sauce

In food processor blend onion and bell pepper until chunky. Add chickpeas and blend well. It's ok to have bits of chickpeas.

In large mixing bowl mix cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, bread crumbs, and vital wheat gluten. Add chickpea mixture, flax eggs and hot sauce. Mix well with a heavy spoon or your hands.

Form into patties and place on a cookie sheet. These have the consistency of ground beef when you are forming them. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the patties are frozen (3-4 hrs) put in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer until ready to use.

These can be grilled, pan cooked or baked. For cooking on the grill or the stove-top, keep frozen until ready to cook. If you want to bake them, defrost then bake at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (10-15 minutes each side).

I will not claim that these taste like a hamburger. They don't. They taste better!

Baseball season is just around the corner. We will be eating 2-3 meals at the fields during the week. Making these in advance makes it a breeze to take them out of the freezer as needed. Just cook them up, wrap them in foil and put them in the cooler (or warmer).