Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Experiment #46: Chickpea Brown Rice Patties with Lemon Tahini Sauce

I have been on the look out for an easy delicious veggie burger since my husband challenged me to cook more vegetarian.

I found a recipe on the whole living website for a Chickpea Brown Rice Veggie Burger.  I used this as a base for my veggie burger, but of course I needed to tweak it a bit.  I read from the reviews on the website that the instructions for mashing the beans and the brown rice together was not terribly easy, so I used a food processor to mix it up.  From this start, I added green onions, garlic, chopped baby greens, cumin and a pinch of cayenne.

I used a 3 inch ring mold that I had in my kitchen baking drawer and pressed the mixture into patties.  The first time, I pressed a little too lightly.  I was afraid of making dense brick like veggie burgers, but the burgers fell apart a bit in the pan.

The second time, I made the patties a little bigger and pressed a bit firmer and the veggie burgers were perfect.

I have made this recipe twice so far.  The first time our family enjoyed it with tzatziki sauce and the second time, I wanted a vegan option and had the idea that a tahini lemon dressing or sauce would be delicious.

There is a restaurant in town, Santa Cruz that serves their lamb burger with shredded carrots.  I really enjoyed it and thought that shredded carrots would really add delicious sweetness and beautiful color.

Keep an eye out for my tabbouleh recipe, coming soon which goes excellent with these veggie burgers.

Chickpea Brown Rice Veggie Burger adapted from Whole Living website
1 - 15oz. can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 green onions, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped baby greens (kale, spinach, chard)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Olive oil

In a food processor, add garbanzo beans and brown rice and pulse the mixture until it is coarsely chopped.  You should still see bits of garbanzo beans and rice.  It should not be mashed beans.

Place the garbanzo bean and rice mixture a large bowl and add green onions, garlic, baby greens, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Gently mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

Press the mixture into patties firmly but not too hard.  I used a 3 inch ring mold.  It made 5.

Heat olive oil over medium low heat in a large frying pan.  Place patties in the pan and cook until the first side is lightly browned about 4 minutes.  Flip patties over and cook on the second side until browned.  For the last minute, cover the pan so that the burgers are heated through.

Enjoy topped with shredded carrots and your choice of sauce. It's great with lemon tahini sauce and also delicious with tzatziki sauce.

Lemon Tahini sauce adapted from Mollie Katzen's The New Moosewood Cookbook
6 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

Mix all sauce ingredients together.  I used a fork.  She says you can adjust to your desired thickness by adding more water.

Ok. This recipe is not vegan if you make the tzatziki sauce.  Obviously. :)
Tzatziki sauce: (from my memory) [from a past food experiment]
1 cup greek yogurt or plain yogurt
2 garlic, minced (I used a garlic press)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
salt and pepper, to taste

I made tzatziki sauce a while back and this is what I remembered.
For tzatziki sauce, it is pretty simple, but I wanted to try something my Mom had told me once a while ago. She makes her own yogurt and she makes greek yogurt from her homemade yogurt by straining it, and so this morning I decided to give it a try. I had some Whole Milk Organic Plain Yogurt from Trader Joe's and I left it in a coffee filter in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for a few hours, and it worked!  Who knew greek style yogurt could me made so easy?  I love the thick creaminess of Greek yogurt, but my favorite greek yogurt brand, Fage is not organic.  Now I can make it myself!
(For pictures of how to strain the yogurt, follow the link below.)

Link to original recipe:

Link to original Tahini Lemon sauce:

Link to tzaziki sauce:

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