Fruits and Vengeance: Veggie Burgers

In just a short while, I will be saying goodbye to my kitchen and shipping up to Chestnut Hill to start my sophomore year. Don’t get me wrong - I’m elated about going back to school. But unlike my fellow Gavelier’s living off campus without a meal plan, I will be limited to the food served by BC Dining.

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For this final posting of Fruits and Vengeance, I decided to go with a classic: veggie burgers. I had always been under the impression that veggie burgers need eggs or some extra ingredient to keep everything packed together in perfect burger-formation. After some brainstorming with my mom, we decided that chickpeas would make a great egg replacement in veggie burgers.

Turns out we were not the only people to think this. Oh She Glows blogger, Angela, posted a veggie burger recipe that I tried at home for this last posting. If you are ever in need of a unique and delicious vegan recipe, this blog is bound to have something for you.

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As I was preparing the rice for this dish, I realized that with over two cups of brown rice, I had made enough for two batches of burger but had only one can of chickpeas. Instead of just throwing the extra in a container in the fridge (which would undoubtedly be forgotten and thrown away) I looked in our lazy susan for another can. Surprisingly enough, we were out of chickpeas. However, I found a can of black beans and decided to give that a try.

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I used the food processor to combine the rice and beans together for my patties. You can hand mash the ingredients if you are looking for a more textured burger, but I liked the consistency of the mixture this way. It was also a billion times easier on the hands, which I didn't mind.

Turns out the black beans were a major success. My mom, my consistent taste tester throughout this summer, actually preferred the black bean burger to the chickpea ones. Both had plenty of flavors and really complimented the veggie mixture, though I think adding some corn to the black bean burgers would also be great for the future.

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Even though I was teased frequently by my friends and family for writing this blog, it was most definitely worth the work and explanations. Not only have my cooking abilities increased tenfold, but also my diet has improved and my palate has broadened beyond that of a twelve-year-old, which is pretty remarkable. My vegan before six diet is still going strong, though I do occasionally switch my non-vegan meal to lunch time and eat vegan at dinner instead.

Overall, I have learned a lot through writing this blog and I hope that anyone reading it has learned a thing or two as well. Thanks to my mom for tolerating a messy kitchen once a week and to my dog Lexie for being the best garbage disposal a girl could as for. Go vegan for a meal - it can make a big difference for your health. Give it a try, you may be surprised at what you'll find.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas or black beans

1 ¼ cup cooked brown rice

1 large garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno

¼ cup diced red onion

1 small carrot

¼ cup fresh parsley

½ large red pepper

2-3 tbsp ground flax (optional)

3 tbsp BBQ sauce (optional)

¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)

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Directions

1. Strain and rinse the beans and put into the food processor with the cooked rice.

2. Combine the beans and rice until the ingredients stick well together (test with your hands).

3. Mix the beans and rice in a large bowl with the chopped vegetables. Mix together with hands.

4. Add the optional ingredients in and thoroughly combine all ingredients.

5. Preheat a pan over medium heat. This mixture will make 5-8 patties depending on how large and thick you want them. I personally like the thickness and size of the patties after dividing the batch into 7 patties.

6. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until they are to your liking. Serve on a bun or on top of a salad.

Photos by Christie Merino/Gavel Media

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