In my early days as a vegan, a veggie burger was often one of few entree options available at my college dining hall. These were large, flat discs that looked and tasted a little bit like cardboard. When I moved to New York, I discovered a whole new world of freshly made vegan burgers–and now think that they’re one of the most delicious things you can make at home. I make this vegan sunshine burger almost every weekend during spring and summer. It is made of simple, no-nonsense ingredients that combine for an amazing, umami flavor. It’s also protein-rich from chickpeas and walnuts, which has the highest Omega-3 content of any nuts. Serve with your favorite burger fixings (onions, tomatoes, avocado), sauteed greens, and oven-baked fries for a satisfying yet healthy weekend meal!
Vegan Sunshine Burgers
makes 6 small patties (3″ diameter) or 3 large patties
2 cups cooked brown rice
2/3 cup walnuts*
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp chia seeds, soaked in 3 tbsp water
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus another 1 tsp for the frying pan
1 medium clove garlic, minced fine
3 tbsp chopped carrot (about 1/2 small carrot)
3 tbsp fresh corn (1/3 of an ear)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Coarse salt and fresh black pepper
3 tbsp bread crumbs
Chopped green onions (for garnish)
1. In a blender or food processor, process the brown rice, walnuts, chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, oregano, nutritional yeast, carrots, and chia seed mixture, until the texture is thick and pasty. Set aside.
2. Add the corn–if using fresh corn, just hold it over the blender pitcher, and slide your knife across the corn and away from you. With a fork, combine the corn with the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper generously to taste.
3. Add the bread crumbs to a large, clean plate. Spoon the patty mixture onto your hands and form 3″ diameter rounds (smaller patties will be easier to flip and less likely to crumble). Carefully lay it on the bread crumbs and lightly coat.
4. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. After about 30 seconds, carefully add the patties. Cook them for about 4-5 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. Now they’re ready! Garnish with some chopped green onions, and serve with your favorite burger fixings–avocado, tomatoes, red onion, ketchup, bun, etc.
*California Walnuts (group representing California walnut growers) sent me this bag full of farm-fresh walnuts! 😀 hooray!
More recipes: Roast Radish and Lentil Salad with Mustard Dressing
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