Fresh, Flavorful Chickpea Veggie Burgers!

Fresh, Flavorful Chickpea Veggie Burgers!

If you are feeling big and bloated after the holiday season, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of us are looking to renew our gym memberships, and eat more healthfully, at least through January. This month, the hash tag #Veganuary is everywhere – it’s a trend that started in the UK urging people to try going vegan for the sake of animals and saving the planet.

As a meat lover, I’m not quite ready to jump on the solar paneled band wagon, but I can vouch for this chickpea veggie burger recipe.

Chickpea burgers have so many scrumptious possibilities! You can experiment with different ingredients, like swapping rosemary for cilantro, or topping the burger with sliced and seasoned radishes, instead of cucumbers. I like to sprinkle a little feta cheese on top of my chickpea burger – don’t tell the vegans!

While not the perfect vegan recipe, my veggie burgers ARE filled with fiber – something a much more caloric beef burger can’t claim. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.

Here you go! HAPPY 2020!!

Chickpea Veggie Burgers

15 minute cuisine

Yields about 6 patties

For the “burger”

1 (12-ounce) can garbanzo or “chickpeas”, drained

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper

For the buns

6 whole-grain hamburger buns

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled

1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon

Garnishes:

1 English cucumber, sliced

Red onion, sliced

1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled, about 3 tablespoons

In a food processor or blender, combine the garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, pulsing until a batter like consistency forms. With a large spoon, transfer batches of the mixture to a non-stick pan, or one with 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying.

Each batch transferred to the pan should resemble a hamburger patty in size and shape.

Cook the patties for 5 to 8 minutes, about three minutes per side. Remove to a platter and top chickpea patties with the cucumber slices, onion and feta cheese.

Add the garlic to a separate pan with butter and sauté on medium low heat about 3 minutes. Brush butter/garlic over the top of each hamburger bun. Toast the top of each bun in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees for up to 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Place cooked patties on the bottom half of the bun, and top with the garlic buttered bun tops for the perfect bite!

Yum! Monte Cristo Sandwiches after Thanksgiving!

Yum! Monte Cristo Sandwiches after Thanksgiving!

 

Hello again friends, and happy December! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and wonderful Black Friday. I was feeling a lot of gratitude at my book signing event at Park Road Books in Charlotte on November 29th. To all who came out and might be reading this, thank you!

This week, my recipe is meant to make the most of those Thanksgiving leftovers, packed away in Tupperware and just begging to be used in something more inspired. For me that’s the Monte Cristo sandwich, a sweet-meets-savory classic that’s yummy enough, it’s been on Disneyland’s Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace menus since 1966.

My recipe calls for turkey and ham – or just one of the two – generous amounts of sweet cranberry sauce, and slices of Muenster cheese – made in a cast iron skillet as you would French toast, with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar at the end of the recipe prep.

In my France travels, I’ve known this sandwich to be called the croque monsieur, and understand it originated in Paris around 1910. It’s cute to think the French also have a “croque madame”, basically a baked or broiled ham and cheese sandwich made with sweet bread just like monsieur, but topped with a fried egg.

You can keep it lower cal, by forgoing the skillet and using a panini press. You can also keep it vegetarian and enjoy your Monte Cristo sans turkey. I love the tang of cranberry sauce and savory cheese on sweet French toast. No matter what kind of cheese you use: Fontina, goat, Gruyere, Brie or Muenster, it’s all good!

Post-Thanksgiving Monte Cristo’s

15 minute Cuisine

Recipe makes 4 sandwiches

2 French loaves, cut into 8 slices

2 ½ cups cranberry sauce

12 ounces any cheese you like, thinly sliced or evenly spread

Several slices leftover turkey and ham (one of these meats is fine)

4 eggs

3 cups whole milk

6 Tablespoons butter

Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

Slather each bread slice with cranberry sauce; use as much or as little as you like. Add slices of cheese, then turkey/ham to each slice, and top with final slice of bread, cranberry sauce-side down.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until just combined. Soak each sandwich in the mixture, about 25 seconds per side, saturated but not soggy.

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a cast iron skillet. Batch cook the sandwiches until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip sandwiches and cook the other sides until they are also golden, like French Toast.

Add more butter as needed to cook remaining sandwiches.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving the sammies nice n’ warm.