Moroccan Chickpea Burger

Veggie Burger You can have too much of a good thing — like all of this beautiful snow we’ve been digging ourselves out of in the Northeast — but that maxim just doesn’t apply when it comes to my Moroccan Chickpea Burger. With this one, you are allowed to eat all you want and then some more.

I am a huge fan of Moroccan food, both while eating in and dining out. For one, the food is really vegetarian-friendly, which means there’s no need to go looking for too many substitutions and alternatives. For another, it’s extremely delicious with all of those spices and herbs and beans and grains. What’s not to love?

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Chickpea BurgerFor my Moroccan Veggie Burger, I used chickpeas and bulgur as the base for the patty and then built up a ton of flavor using the ingredients in a Harissa paste– a flavoring of oil, garlic, chilies and cumin often added to Moroccan stews. Because I wanted to make the burger patty fat-free I skipped the oil. You can use an oil spray to coat the pan when you cook the patties.

The buns were made with my own, foolproof recipe for Whole Wheat Burger Buns. If you are still buying hamburger buns, please, stop and try these just once. You’ll never want to buy bread again.

I slathered my burger with a vegan mayonnaise, called Nayonnaise, into which I mixed in some Harissa paste for some added zip. You can absolutely leave it out or use another chili flavoring, like the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies.  Your imagination’s the limit. For some green muscle I added baby spinach, but feel free to use mixed greens or lettuce or even baby kale.

This burger patty has a wheat product– bulgur– but you can easily make it gluten-free by using quinoa instead, like I did in these veggie burgers. This recipe is also extremely easy to make and really fast– you can go from start to done in 30 minutes or less– which makes it perfect for weekday and weekend eats.

Is everyone looking forward to the weekend? I know I am because Desi and I are seeing some old and very dear friends after a long time. May yours also be filled with friends, sunshine and fun.

***

Oh, and I have something to ask of you too– a favor, really. Holy Cow! has been nominated for The Kitchn’s Homies awards in two categories this year– Best Daily Read Cooking Blog and Best Health & Diet Blog. First of all, many, many thanks for nominating me — I love you! And if you, dear reader, enjoy the blog, please, please head on over to the links above and vote for me. You do need to sign up first, but I will love you double for it. If you don’t, no ill feelings. Thank you!

Now here’s the recipe:

Chickpea Burger

Moroccan Veggie Burger
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Nutrition information is for 1 burger patty
Ingredients
  • [b]For the burger patty:[/b]
  • 2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, drained of all liquid and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup bulgur (cracked wheat).
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan or garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp allspice powder (use a combination of cloves and cinnamon if you don’t have this)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • To build the burger:
  • [url href="http://holycowvegan.net/2011/09/whole-wheat-burger-buns.html" target="_blank" title="Hamburger Buns"]6 whole-wheat burger buns[/url]
  • Tomato, onions, greens to top the burger
  • Vegan mayonnaise, mixed, if you like, with some [url href="http://holycowvegan.net/2008/09/moroccan-chickpea-stew.html" target="_blank" title="Harissa Paste"]Harissa paste [/url]or adobo sauce
Instructions
  1. Cook the bulgur by placing it in a saucepan with salt to taste and 2/3rd of a cup of water, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, slap on a lid, and let the bulgur cook 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash with a heavy ladle or potato masher. Leave some larger pieces in for some texture.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients for making the burger patty, including the bulgur, and mix them well. You should have a mixture that holds together when you press it into a patty.
  4. Make six patties, each about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.
  5. Spray a nonstick griddle or cast-iron skillet with oil. Cook each patty for about 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat or until charred and golden-brown.
  6. To build your burger, cut each hamburger bun along the middle, and then slather on some vegan mayonnaise. Add greens, an onion ring, top with the burger and more veggies if desired, and serve.
Calories: 191 Fiber: 8.7 grams Protein: 7.5 grams Cholesterol: 0

Vegan Chickpea Burger

Quinoa and Bean Burger: Great-to-Grill Vegan Recipes

Quinoa and Bean Burger, gluten-free and vegan

Most of my grilling happens with vegetables because nearly any veggie can be transformed into smoky deliciousness with a simple turn on the grate. Think mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and even broccoli. But to get the summer really going, I need a good, hearty burger I can sink my teeth into.

There are a ton of veggie burgers out there in the supermarket, but most are disappointingly bland and so processed that you might do better chewing on a chunk of rubber. My hometown newspaper The Washington Post, whose food section has turned rather vegetarian-friendly over the past few months, recently did a taste test of 16 veggie burgers on the market (gulp, did you even know there were that many available?). As you can see the results were anything but encouraging. In fact, the most complimentary comment went something like, “Nice to see recognizable produce.”
But while off-the-shelf veggie burgers might leave you wanting, it is quite possible to turn out in your kitchen an all-veg burger that is delicious and satisfying enough to make a voracious carnivore go, who needs meat? Well, almost.
Quinoa and Bean Burger, gluten-free and vegan

A couple of years back, I posted a great-on-the-grill burger recipe that so many of you love and have tried: my Bean and Oats Burger. That healthy patty has amazing texture and holds well on a grill and it is pretty much my go-to burger recipe. But this week, trying to think of an even better-for-you burger, if possible, I dreamed up and then made this startlingly flavorful, utterly healthy Quinoa and Bean Burger. With kale and carrots and all other sorts of veggie goodness rolled into it. And all of it flavored with some smoking-hot garam masala.

Garam masala is not your average burger ingredient and yet it’s a perfect fit. Spices tend to add depth and smokiness to meat-free ingredients. And I dare you to imagine a burger — vegan or not– filled with more heart-healthy protein than the quinoa and beans pack into this recipe.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather here in our part of the world. I spent the long Memorial Day weekend trying to beat my yard into shape and not even coming close to where I need to be. But I did plant some seedlings: tomatoes, eggplants, bell pepper,  and zucchini. And between watering them and keeping the weeds out, you can bet I will be praying that my thumb’s gotten a little greener after years of trial and error. :)
Moving on to the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Quinoa and Bean Burger, gluten-free and vegan

 

Quinoa and Bean Burger: Great-to-Grill Vegan Recipes
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Grill
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry red kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour, also known as besan or garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 cup packed kale leaves, minced
  • 4 leaves of sage, minced. (Sage adds a great smokiness, but you can also use coriander leaves here.)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tbsp tamari, or you can use regular soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika (use cayenne for more heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil like olive or canola, and an oil spray to cook the burgers
Instructions
  1. To cook the quinoa, rinse under cold water and then place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and garam masala. Add salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and let the quinoa cook until it has absorbed most of the water. Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and continue to cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  2. To cook the beans, it is always better to soak them overnight but you can get away with no soaking if you have a pressure cooker. If you do, just follow your manufacturer’s instructions to get beans that are squishable but not falling apart. Otherwise, place the soaked beans in a large saucepan, cover with at least an inch of water, bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour until tender.
  3. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large saucepan.
  4. Add the carrot, onion, kale, sage, and garlic. Add the tamari, mustard, coriander and cumin powders and the cayenne. Saute on medium-high heat about 5-8 minutes or until the mixture is dry and doesn’t taste raw anymore. Stir in the tomato paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the ground black pepper and cooked beans and mix well. Using a potato masher, squish some of the beans. You don’t want this mixture to be too smooth– your burger will benefit from some texture.Add the chickpea flour and stir for another couple of minutes. You want the bean mixture to be quite dry and without any visible moisture, or your patties won’t hold together.Add the quinoa and mix well. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Heat a griddle and spray with some oil. Moisten your hands in a water bath and form the patties. You can get about eight really big patties and 10 good-sized ones from this recipe.
  7. Place the patties on the skillet and cook on each side until browned.
  8. You can freeze these patties once they have cooled. Separate each patty with wax paper before freezing. When you are ready to grill, just throw the frozen patty on the grate and heat through.

I served these burgers piping hot, cradled in my Whole Wheat Burger Buns along with some greens, onions, avocado, and a dollop of Nayonaise (it’s a vegan mayo that tastes amazingly like the real thing on the bun).

Delicious.

Vegan burger nutrition info
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

Vegan Quinoa Biryani

Quinoa Biryani

A biryani may be the ultimate indulgence, food-wise, but truth is that it can also be transformed into a super-healthy– and decadently delicious– weeknight dish. All you need to work that magic is your imagination.

My Quinoa Biryani with Kala Chana has all the flavor of a traditional biryani because it has the same spices and flavor building blocks– with important modifications to the two main ingredients, the rice and the meat. The rice is replaced by nutty quinoa, a wonder food and one of the best sources of vegan protein, and the meat is replaced by kala chana, a smaller, darker version of a chickpea or garbanzo bean that you can find at any Indian store. Kala chana has more flavor and texture and it holds more firmly after cooking, compared to a chickpea. All of which makes it a wonderful meat substitute in this dish. And being a legume, it’s also packed with protein, of course.
You can substitute chickpeas in this recipe, but the flavor won’t be as hearty. Be sure to cook your chickpea to a slightly al dente texture instead of letting it get too mushy. And don’t forget to rinse your quinoa thoroughly before you cook it to get rid of the saponin, a bitter coating that covers and protects each grain until it’s ready for you to eat.
Vegan Biryani

You will notice that there is no cayenne in this recipe, nor green chillies. The reason is that I used storebought biryani masala which tends to already have chillies added and can be very, very spicy. If you like your biryani eye-watering hot, feel free to add some cayenne pepper along with the turmeric.

Spring is my favorite time to make biryanis because it’s still cool enough to stand over a stove, and the garden is already running amuck with leafy, verdant mint– an absolute must in any biryani. Don’t forget to pick handfuls to add to this one.

Now for the recipe– it’s gluten-free, by the way, in a healthy, non-starchy way. Enjoy, all!
Quinoa Biryani

Quinoa Biryani with Kala Chana
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • For the quinoa "rice":
  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer
  • 3¼ cups water
  • 1 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • For the kala chana sauce:
  • 1 cup kala chana. Soak overnight, rinse and cook in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop until cooked but still firm. For the stovetop method, place the rinsed chana in a pot with at least two inches of water covering the chana. Bring to a boil, cover, slap on a lid, and cook until tender. Check regularly and add water if the chana gets dry. It should cook in about an hour. Honestly, a pressure cooker's much faster and you can also usually skip the soaking, so get one already.
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp shahjeera
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, very finely grated or put through a garlic press
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, finely grated
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tbsp biryani masala (available online or at any Indian store)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fried onions (you can buy these in a packet at any Indian store. Fried onions might appear dispensable, especially to the health-conscious, but make the effort: they add a certain flavor to biryani that you cannot replicate with another ingredient. And since this biryani makes at least eight servings, they don't add many calories in a single serving).
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. To make the quinoa rice, place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and let the quinoa cook until it has absorbed most of the water.
  2. Lower the heat to low, slap on a tight-fitting lid, and let it cook another 10 minutes. Let the quinoa stand while you prepare the rest of the biryani.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot.
  4. Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the shahjeera, stir, and then add the onions.
  5. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are browning at the edges.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the turmeric powder, biryani masala, and coriander seed powder. Stir again to coat the spices with the oil, and then add the tomato puree.
  7. Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, and then half of the fried onions, coconut milk and lemon. Add the mint and coriander leaves. Stir.
  8. Add the drained, cooked kala chana. Stir together and let it all come to a boil. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the stock from boiling the kala chana. You want a thick gravy.
  9. Reduce the heat to low. Now fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork so the grains separate. Pour over the kala chana masala in an even layer, using a ladle to help spread it evenly.
  10. Sprinkle the quinoa with the remaining fried onions. Put on a tight-fitting lid and cook over a low flame for 15 minutes.
  11. Let the biryani stand at least 15 minutes before serving. While serving, make sure you dig all the way to the bottom of the pot with the ladle to get a good mix of the quinoa and the masala.

 

Quinoa Biryani

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

 

Vegan Bean and Oats Burgers

Bean and Oats Burgers, Vegan and Gluten-Free

The New York Times’ food section last week ran a story on the rising popularity (and quality) of veggie burgers in local restaurants and the half-page picture of a sesame seed bun cradling a patty, tomatoes, and lots of lettuce really got my juices flowing. But the article didn’t offer any recipes, and I really can’t afford to jet to New York to taste one of these magical burgers. So I took the regular person’s way out of a craving: I made my own.

I’ve tried my hand at making vegan burgers before from various recipes and I’ve tried making my own, but I’ve never been completely successful in coming up with one that holds well together AND tastes great. This time I was lucky. I improvised very slightly on a recipe I found here: it sounded terribly healthy with oats and two kinds of beans and carrots, among other goodies, and I had all the ingredients I needed on hand, except the black beans. But I had plenty of other kinds of beans, including red, which I ended up using in combination with the pinto beans.

The burger was absolutely delicious and the best part is that it was really easy to make. It was sturdy enough to go into a bun and hold its own, and it stayed together beautifully on the griddle– the place where many patties usually fall apart. The only thing missing, I thought, was the chewiness that would help satisfy a meat-eater’s texture-cravings, but the next time I might try adding a tiny bit of TVP or even a chewy grain like bulgur to make up for that.

I know my recent posts have been rather short, and that’s because I’ve been juggling too many things. But I like chatting with you more than you perhaps like listening to me, and for my own sake I hope to return to my usual self sometime in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, enjoy this.

Bean and Oats Burgers, Meatless Recipe

Bean and Oats Burgers
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
These delicious and hearty Bean and Oats Burgers are perfect for the grill
Author:
Recipe type: Burger
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp tamari (can use soy sauce instead, but tamari is usually low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups quick-cooking oats (I had regular rolled oats which I ran in the food processor for a minute)
  • ½ cup dry pinto beans
  • ½ cup dry red or black beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Soak for a few hours and then cook the pinto and red beans until tender.
  2. Heat a skillet and saute the onion and garlic with a tiny bit of salt for a few minutes until translucent but not brown.
  3. Add the carrot, chili powder, and cumin and cook a couple minutes or until carrot is tender. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Mash the beans in a large bowl. Add the carrot mixture, mustard, ketchup, tamari and oats.
  5. Mix well and then shape the mixture into eight patties.
  6. Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet and coat with cooking spray.
  7. Cook patties over medium heat for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden brown. I like mine a little charred for extra flavor.

Bean and Oats Burgers
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

Moong Dal Dosa, and Mayberry

Moong Dal DosaMount Airy is a gorgeous, sleepy town nestled in the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains right near where North Carolina meets Virginia.

Once you’ve driven into town past the inevitable neon-lit fast-food restaurants, gas stations and strip malls, the landscape becomes kinder and gentler. The houses are small, the yards neat, and the streets rolling up and down show off breathtaking views in the distance.

By 5 pm all the shops on Main Street are closed. The only activity and sounds come from a handful of tourists taking pictures of the storefronts of Barney’s Cafe, Opie’s Candy Shop and Floyd’s Barber Shop. Outside the cafe– a diner straight from the ’60s with the picture of an iconic, bumbling sheriff’s deputy displayed large in the window–a sign announces classic southern dishes like chicken and dumplings, sweet potato pie and all sorts of desserts for $2 apiece. A little further down the street are signs telling you where you can find Wally’s gas station and the old courthouse.
Mount Airy, NCIf Mount Airy is beginning to sound a lot like Mayberry, the fictional town popularized in the Andy Griffith Show, a television sitcom way back from the ’60s, you’re right on the money. Mount Airy is the place where Andy Griffith was born, and the town that he is supposed to have based Mayberry on. Mount Airy, in turn, seems to be returning the compliment wholeheartedly by modeling itself on its fictional counterpart.

On our road trip this past week, we dropped in on Mount Airy en route from Charlotte, North Carolina, to say a quick “Hey.”
Mt. Airy, NCDesi and I started watching reruns of this series when we moved to the United States in the 90s. It was easy to sink into the snug comfort of a black-and-white world where everyone knows one another, is nice to each other, helps each other out, and where no problem cannot be solved in 30 minutes. (And now you know why we named one of our dogs, Opie, after the character a very young and adorable Ron Howard played in the series :).)

It was late by Mayberry standards when we arrived and all the Mayberry exhibits were closed, but we had a memorable visit nonetheless. Most of the people we met greeted us with a smile, quite unlike us Washingtonians who usually glare at tourists clogging our Metro trains at rush hour. We also stopped by the Andy Griffith Playhouse which was closed, but newspaper clips displayed outside announced the premiere of Griffith’s latest movie and recent pictures of the actor visiting his hometown.
Mt. Airy, NCSmall towns like Mount Airy are often the highlight of our road trips. Often, wrung out by the dreary highways we rely on to take us from one point to another, we stop in for a meal and sometimes for the night in those tiny towns where you can savor a uniquely different flavor of American life.

Sometimes we choose towns because we were charmed by how they looked or sounded on television or in a movie, even one we didn’t like, simply because that’s how we find out about it. After regretting the time we spent watching Runaway Bride, we still made a stop in Berlin, Maryland, the lovely town not far from Ocean City where it was shot. We’ve visited Burkittsville, also in Maryland, the wooded, one-road town where the cult classic Blair Witch Project was made. And on a trip through New York state we couldn’t resist dropping into Jamestown and Celeron, the neighboring towns where another one of our favorite yesteryear sitcom stars, Lucille Ball, was born and raised. (And yes, Lucy, our other dog, was named after her. You can also guess now who Freddie gets his name from!)

***
Now on to the recipe I wanted to share with you today, my Moong Dal Dosa, which is both quick and incredibly nutritious.

I love dosas but I don’t make them as often as I’d like to simply because all that overnight soaking is a little bit much for someone as unorganized as I am. This dosa requires just a two-hour soak which even I can make time for. And the result is super-delicious and nutritious: since the dosa has both lentils and rice in it, it makes a complete protein. How great is that?

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, everyone!
Moong Dal Dosa

Moong Dal Dosa
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice (you can use all kinds of fancy rices available specifically for dosas here, but I just use any medium-grain rice I have on hand)
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Cover the rice and moong dal with water and allow them to soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain the water and put the rice and dal in a blender along with the coriander leaves, chillies and salt. Add just enough water to keep the blades running and to get a batter that's thick enough the coat the back of a ladle, but runnier than a pancake batter (unless you want really thick dosas which I personally don't like)
  3. Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron or non-stick griddle. Once it's hot, scoop up about ¼ cup of batter in a ladle with a rounded bottom.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the griddle. Using the bottom of the ladle, quickly spread the batter outward in quick, concentric circles until you have a dosa about 7 inches in diameter.
  5. Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges of the dosa which helps crisp them up.
  6. When the bottom is golden-brown, flip the dosa and cook the other side around 30 seconds.
  7. Serve hot with
  8. chutney
  9. or any spicy, gravied vegetable dish.
  10. Tip: If you dosas don't spread and the batter clumps together instead, your griddle could be too hot. Turn off the heat or sprinkle some water on the surface of the griddle to cool it down and try again.

***

I’ll leave you with a picture of JoJo, an adventurous and gorgeous little cat who lived at a hotel we stopped at for a night in South Boston, Virginia. JoJo (that’s what Desi named him), who couldn’t get enough head rubs from us, refused to stay inside our room with the door closed but sat patiently right outside most of the night.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.