Thursday, June 18, 2015

Playing with Food: Not-so-ham Burgers!

Normally, if I see a recipe that looks good, I have about a 75% success rate at bringing the dish to life in my own kitchen. 

These veggie burgers, unfortunately, fell in the other 25%. But the process was so much fun, I have no regrets. 

I first heard about these chick pea veggie burgers while on a run with my buddy who is as obsessed with clean eating as I am. "The recipe", she promised, "is Whole Life Challenge-friendly (if you just substitute the oats) and they are sooo delicious. I make them every week!"  

Well, she was right on both counts, however  she left out the part reminding me that, since these aren't made of meat, there may be a consistency issue. 

Here are the ingredients & steps.  As any home cook tends to do out of curiosity or necessity, I strayed from the original recipe, which can be found on a great (prefect-for-me) blog called Running on Real Food.  


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, well-rinsed,and mashed
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  •  2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small zuchinni, grated
     ½ red onion, finely diced 
           *I have a strict no-red-onion rule in my house. I used sweet vidalia instead.
     3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
            *I used WAY more than this in my dish. Love the freshness of cilantro.  Plus, this herb provides our bodies with antioxidents, minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and more. There are vitamins such as folic acid and beta cerotene...and 100g grams will serve up 30% of your daily vitamin C needs. So, yea, I was generous here. 
     1 tbsp sriracha sauce
            *I didn't have any of this on hand, plus, there are some no-no ingredients. I used Tobasco instead. 
·       1 cup quick oats (gluten-free if needed)
             *Since WLC does not allow oats, I chose to bake a sweet potato.  This created a nice, sticky paste that I personally thought was brilliant. In theory: yes. In action: sadly, no. 

  1. After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, place them in a bowl and mash them with a fork.
  2.  Add all the other ingredients to the bowl.
  3.  Use your hands to mix very well.
  4.  Form into 6-8 patties.
  5.  Cook on the BBQ around 400 F for approximately 10 minutes each side. 
  6.  You can also fry these in a pan with some oil for 3-5 minutes a side.
Of course there was no reason for me not to follow the steps as recommended. The issue I had was that neither grill nor pan yeilded patties that would stay together like a burger should. What resulted was just a yummy mix that could be eaten like a Sloppy Joe. 

I thought with all of the cilantro and fresh veggies, 
a bit-o-lime would be nice. It was.

It may look like an unapealing slop with an even more unpleasant color...but the original creator was right: you can nibble on the mixture as you work and it tastes so good

The model...

Mine. It looks like I was on the right track.

Again, this looks like a well-grilled, crunchy, yummy patty. 
But, you go within 2 inches of this bad boy with a fork, 
and he falls to pieces--literally. 

It looks like I'll need to do more research (or bust out my high school science books) before I attempt home made veggie burgers again. 

So, what am I going to do with all of these extra chick peas???

See y'all soon! 


  1. This looks SOOOOOOO YUMMY! I want to make them this second! Veggie burgers always fall apart easily. Just the way they work. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to get the consistency so they do not. Nice work sis!!! You're making me sad I didn't bring a veggie burger for lunch today!

    I think I know what you should do with the chick peas... ;)

  2. I've got an idea or two up my sleeve for these garbanzo beans, not to worry. On the consistency note...there must be something out there, because the frozen ones you buy at the store have no problems staying together. Maybe starting from freezing is the trick.