Garden Veggie Burgers and Testing!

I’ve been busy testing for multiple cookbooks these past few weeks (or has it been months now?), so the bulk of my meals have been focused on using recipes by these fabulous authors. I’ve been seriously taking advantage of all the recipes that are perfect for the summer months, I’m pretty sure I’ve been consuming nothing but salads and items that are capable of being grilled. Considering the abnormal amount of baking I do, you’d think I’d love my oven as much as I love living, but the thought of having to turn that thing on after coming home from a long day of work makes me want to gouge my own eyes out. So out of these strong feelings of contempt I have towards my oven came this delicious Southwestern Wheat Berry Salad from Carla Kelly’s new cookbook. Why has no one told me about the awesomeness of wheat berries before? These grains are right up my alley, nice and chewy with a bit of a nutty flavour.

A giant bag of quinoa has seemed to find it’s way into our house recently and so I’ve been trying my best to think of ways to use it up. This tester Quinoa and Pinto Bean Salad from Kim’s upcoming book, seemed to get the job done. Talk about a punch in the face of protein! Quinoa, beans, seeds with a little bit of spice thrown in, perfect after a good weightlifting session…or, ya know…a day of sitting on your ass in front of a computer all day…either way this was a great, filling meal. Now, what to do with the remaining 15lbs of quinoa sitting in our pantry.

Attempt to use up quinoa #2: Quinoa Tebbouleh, a tester from Allyson Kramer’s upcoming gluten free cookbook. This is a salad that I was kind of the fence about, there was just something about all that parsley and mint that seemed kind of unappealing.  My uncertainty about this salad subsided after a couple bites, it turned out really tasty! Everything was perfectly balanced and the quinoa was a nice change from bulgur. I also tried out Allyson’s Late Summer Salad, an assortment of fresh veggies covered in a creamy dressing. This was perfect to whip up on a hot day, light, refreshing and there’s no cooking required, plus you get to use up any of the unused dressing by using it as a dip, nom.

And since I couldn’t just eat these salads by themselves, I also made some veggie burgers!

Now when I call these veggie burgers, I mean Veggie burgers. If you’re looking for a ‘meaty’ burger that you can throw on the grill then you should probable try another recipe but if you’re looking for a healthy burger that’s packed with flavour (and gluten free too!) then look no further, these babies are just what you need.

Garden Veggie Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
Adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

  • 1 cup cooked, drained beans of your choosing (I used pinto beans)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 a green pepper
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce*
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or just a dash if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup chickpea flour

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with oil.

Place everything except the flour and seeds in the bowl of a food processor and blend until almost smooth and only small flecks of vegetables remain, scraping down sides if necessary.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup flour to start, and add in the seeds then pulse to combine; if you prefer to keeps the seeds whole, then transfer to a large bowl and mix by hand. The mixture should be very moist but still hold together;  if the mixture is too wet, add more flour until desired consistency is reached.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties,  flattening each burger to 1/2 inch thickness. Spray lightly with oil and bake on prepared baking sheet for 15 minutes, flip patties over, spray with more oil and bake another 10 – 15 minutes, or until burgers are lightly browned. 

*Use a gluten-free soy sauce to make the recipe gluten free.

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