I was stuck.
No way out.
It was just me and my pantry.
There was a brief sense of panic as the lunch hour loomed ahead and no thawed meat could be had in the immediate future. (I refuse to thaw meat in my microwave...just sayin'). I had "burger" on the brain and no means to satisfy the craving.
Until I change my train of thought. I wiped the slate clean and looked at the situation from a different angle. Lets go with a vegetarian burger, I thought. Only I didn't have all those ingredients either. Ok...simplify, simplify.
Let's go even more basic.
Quick internet search led me to a Rachael Ray recipe. As much as I have watched her...and I do like her. She has some great tips. I don't know if I've actually made any of her recipes. I may have...and I just can't remember. But this one....Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers happened to be very basic. Very do-able...and I had all of the ingredients.
A win, win situation if you ask me.
I made 1...thats ONE change. Huge flavor difference though.
I have something else to tell you about also....
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received Nature's Pride Premium Harvest Hamburger Buns and Deli Rolls. They're the new addition to their line-up of 100% natural breads. I actually received 3 varieties. This first variety is their 100% Whole Wheat Bakery Buns (aka...hamburger buns). After going over the ingredients in the buns, I discovered that the addition of "sugar" is the 6th ingredient. Which according to my youngest child, is a good thing. She tries to eat foods that have sugar as the 5th ingredient or later. Believe it or not...it's a little challenging to find bread that falls under her guidelines.
These buns are "Heart Healthy" and low in sodium. And they look fantastic! I mean...they have a deep rich "wheat" look....and an earthy grainy top
It makes you feel all good and healthy just looking at them. And the flavor? Well...I'm not real hip on strong grain flavors. Most often they over power the rest of the ingredients.... wether its in a sandwich or a simple slice of cinnamon toast. Well, let me tell you....that does not happen with these burger buns. They are mild and light. Perfect as a vehicle for lots of other good stuff while maintaining a high standard of healthy ingredients.
And that my friends...is my honest opinion.
Soo...let's get to the....non-burgers that made me want more.
Chickpea Southwestern Burger
1 - 15 oz can of chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 - 4 oz can of diced green chilies
1 - handful of cilantro (Rachael said to use parsley)
2/3 cups of panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a food processor, combine chickpeas, chilies and cilantro.
Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the egg.
Form 4 patties that are about 1/2" thick.
Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes...flip and continue cooking for another 3 - 4 minutes. If you're going to add cheese, do so during the last minute of cooking.
Now...I also sauteed some mushrooms, onion and bell pepper
I also made up some "mock" aioli...I mixed about 1 cup of mayonnaise with 1 minced garlic, and used that as my burger spread....added some baby arugula.....
and OOOOOOh eeeeeeeeeeem geeeeeee....
Ok, hint: erase "burger" from your brain because this will taste NOTHING like a burger.
Next....open your taste buds to fresh, clean flavors.
Think...hummus with a southwestern flair, in patty version.
Don't let "green" freak you out. I mean....you eat green sauce. You eat avocados and guacamole. Get over it and eat a great tasting, green patty on your next burger.
This is my entry this week into Two for Tuesdays Real Food. I'm linkin' up over at Heathers....Girlichef.
You could make this dish more "real" if you'd like by soaking and cooking the beans yourself (but beans are so basic and have so little in the "additive" area....that canned works for me in a pinch). And you could make the buns yourself. But when you get 'em for free....what the heck! Eat 'em and Enjoy 'em.