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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Garbanzo and Brown Rice Burgers

Garbanzo Brown Rice Burgers |
It's not often that I make a point of eating meatless meals. It's usually just done, thrown into the rotation like any other meal. And while it's true that at times one of us will crave a big ol' juicy steak (that's usually me), some messy-face ribs (daughter), a comforting roast chicken (youngest son), some sticky carnitas (the hubs), a fat burger (oldest son), or some good greasy bacon (everybody) - I don't think any of us feels that we have to eat meat at every meal. We always have eggs, beans, lentils, or some other source of protein hanging around.

That said, there are a few meatless meals that I crave from time to time. Broccoli-Tofu is one of them. A platter loaded with roasted broccoli and cauliflower with a giant bowl of garlicky homemade hummus and grilled pitas for scooping everything up is another. And the soft tacos that I ate almost daily about 18 years ago are another - thick, homemade flour tortillas warm and stuffed with Mexican rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, guac, and sour cream {swoon}!

And then there are these veggie burgers. I've been making this particular variation of them for going on 16 years now. They are the very first veggie burgers that I ever made with my own hands. A friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a year or so was coming for a visit, and since she was a vegetarian, I loaded myself up with an arsenal of recipes to make while she was there. These were adapted from a recipe that I found in one of those magazines that sits by the door or front register of smaller health food stores (or at least it did back then, before the larger "health food stores" existed), called Great Life. I tried looking for the magazine online today, just to see if it still exists, but I can't find anything on it past 2001.
Garbanzo Brown Rice Burgers |
Anyway, they were a huge hit, both with her and all of the meat-eaters around. Let's just say that even the hubs is stuffed after eating one. Okay, two. 

Garbanzo Brown Rice Burgers
Protein-rich veggie burgers packed with garbanzo beans, brown rice, sunflower seeds, carrots, zucchini, and parsley.
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: saute entree vegetarian dairy-free chickpeas rice sunflower seeds American

Ingredients (4 large burgers)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained (or equivalent cooked yourself)
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (~1/2 small zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot (~1 small)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallot (1 very small)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (small handful)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
to finish:
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • lettuce leaves
  • sliced tomato
  • sliced red onion
  • 4 whole wheat or multi-grain buns
  • mayo or aioli (preferably either a spicy, garlic, or lemon variety)
Roughly mash the garbanzo beans, leaving a few whole OR whiz them to a rough puree in the food processor (see note). Combine them with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, using your hands to make sure that everything is well-combined.

Form into 4 large patties and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Carefully add the burgers to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.

Serve on a bun (or not) with whichever toppings you choose.
Garbanzo Brown Rice Burgers |
I mash the garbanzo beans roughly with a potato masher, leaving some of the beans whole, because I like the look. However, doing it this way results in a very "loose" burger. Turning them into a puree first helps with the binding process. Either way, they don't hold together well enough to grill, so saute them as directed for best results.

Garbanzo Brown Rice Burgers |