Vegetarian Times Magazine has been running a 30-Day Vegetarian Challenge since the beginning of October. It's a really cool idea: engaging otherwise omnivores to try on plant-based eating, just for a short bit, to see just how easy (and beneficial) plant-based eating can be. [Similar to the idea behind my #10daydetox.]
I've been receiving their emails since the challenge began, and many of the myths they work on dispelling are things like "I won't be able to eat regular food ever again" and "All vegetarian food is bland and boring".
Let me tell you straight up: this are entirely false. PLANT-BASED FOOD IS AWESOME.
These burgers are a really perfect example of that, as long as you don't do what I did.
DO NOT MISTAKE AFRICAN RED PEPPER FOR PAPRIKA.
WHILE IT CONTAINS PAPRIKA, IT IS NOT THE SAME.
PAPRIKA IS LIKE AN UNLIT AROMATHERAPY CANDLE.
AFRICAN RED PEPPER IS LIKE SCORCHING FIRE.
It's delicious, but if you accidentally use as much of it as you might usually use of paprika, you will be scrambling to find water, almond milk, bread... pretty much anything to quell the burning. :)
And so with that:
Thank you, Andre and Jocelyn, for the beautiful box of spices at our housewarming party.
Vegetarian food is delicious.
You can still eat burgers, even if you're not eating meat. (Michael really liked these!)
We served them deconstructed-style, on a bed of kale with toppings on the side, as opposed to on a bun. I wasn't in the mood for something super bread-y (and to be honest, I have yet to find a gluten-free burger bun that I like/ doesn't have 700 preservatives). What's also great about these little nuggets of deliciousness is that you can make a big batch at once and refrigerate or freeze for meals throughout the week. If you cook them, they'll easily keep as burgers. Otherwise, give them a try in one of the following ways:
- falafel-sized bites for wraps
- puree for sandwich spread (or sandwich filling)
- meatballs for chili, gluten-free pasta, or sauces
Again, mind your spice! Don't do what I did. Get your hands dirty. Enjoy! They're delicious.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1.5 cups white or baby bella mushrooms, washed, destemmed, and chopped
- 1 cup roasted purple onion (if not roasting, use raw onion and see step 1 below)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp flax meal dissolved in 3 tbsp boiling water
- 1/2 tbsp South African red spice (or a blend of paprika, chili powder, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, and red peppercorn)*
- sea salt, to taste
- olive oil, for cooking
- 1. In skillet over medium heat, sauté mushrooms (and onions, if not using roasted) until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
- 2. Combine chickpeas, lentils, and onion in food processor and blend until 3/4 smooth. You want to see a few whole chickpeas in the mix.
- 3. Transfer chickpea puree, quinoa, mushrooms + onions, spices, flax meal "egg" and tahini in a bowl and use your hands to mix until combined. Form into patties (either burger-sized or falafel sized, depending on what you wish to use them for).
- 4. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add burgers to the pan and cook until a little crispy on the outside + heated through, about 3-4 minutes/ side.
- *Omit spice (or just use smoked paprika) if you're not a spice lover. South African red spice is HOT.