Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Breakfast veggie burger

It dawned on me this morning that after my defense I will have no excuse to stay at home during the days anymore. The perks of being a graduate student will soon be over. With that in mind I plan to stay home as much as possible until December 2nd. I will seriously miss staying in my pajamas all day, running on the sea wall mid-afternoon and cooking elaborate meals for dinner on weeknights. Sleepless nights, my continuous racing heartbeat, and random waves of panic and self-doubt over my upcoming defense however, will not be missed. So there is that at least.

The recipe I'm posting today makes for a filling but light tasting and healthy breakfast sandwich. The smoked paprika is an important component of these burgers. Without it they would be pretty bland. If you don't have smoked paprika, try adding a smoky (?) chili powder with regular paprika. I bought a cheap aged white cheddar cheese to go on these burgers but I think an investment in a nicer cheese would be worth the extra couple of dollars. Try an aged gouda or comte de montagne or a trusted brand of sharp cheddar.

I thought these burger patties were quite good but when I make them again I will make some adjustment to improve them. First, I will cook the chickpeas (from dried) longer, making sure they are soft as opposed to being slightly firm as I usually prepare them. Next, I will increase the amount of brown rice and mushrooms and decrease the amount of chickpeas. The original proportions I chose were based on the amounts of leftovers I had in my fridge. I also want to try adding a little bit of lemon zest and maybe see how bread crumbs affect the texture. I will also try pulsing some oil packed sun-dried tomatoes or kalamata olives into the mix, to increase the flavour intensity. Lastly, I want to try to veganize these by removing the egg and increasing the amount of tahini. If I do try this out, I will be sure to update this post. Also I am open to suggestions so feel free to let me know if you have any.

Breakfast veggie burger  
Makes 8 - 10 burger patties

2 tbsp canola oil
6 mushrooms sliced
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced or crushed
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1.5 loose cups of spinach
1 tsp smoked paprika
Fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp tahini
1 large egg whisked

Avocado slices
Flax seed buns
Sharp white cheddar, goat cheese or cream cheese
Fried eggs

1 - Heat oil to medium heat and cook garlic and onion for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook until onion is soft, about 5 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
2 - Add 1/2 of the cooked onion-mushroom mixture to a food processor with roughly half of the chickpeas, spinach and brown rice. Pulse in food processor until fairly finely textured (about 10 pulses) and then transfer to a large bowl.
3 - Add the remainder of the mushroom mix, the chickpeas, spinach and brown rice. Roughly process in food processor, pulse 3 -5 times for chunkier mixture and add to large bowl with more finely processed ingredients. 
4 - Stir in tahini, paprika and about 1 tsp sea salt
5 - Mix well and taste. Add more smoked paprika and salt if desired. Once seasoning is adjusted stir in egg. Mix well.
6 - Heat a pan to medium high heat with 1 tbsp oil.
7 - Shape burger patties (~1/4 cup) and place in pan, press down with spatchula to desired thickness. 
8 - Cook about 5 minutes each side. Be careful when flipping because burgers are slightly fragile.
9 - Meanwhile, cook eggs, slice avocado and cheese and lightly toast whole grain or flax seed buns.
10 - Assemble burgers with avocado, cheese, egg and veggie burger patty.

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