Garbanzo & Grain Burgers

by Sarah on March 26, 2012 · 15 comments

Last week, my Blog Mama, Tricia, posted an incredibly delicious recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls [in both Maple Butterscotch (!!!) and Chocolate Chocolate Chip incarnations] that were inspired by the Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butters I brought into her life months ago. It seemed only appropriate, then, to post a recipe inspired by her.Although, to be fair, just as those no-bake cookie balls of sweetness weren’t really inspired by me–just my flavored nut butter obsession–the Garbanzo & Grain Burger you saw above wasn’t inspired by Tricia, per se, but a meal we shared at Sammy T’s in Fredericksburg, when I went to visit her last December.The Bean & Grain ‘Burger’ we ordered came in its parts, rather than as its sum (if you will forgive the mangled expression). As you can see above, the “Camper’s Special” we both ordered involved the burger mixture deconstructed and cooked up with peppers and tomatoes, wrapped in a tortilla. It was only a matter of time before I had to make it on my own. So incredibly tasty–and so shockingly filling–the flavor haunted my tastebuds. After finding what appeared to be Sammy T’s recipe, I knew I had to put my own spin on it.I kept the garbanzo bean/chickpea base the same, as well as the use of fresh bread crumbs (which I made in my food processor from two slices of whole wheat bread).To the bread crumbs, I added one can of drained chickpeas, as well as some onion, browned on the stove.Rather than stick to just parsley, I figured I’d elevate the flavor in this burger mixture situation, so I combined a mix of parsley and cilantro.Blended up so that it was all incorporated but still a bit chunky……the mixture was already downright delicious. The already-called-for addition of garlic powder, tahini, and tamari (or The Smart Kitchen substitution of Bragg’s liquid aminos) for seasoning also obviously needed some cumin and black pepper to spice things up further.The original recipe called for the addition of cooked brown rice to the mixture, and, although I am a huge devotee of Whole Foods 365 Organic short grain brown rice……y’all also know how much I love quinoa, and, since I had some on hand, I decided the more grains the…grainier?You could choose to stir all of it together with a spoon, but eventually you’ll have to get your hands messy, so I suggest you just cut to the chase: make like an Alaskan dogsled team and “MUSH!”My recipe will make four GIANT-sized ‘burgers’–or 6 more manageable ones, which come in at about 200 calories and 10 grams of protein apiece. [Perhaps a bit higher in calories and fat than a frozen veggie burger, but a TON more filling, satisfying, and lacking in any added “stuff.”]The outside will brown beautifully in a pan on the stove, and–in my case–stay together better than any veggie burger you’ve ever before made at home.It won’t, like most bean-based ‘burgers,’ taste in any way “meaty.” Being somewhat of a veggie burger connoisseur, I still find, however, this mixture to be full of texture from the added rice, quinoa, and not-too-processed beans.Of course, as you may have noticed in the photo from our original meal, Tricia and I never actually ate this famous burger in burger form. Instead, my preferred methods of consumption include sauteeing a bunch of vegetables with garlic, Mexican spices, and cilantro……and then crumbling in some of the Garbanzo & Grain mixture into the pan (making it look altogether unappealing I am aware).This might look gross, but it will smell intoxicatingly craveable. Plop that onto a slightly warmed tortilla and you will be in “Who needs meat?” heaven.You can wrap it up (as I showed you at the beginning of the post), but since I pick and play with my food like a small child, I just keep it open faced. [And yes, it saves and travels well for school lunches, as seen below…as long as you can get over the “WTH are you eating?” looks from co-workers.*]

*Obviously, based on the types of things y’all have seen me consume, I got over that a LONG time ago. :)However, I might have to take a (web) page out of Laura’s book blog and class this Garbanzo & Grain blend MY “magic mixture,” because it also tastes amazing crumbled on salads (and eaten straight with a fork…).In fact, after I discovered Laura’s blog, and her magic mixture, I was excited to know I wasn’t alone in my love of bean + grain mush, pretty or not. 😉 [And, knowing myself as I do, I’m sure more variations are to come…]In whatever form you choose, I suggest you make this ASAP. It’s a flavor-and-protein-packed dream of burger (or burrito…or salad topper…or pizza topping…or midnight snack…).

Garbanzo & Grain Burger “Magic Mush”

(Adapted from Sammy T’s Bean + Grain Burger)

  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 slices wheat bread
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini paste
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  1. In a small frying pan over medium heat, saute onion in a bit of olive oil (or steam in broth or water) until softened and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse bread slices until coarse crumbs form.
  3. Add beans, cooked onion, cilantro, and parsley to the food processor bowl. Blend until well-incorporated but still “chunky.”
  4. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add tamari, tahini, and spices.
  5. Add cooked rice and quinoa to the bowl. Mix well, using a spoon (or your hands) until everything is well blended.

Use mixture to form burgers, saute with veggies for burritos, or crumble on top of salads or pizza!


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