This week has been really nice. I am feeling much more like myself, I have been spending time taking the necessary (and long overdue) steps to be as organized and productive as I can (in life and work) and I have actually really been enjoying eating a limited diet.
The only bad thing about this week is that it’s almost over. I cannot believe it is already Thursday night. How did that happen?
Today is day 5 of no dairy (among other things) and I am feeling really good. I stepped on the scale today for the first time since the holidays and my weight was WAY down (like nearly 10lbs)! YAY! A wonderful bonus to healing my grumpy digestive tract, I would say! I have been enjoying piling in the vegetables this week but on Tuesday night I was wanting something a little bit different for dinner than a plate of vegetables, a smoothie or fresh juice. Since the January/February issue of Whole Living features tons (over 50) great cleansing recipes for their New Year’s Action Plan, I knew I would be able to find the perfect starting point recipe that would still adhere to all of my current self-imposed rules!
These burgers jumped out at my instantly. They are so simple, just a few ingredients and with a few tweaks on my end to my tastes, they would be exactly what I was looking for. I served my burger on top of a nice big leafy piece of green lettuce as they suggested, hoping that the raw roughage wouldn’t be too much for me right now, and it wasn’t, which I was definitely pleased about. I served my burger with some roasted cauliflower tossed with steamed baby spinach on the side and it was a nice light dinner! These patties held together very nicely when cooking and had a beautiful crispy and browned outside. The original recipe suggests mashing the chickpeas with the rice by hand, but I just wasn’t getting the consistency I was looking for and I worried they would end up falling apart, so I processed the chickpeas and brown rice and my food processor and I think that was a wise decision. I also went with cilantro instead of the recipe’s suggested parsley, for a brighter and bigger punch of flavor and I added in some lime juice and chile powder. You could certainly add whatever your favorite fresh herbs and spices are, so many different combinations would work in these bugers. The flavors I went with were so perfect together and topping the burger with fresh scallions and dijon mustard was a great way to finish them.
I kept debating adding fresh spinach to these, but I was worried about them staying together, so I figured it was best not to mess with the ratio too much, but I hope to make these again and play with adding either the spinach or shredded carrots or zucchini or something like that, for some extra color and nutrients.
I think you could also make these burgers a bit smaller and make them more of an appetizer than a meal, serving them with a fun dipping sauce.
How has your week been? Has it flown by or carried on very slowly?
Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers
Adapted from Whole Living Magazine, January/February 2012 Issue
Makes 4 burgers
2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (You could also use parsley, chives or whatever your favorite fresh herb is)
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (I used ground smoked chipotle powder)
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lime juice
Coarse salt and pepper
1 large farm fresh brown egg, whisked (you could try an egg replacer here, I haven’t yet, but it’s worth a shot)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Whole-grain or Dijon mustard
Tomato, sliced, for garnish
4 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Green-leaf lettuce, for wrapping
Add the chickpeas and brown rice to your food processor and process until a thick paste forms (you can also mash them by hand). Add the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in shallot, garlic, cilantro, chile powder and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg. Form into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Spread with mustard, top with tomatoes and scallions and wrap in lettuce.