I am posting these spinach and chickpea burgers in honor of my dear friend Kris. Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember Kris from many of my posts: the potato salad, key lime mousse, cherry limeade mocktail, spinach dip, socca and many many others others. You might also remember her packing my car with the precision of an obsessed surgeon when I moved to LA last year! I have made many trips back to Missouri, she has come to visit me in LA, and we speak almost every day on the phone. But I still miss being with her every week! She is one of the best friends I have ever had....and I am so grateful to have her in my life.
She is a brilliant dietician, passionate vegetarian, foodie, green maven and is very often my kitchen partner in crime when developing new recipe. She is always lovingly sending me recipe links and wonderful insightful articles about food, local ingredients, and gardening. She is incredibly knowledgable about nutrition and vegetarianism, and I look to her for guidance constantly! We have cooked our way into a pleasure-induced culinary coma on many occasions, rubbing our satisfied bellies and wagging our tails with glee after many a successful blend.
I noticed that veggie burger recipes were glaringly absent from the blog and I decided to rectify that immediately!
This recipe from Lukas Volger's fantastic book, "Veggie Burgers Every Which Way" (published by and shared here courtesy of The Experiment) is one of Kris's favorite veggie burger recipes. She and I both bought this book and were so impressed with it that we started making every recipe in it! This is her favorite recipe from the book. The only change we made was that we added a truckload of garlic to it! The burger is wonderful without it. But we are "vampire slayers" at heart and always feel like garlic is required! Lol!
We served these burgers on giant roasted portobello mushrooms instead of burger buns. We sauteed some extra spinach to put on top of the mushrooms, and then served the burger with some sweet cherry tomatoes and steamed asparagus.
For those of you looking for killer exotic veggie burger recipes, this book will save your life! Now, I will say that not all of the recipes are vegan and gluten free. Some of them contain eggs, cheeses and breadcrumbs. But I have had great success adapting those recipes with gluten free breadcrumbs, quinoa, millet, pureed beans, and spices. Suffice to say, if you are looking for scrumptious veggie burgers, there is something for everyone in this book. Some of my favorite burgers in this book are: the Armenian Lentil Burgers, Tuscan White Bean Burgers, Baked Falafel Burgers, Baked Quinoa Burgers, Thai Carrot Burgers, Curried Eggplant and Tomato Burgers, and the Tofu and Chard Burgers.
Not only does this book have heaps of veggie burger recipes, it also has recipes for burgers buns, exotic burger topping ideas, salad recipes; as well as hints and tips on how to bind burgers and add moisture to vegetarian burgers; and cook beans and grains for use in recipes. This has quickly become one of my "go-to" cookbooks for quick easy meal ideas. Trust me! Pick up a copy of this little book and it will be feeding you and your family for years to come.
Here's what Lukas had to say about these burgers:
"This is one of my favorite veggie burgers. It has everything I want: hearty chickpeas, fortifying spinach, a hint of nutty toasted cumin seeds, and final finish of fresh lemon. It’s also very easy! As with most burgers in this book, be sure to reserve a portion of the beans and mash them by hand, rather than blitzing all of them in the food processor, as this gives the burger texture. I like to serve them accompanied by traditional burger fixings: lettuce, tomato, and mustard."
That just about says it all! A special thanks to Jack at The Experiment for allowing me to publish this recipe today.