Sunday, July 18, 2010

California Sunshine Burger

An indispensable burger recipe is an essential element for any summer time cookout. After several frustrating experiences trying to develop a patty that upholds the core characteristics of structural integrity, firm consistency, wholesome ingredients and, of course, delicious flavor, I finally found my man. I introduce to you: The California Sunshine Burger. Smoky and earthy with a subtle sensitive side, this patty will not leave you disappointed.

It is a breeze to throw together, while vegan and gluten-free to boot! The black-eyed peas offer a certain creaminess as well as an impressive fiber boost, and the flax seeds bind it all together, while contributing a heart-healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. I have not explored other beans, but I suspect other small beans would fit in quite nicely (think adzuki, anasazi or pinto). I prefer to sprout my seeds when I have the time, as it renders them easier to digest and chock full of active enzymes. Planning out your weekly menus allows for this type of foresight, as the process itself is quite simple.

Top it off with a buttery avocado and smear of chipotle ketchup and you are made in the shade. Sit down, relax and enjoy.

Black Eyed Pea and Chipotle Burgers

Serves 8

You can freeze these burgers for an easy grab-and-go lunch, simply wrap in wax paper and freeze individually.


1 cup raw sunflower seeds, (sprouted, optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, chopped

2 cups cooked black eyed peas

1 chipotle pepper, rehydrated in water

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon cumin

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 Tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon tamari

2 Tablespoons flaxseed, ground mixed with 2 Tablespoons water

¼ cup masa harina (cornmeal)

1 avocado, sliced

1 large tomato, sliced

8 whole-grain burger buns

¼ cup chipotle ketchup (ketchup mixed with a few teaspoons of the chipotle soaking water)


If sprouting sunflower seeds, soak in filtered water for 6 hours the day before. That night, rinse and drain seeds, and leave them inverted at a 45 degree angle in a jar covered with a sprouting screen or cheesecloth. Rinse and drain again the next morning, and leave inverted until ready to use. If not sprouting, skip this step altogether.

Blend sunflower seeds in a food processor until ground. Remove half of them and set aside. Add garlic and scallions and pulse until ground. Add rinsed peas, chipotle (reserve soaking water), oregano, cumin, tomato paste, worcestershire, and tamari and blend well, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.

Remove mixture to a bowl. Stir in flaxseed mixture, masa harina and reserved sunflower seeds. Chill mixture for 30 minutes (or longer).

Take out mixture and form into small burgers (wetting your hands makes this easier). Heat a cast-iron griddle or pan over medium heat and cook burgers until brown on each side, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve with avocado slices, fresh greens, sliced tomato and chipotle ketchup on whole grain buns.

Relax. Eat Well.

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