Heart Healthy Veggie Burgers

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Enlightening Entrees!

-       4 ounces extra-firm Tofu, drained and cubed

-       ½ lb of Baby Portabella or Cremini mushrooms, sliced

-       1 16 oz can of Kidney beans, drained

-       1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained

-       1 large Vidalia Onion, finely diced

-       1 teaspoon dry basil

-       1 teaspoon dry oregano

-       ½ teaspoon Cajun/blackening seasoning

-       Salt and Pepper to taste

-       4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

-       1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

-       1/2 cup of bread crumbs (Panko works)

-       1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated (can omit if going cheese-free)

-       1 egg

-       2 scallions, diced

-       2 clove of Garlic, finely diced (Garlic Powder can be substituted)

-       2 tablespoons tomato paste

-       1/4 cup of your favorite Teriyaki sauce – can substitute ketchup

-       ½ cup Couscous OR Brown Rice, cooked and seasoned

1.     Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2.     Cube tofu and pat dry with paper towel.

3.     Arrange tofu on one half of a rimmed baking sheet; brush both sides with oil.

4.     Spread mushrooms on the other half of the baking sheet; toss with 2 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper.

5.     On a second rimmed baking sheet, toss beans and onions with 2 Tbsp. of oil, basil, oregano and blackening seasoning with and salt and pepper to taste, then spread mixture into one layer.

6.     Transfer both baking sheets to the oven.

7.     Roast bean mixture, tossing occasionally, until beans begin to split and onions are tender, about 12 minutes.

8.     Roast mushrooms and tofu until golden and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 25 minutes.

9.     Let everything cool.

10.  Place cooled bean and onion mixture in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.

11.  Add cooled mushrooms, tofu and sundried tomatoes and pulse until combined.

12.  Remove from processor into a large bowl and add panko, cheese, eggs, scallions, garlic, tomato paste, ketchup/teriyaki sauce, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until just combined.

13.  Finally, add in couscous or rice and combine. Scrape mixture into a bowl and chill for 2 hrs. or up to 5 days (you can also freeze it).

14.  When ready to make the burgers, divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form each into a patty about 1 inch thick.

15.  Return to the fridge until just before grilling. They grill better when they start out cold.

16.  Heat the grill. Cook the burgers over a low fire until they are charred on both sides and firm when you press on them, 4 to 6 minutes per side. If they start to burn before they firm up, move them to the sides of the grill to finish cooking over indirect heat. You can also cook these on a grill pan or in a skillet over low heat.

Serve with a toasted bun along with the usual ketchup, mustard, relish/pickles and fries (baked, not fried of course!) Enjoy!