Though I'm not the biggest bread eater (I love bread I just can't eat all that much without feeling tremendously full for the next 17 days), I couldn't help but jump at the chance to participate in the latest Tastemaker Program opportunity from the fine folks at Foodbuzz: hamburger & hot dog buns from Nature's Pride. Last year we Tastemakers had the opportunity to try their Buttermilk and Whole Wheat breads and I instantly fell in love. Always fresh tasting, perfect crumb, and completely natural without any of those evil additives like HFC; what's not to love, right? Since then, if I'm lucky enough to find a good sale on Nature's Pride I will definitely pick up a loaf. And I figured that if their sandwich bread is so good, their hamburger & hot dog buns must be pretty darned tasty, too.
It wasn't until I got my big box o' buns that I remembered I'm not the biggest burger and/or hot dog eater either. Again, they're not things I necessarily dislike (though some hot dogs do scare me a little... I'll take a good hot Andouille or brat on a bun over a hot dog anyday), they're just not items I tend to cook for myself on a regular basis. Knowing I'll be a bit shorter on cash this month due to the holiday, I wasn't about to run to the store to get beef or turkey to grind & turn into some patties. So I did what a good Poor Girl always does and gleaned inspiration from my cupboards. As always, I had plenty of beans to choose from and decided to try my hand at making my own veggie burgers so I could pair them with the whole wheat hamburger buns from Nature's Pride.
I instantly became an addict to my haphazardly thrown together bean-based burgers, and have tried a few variations with different beans since I started with this most recent food obsession. They're all delicious but my favorite is definitely the garbanzo version, perhaps because it kind of reminds me of giant falafel. To avoid some of the dryness that can come along with veggie burgers, I added some chopped crimini mushrooms, which made the burger patties a bit heartier & meatier. The addition of some sautéed mushrooms & onions on top rounds out the flavors and textures beautifully. And as with all burgers, the sky's the limit when it comes to the types of toppings & condiments you use! From a quick aioli made from the last bit of cilantro-pistachio pesto I had left to some good ol' Goddess dressing, tomato slices to avocado slices & baby lettuce, I've dressed these a million different ways. They're pretty good by themselves, but paired with the Nature's Pride whole wheat hamburger buns, these burgers are a tasty, healthy alternative to standard summer cookout fare that anyone can enjoy!
Garbanzo & Mushroom Burgers on Nature's Pride Whole Wheat Buns (makes 4-6 burgers; total cost per burger $1.75)
1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, lightly drained
1 8 oz. package whole mushrooms (white or crimini)
1 c panko crumbs
1 medium red onion
1/4 c finely chopped cilantro
1 T lemon juice
1/2 T sea salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T + 1 T olive oil
4-6 Nature's Pride Whole Wheat Hamburger buns
Tomato slices, avocado slices, onions, butter lettuce leaves, mayo, tzatziki, etc.
Finely chop half the onion and cut the other half into thin slices and set each aside in separate bowls. Do the same with the package of mushrooms. Using a food processor (or a large bowl and hand blender if you're like me and don't have the room for food processor), purée the garbanzos, egg, lemon juice and all the spices until the mixture is thick and slightly smooth (a few whole beans here & there is fine for texture). Add the chopped onions, chopped mushrooms and chopped cilantro and mix together. Next, add the panko crumbs and stir until completely combined. Carefully form small amounts of mixture into 1/2" - 1" thick patties and set aside. This should yield from 4-6 patties depending on size.
In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium heat until they become translucent and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt & pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nice & tender. Remove from heat.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, carefully place the garbanzo patties in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the outside is golden brown & crisp. Drain on a plate with paper towels. When ready to serve, assemble your burger with your favorite sliced veggies, top with the sautéed mushrooms and your favorite condiments, and enjoy!