Sorry for the hiatus but I’ve been having a busy, busy summer: finishing tough summer classes, work as a barista, study abroad confusion, and a quick visit to the dating scene after ending a 2-year relationship but got scooped up again. Within all that, I feel so much lighter: I’ve been treating my body better– working out and getting out– as well as eating less meat and more sustainably. I feel accomplished for the first time in a long time.
Frozen veggie burgers are always kind of lame– the good ones are expensive and the bad ones taste like cardboard. These burgers are definitely meatless but that doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor and zest. The lime mayo is an absolute addition: the contrasting citrus notes with the spicy, earthy cumin served open-faced on a piece of toast. It’s a fork-and-knife burger and it’s delicious not to mention nutritious! Bulgar is a form of whole-wheat that you just cook like rice and is high in protein which is great for vegetarians. The burgers also have beans which is high in fiber and protein. This is a protein-packed meal. It’s great with HOME-GROWN BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES (yes, I’m totally bragging about those deliciously juicy tomatoes I grew), arugula (tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and s/p), and onion sprouts.
Bulgar Burgers with Lime Mayo
adapted from Gourmet Mag ’08
1/2 c. chopped onions, divided
1/2 c. bulgur wheat (fine – medium ground)
1 c. water
1 c. black beans (or pinto), rinsed and drained
1.5 tbsp (low-sodium) soy sauce
1/2 – 3/4 c. crushed walnuts (I used 1/2, but the recipe calls for 3/4)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c. packed cilantro springs (you can use parsley if you’re anti-cilantro, you freaks)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 c. bread crumbs, more if needed
(1/2 slice crumbled bread, if needed)
1/4 c. light mayo
1/4 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp lime juice
makes 4, 3.5 inch diameter patties
In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and cook 1/4 c. onion over medium heat until golden. Add bulgur and toast for a minute before adding water. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 – 18 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in soy sauce and beans. In a large food processor, combine the bulgar mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro (add more if desired– same goes for spices), cumin, cayenne, egg, breadcrumbs and ~1/2 tsp pepper. Add salt, if needed, but I doubt it. Patties will be soft and if needed add more bread crumbs or freshly crumbled bread keeping in mind that they will chill in the freezer. Form rounded 1/2 c. scoops of patties. The best way is to form a ball in your palms and slap ‘em until they’re like patties.
Chill for a minimum of 15 minutes. I froze mine overnight.
While the patties are chillin’, combine mayo, zest, and juice. Add more juice or zest to taste.
Brush patties with olive oil and grill patties, over medium-high heat, for 4 – 5 minutes per side. If you’ve only chilled the burgers for 15 minutes, you might need a perforated grill sheet to keep the patties from falling apart but mine held together on the grill perfectly. You can also cook them in a fry-pan or grill-pan if you don’t have a grill. RESIST THE URGE TO FLIP THEM! RESIST! That is why I didn’t do the grilling.
Toast yo’ bread. Smother tons of freaking delicious mayo on the bread and top with your favorite burger fixings.
Another option a lot of people are taking is making them into mini-burgs. They wrap it up in a pita with Mediterranean fixings and treat the patties like falafel as opposed to a burger. (Try it with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, crumbled goat cheese, and Tzatziki).