Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers

These kid-friendly burgers are great cold, so perfect for packing in lunches. I love them dipped in salsa or mustard, or crumbled into pita pockets for on-the-go.

Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers with Salt and Lime Chips2

Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers

2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 can (14 oz) unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Heat one teaspoon of oil in a skillet and sauté the pepper and onion together, just until they start to soften. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, use your hands to mash the black beans — it’s the most effective way — then add the peppers and onions. Mix well, then add the remaining ingredients, combining well. Let mixture sit for half an hour or more — this step can be made in advance.

Heat the grill to medium. Use your hands to form patties. Put the patties on the grill and cook for about five minutes until fragrant with grill marks, then turn once, cooking through on the other side. Serve on a bun with your favourite condiments.

Hummus-Flavored Chickpea Burgers

Because everyone loves hummus, these chickpea burgers are a favourite alternative for something new between the bun. Because they are delicate, they need to be panfried, but for that bbq flavor, re-heat them on a grill tray or piece of foil before serving.

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Hummus Flavored Chickpea Burgers

3 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 medium carrot, grated using a hand grater
3 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon chickpea flour (or other gluten-free flour… but chickpea flour has the best flavor here)
Zest from 1 small lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying

Line a plate with waxed paper.

Mix together the warm water and flaxmeal. Set aside for 5 minutes, until thickened. Put the chickpeas, carrot, onion, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, tahini, flour, zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is chunky but sticks together if you press it in your hand. If you find that the mixture is getting too smooth but the ingredients aren’t well mixed, use a spoon to incorporate them. Adjust seasonings to taste. Use your hands to form the mixture into 6 patties, putting each one on the waxed paper. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Heat a stainless steel or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of the oil, making sure the bottom of the skillet is covered. Once the oil is hot, cook patties, 3 at a time (depending on the size of your skillet), for about 5 to 8 minutes per side, until crisp and browned. Carefully flip the burger, adding more oil beforehand if necessary, and continue to cook until browned on the other side and warmed through, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately or let cool and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Moroccan inspired flavor comes together in this hearty and healthy winter stew. The addition of dried apricots — which might not be something we add to stew everyday — add a wonderful texture and flavor, so don’t leave them out. It is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy; for more of a kick, add the extra cayenne pepper. Serve alongside fragrant brown basmati rice, about 1/4 cup (60mL) uncooked rice per person.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 to 4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon  ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
1 (14oz/414mL) can organic, no-salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I use Eden Foods)
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes (I use unsalted)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon  agave nectar
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 5 cups)
5 oz chopped, dried unsulphured apricots (I use Nature’s Best)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 to 1 cup  fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium head. Add the onion and carrot. Cook about 5 minutes, until beginning to soften.Add the ginger and garlic. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes more, until fragrant.

Stir in the turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, and a 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne pepper.

Sprinkle with sea salt and flour, and add the chickpeas. Cook until the vegetables and chickpeas are coated with the spices and the mixture smells spicy, about 30 seconds.

Add the diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste, and agave nectar. Mix well. Add the red pepper, cauliflower, and apricots. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender but still firm.

Remove the lid and stir in the zest and cilantro. Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened and cauliflower is cooked all the way through.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Like most stews, this becomes more flavorful as it stands. I recommend making it in the morning and serving it in the evening.

Serve with brown basmati rice. (If you have a rice cooker, this is my favorite way to make it)