As mentioned on my previous What I Ate Wednesday, boy howdy, do I have two winning recipes to introduce today. An infinitely healthier, more compassionate version of the American staple of burgers and fries, these intensely flavored, veggie-loaded burgers pair with crunchy-coated avocado slices for a meal packed with heart-healthy fats, sprouted grains for increased enzyme activity, and boatloads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from four types of green vegetables.
Having seen oodles of variations on avocado fries cropping up all over the blogosphere (both vegan and non), I in my utter adoration of the creamy green fruit avowed to create a vegan, gluten-free, baked version to satisfy my culinary curiosity. While most recipes for avocado fries call for eggs, bread crumbs, and copious amounts of oil for frying, I lightened the inherently non-vegan/gluten-free ingredients by implementing flax “eggs” and crushed brown rice cakes while employing the baking method instead of frying to create a crispy texture. Lemon zest and cumin provide a Greek-inspired tang that complements the avocados beautifully. A tip for the “breading” procedure: reserve one hand for coating the avocado in the “bread crumbs” and the other for dipping in the flax “eggs.” This way you’ll avoid Alton Brown’s aptly named club hand.
Baked Avocado Fries (Nut Free, Oil Free, Soy Free)
Serves 2 (recipe can be easily doubled).
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp flax meal + 6 tbsp water
- 1 brown rice cake
- 2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp cumin
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Whisk together the flax meal and water in a small bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until it begins gelling together.
In a food processor (I used my miniature one), place the brown rice cake and pulse until well crushed. Add the flour, lemon zest, and cumin and pulse again to combine. Place the mixture in a flat dish.
Halve and peel the avocado, then slice the flesh into 1/4″ thick strips (you should end up with about 8 slices). Dredge each avocado slice first in the brown rice cake mixture, then dunk it in the flax “egg,” and finally coat it again in the brown rice mixture. Set on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking often after the 20-minute mark to prevent burning.
Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.
Obviously, avocado fries alone do not constitute a well-rounded vegan meal, even my ultra-healthified version. Eager to use up the remaining sprouted quinoa and buckwheat in my refrigerator, I instantly fathomed a raw-inspired burger—the classic accompaniment to fries. Needless to say, I felt obliged to include a generous amount of green leafy vegetables in the patties, as well. If you own a dehydrator, you can easily render this recipe entirely raw by dehydrating the burgers at 115° for four hours on each side.
Sprouted (Almost) Raw Green Burgers (Can be Raw, Oil Free, Soy Free if using coconut aminos)
Serves 3-4 with about 8 burgers.
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat
- 1/4 cup sprouted quinoa
- 3 large leaves kale, torn into pieces (you don’t even need to remove the stems!)
- 1 large celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 large handful parsley
- 4 sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces with kitchen shears
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano (feel free to substitute any Italian herb, such as basil, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place sunflower seeds and sprouted grains in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well ground. Since I started with moist sprouted grains, the mixture clumped to form a ball, but the added moisture from the vegetables and liquid seasonings smoothed it out with the next run through the processor. So don’t worry if you experience the same problem!
Add remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Shape into 8 patties and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, flipping halfway through and checking after 35 minutes to prevent burning.
Both recipes submitted to Wellness Weekend.
If you’ve ever fretted about producing a bland veggie burger, fear no longer, for the deep, intense flavor of this green patty of deliciousness will hit you like a mouthwatering ton of bricks in the best way possible. While I enjoyed them alongside my avocado fries and a pile of lightly steamed broccoli as well as on top of a lunch box salad later in the week, you could also sandwich these patties between two brown rice cakes or slices of bread (if you role that non-gluten-free way) slathered with hummus or pesto.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is your favorite veganized version of classic American fare? What is your favorite use for sprouted grains? How do you like to enjoy your veggie burgers?
Until next time, Ali.