It’s almost the 4th of July and we have your picnic plans in the basket. So to speak. Celebrate the holiday with homemade veggie burgers, touched with a taste of the southwest, and always-a-hit deviled potatoes.
Homemade veggie burgers don’t have to be complicated. You just need a base (chickpeas), binder (flax seed meal and rolled oats) and flavoring (garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno!). These burgers come together in a snap and are amazing piled high with burger fixins. Worried you can’t do it? There are great vegan veggie burgers on the market. The Beast Burger by Beyond Meat (GF), Field Roast’s Hand-Formed Burger and Gardein’s various burger offerings (Ultimate Beefless, Black Bean, GF Veggie), and Boca Vegan Burgers are all outstanding.
Remember deviled eggs? Those cute little critters with mayo-laden yolk filling? But you never thought you’d see a vegan take on that! I can’t take credit for this idea. A variation on these was served to us by our friend Kristin last summer, and she was working from an original recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, of Post Punk Kitchen fame. But for Kristin, as for us, the more we made these, the more the recipe changed. I think this version is aces and reminds me of the deviled eggs my mom used to make for picnics and family gatherings. We do recommend using a melon baller if you have one for this recipe – it makes a smoother, rounder scoop than regular spoons and looks more like deviled eggs.
The deviled potatoes call for Kala nimak is also called Indian black salt, and you likely will not find it at a regular grocer. You don’t need kala nimak to make this recipe, however, it’s a rare kind of mineral salt that actually tastes like eggs, and will make this recipe really come together! You will find kala nimak at Indian grocers, on Amazon.com and sometimes in Asian grocers. The actual salt is a light pink color and when you open the bag, it really does smell like eggs! Don’t use too much – one small bag will last years.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms (we used baby bellas, aka cremini)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free oats available from Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills)
- 1/4 cup cilantro (or use parsley)
- 1 Tbl. lemon juice
- 1 Tbl. fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded (optional, to taste)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbl. flax seed meal in 5 Tbl. warm water (such as Bob's Red Mill, GNC, NOW Foods, Spectrum or grind whole seed in a coffee mill at home)
- 2 15-oz. cans of chickpeas, drained
- 6 large burger rolls, your favorite
- burger toppings, such as tomato, lettuce, sliced onion, sprouts, ketchup or mustard; salsa is also great on these!
- 12 small white potatoes, like Yukon Gold
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 to 4 hours
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1 Tbl. lemon juice
- 1 Tbl. pickle relish
- 1 Tbl. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- pinch Indian black salt (aka kala nimak Indian salt)
- fresh dill, to garnish, optional
- paprika, to garnish, optional
- Mix flax seed meal with warm water. Stir well and set aside to gel. This will be your binder.
- In a food processor or blender, process garlic until finely chopped. Add mushrooms, oats, cilantro, lemon juice, jalapeno and cumin. Process until mushrooms are broken down and mixture is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not liquify; there should still be a few chunks of small mushroom.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl with flax seed meal in water and all drained chickpeas. Using your hands or a strong fork or a potato masher, mush all the ingredients together. (A food processor or blender for this step is not recommended, as you will end up with bean dip and it will be too thin to make patties.) Final burger mixture should be sticky, well-blended and thick. There may be a few chickpeas that aren't mushed; that's okay.
- These burgers cook best on a pan. Saute over medium-high heat in a lightly-oiled pan. Flip once a light brown crust has formed on first side, about 3 to 5 minutes. If you want to make them on the grill, we recommend using a cast iron pan to cook them.
- Cook over side and serve warm with your favorite burger toppings.
- Makes 6 large burgers.
- Deviled Potatoes
- Soak cashews in warm water before you begin. Ideally, they will soak for two to four hours before you start.
- Preheat oven to 350. Slice potatoes in half and rub with olive oil. Bake in oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until fork tender, but not crisp/roasted.
- While potatoes bake, drain cashews. Add cashews, lemon juice, pickle relish, Dijon mustard, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder and black salt to a food processor or high-power blender. Process until very smooth, scraping sides as needed.
- When potatoes are done, allow to cool until you can comfortably touch them. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the middles, leaving at least a thin edge on all sides. Reserve scooped-out middles of potato and add them to the blender/food processor mixture. Process again, until well combined and smooth.
- Using a small spoon or piping bag, fill the potato cavities with cashew mixture. (We used a pastry bag with a round tip.) Garnish as desired with paprika and fresh dill. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. This recipe can be made in advance and travels well!
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