Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taco Burgers - Vegetarian Style

We are living in a real life snow globe!  So much snow!  All around the country there are records being broken for the amount of snow that has fallen this winter.  Our muscles are getting a great workout from all the shoveling we have been doing just to get out of our front doors!  Before the last major snow storm this past week we all stocked up on essentials so we would have provisions due to G-d’s plan to have us all have more mandatory family time!  No matter how many activities we planned the most frequent line we heard was “I’m hungry”…it was almost like watching 101 Dalmations – “I’m hungry mother…I really am”. 

It's a real burger!
The key to planning meals during the storm was to make things that were really tasty but really filling.  They couldn’t take a lot of time to make because everyone was home and everyone wanted attention!  In searching the recipe database in my head I remembered a great recipe from a long time ago – Taco Burgers Vegetarian Style.  These burgers are a snap to make and contain some of my all time favorite ingredients:  chick peas, taco seasoning and part skim mozzarella cheese.  These burgers also have a stealthy healthy ingredient: bulgur. I have discussed the amazing nutritional value of the underappreciated little chick pea, bulgur is also often undervalued.  It is high in fiber, and contains other ingredients that are heart and immune system healthy1,2,3.  The recipe is easy enough to make that the kids can help make it and they especially love smashing the chick peas into chick pea mash.    The taco seasoning can come from a mix or you can make your own (although the mix is way faster and easier).  These burgers are also browned using nonstick vegetable spray, which keeps them low in fat.  They also taste great…taco flavored and oozing with cheese…yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!!!

If only getting rid of all the snow were so easy…only 42 days until spring!!!

This recipe can be halved.

1          large                 onion, finely diced
2 ½      cups                 vegetable stock
2          cups                 bulgur
2          15 oz                cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1          1.25 oz             package taco seasoning mix
8 oz                              shredded part skim mozzarella
                                    nonstick vegetable spray
                                    hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato (optional)

In a large bowl, mash chick peas leaving a few whole.  In a large stock pot or skillet with a cover, bring onion and vegetable stock to a boil.  Add bulgur and stir to combine.  Turn off heat and let the bulgur sit covered for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Combine bulgur with mashed chick peas and seasoning mix.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in mozzarella cheese until evenly distributed.  Form mixture into patties.  Heat a large skillet (preferably non-stick).  Spray skillet with vegetable spray and fry patties on medium-high heat until browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Spray patties before flipping and fry for an additional 5 minutes until browned on each side.  Serve with buns, lettuce and tomato.  Enjoy!                                   
Getting the ingredients ready....
Onions and vegetable stock...bring to a boil...
Mix in the bulgur, let it sit until absorbed.
 Mash the peas! Can you spot the whole ones?
 Mix it all together & add the spices and cheese.
Pat a cake, pat a cake patties in the pan! 
(Don't forget to spray 'em before you flip 'em!)
  Hooray!!! All crispy, golden brown and ready to serve!!

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