The best way to stay healthy is to be prepared. Instead of grabbing for frozen veggie burgers, stock your pantry with staple ingredients like canned beans, dried farro, oats, olive oil, and walnuts. Make sure to pick up a few fresh items like mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, herbs, and whole grain buns. Make a batch or two and freeze half for the following week.
Skill level: Beginner
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 34 minutes, plus refrigeration time
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 4 minutes
¾ cup uncooked farro
3 cups water
1 teaspoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained (liquid reserved), or 1¾ cups cooked
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup grated carrots (2 medium)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1/3 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
½ cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon low-sodium herbal seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of sea salt, optional
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 1½-ounce whole grain buns
10 lettuce leaves
3 medium tomatoes, sliced into 20 slices
2 avocados, sliced into 20 slices
1. Place the farro in a pot with the water and broth base. Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cook for 35 to 40 minutes, and drain any leftover liquid.
2. Place the cannellini beans in a mixing bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher, until thick and lumpy. Mix in the cooked farro, onions, mushrooms, carrots, walnuts, oregano, chives, oats, bread crumbs, herbal seasoning, black pepper, turmeric, and sea salt, if desired. Combine the ingredients using clean hands, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid to make a thick yet moistened mixture that sticks together. Chill for about 1 hour.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Form patties out of ½ cup of the bean mixture with your hands, mashing the ingredients together so that they do not crumble. Carefully place 3 to 4 patties at a time into the hot oil and cook for 6 minutes on each side, turning carefully. Repeat, adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with each batch of patties, until all the patties are done.
4. Serve each patty with 1 bun, 1 lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, and 2 avocado slices.
Chefs note: If you don’t want to serve all of the burgers at once, prepare and cook them according to the directions and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet and serve as directed.
Nutrition Information (per 1 patty, bun, and lettuce leaf, and 2 tomato and avocado slices each)
Calories: 354; Total Fat: 15 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 11 grams: Carbohydrates: 50 grams; Fiber: 11 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 378 milligrams
Recipe by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian, author of Plant-Powered for Life.
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