If you haven’t had a chance to try out the Freekeh Risotto recipe that was posted last week, here’s another chance to get your Freekeh on. This time you’ll find your Freekeh in burger form- a high protein way to enjoy your next Meatless Monday meal. And this hearty Freekeh Sunflower burger will have no one asking, “Where’s the Beef?”
Whether you’re looking to cut back on meat in your diet or have stopped eating it altogether, finding high protein sources doesn’t have to come exclusively from animal products. While animal sources may be higher single sources of protein (and typically provide what is known as a “complete” protein), plant sources are equally as effective in the right combos. And this recipe will meet all your protein needs from a combo of Freekeh and seeds.
As my previous post mentioned, the good people at Freekeh Foods provided me with samples and have let me go to town in the kitchen. And my creative inspiration has been running on overtime with the endless possibilities this grain has to offer. In honor of Meatless Monday, I decided to to use their Original variety and add in a lot of flavorful seeds for added protein and flavor.
If you haven’t started introducing new seeds into your diet, its a great goal to set for yourself for the upcoming new year. Seeds are excellent sources of protein (many are complete proteins), fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This particular recipe incorporates sunflower seeds, pepitas (aka shelled pumpkin seeds), hemp, and chia seeds, which all provide incredible health benefits.
Sunflower Seeds: vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, phytosterols (help lower cholesterol)
Pepita Seeds: vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus
Hemp Seeds: omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium
Chia Seeds: omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese
There are two main steps that need to happen before you can create your burger: cook the Freekeh and soak sunflower seeds. Cold, cooked Freekeh works better for binding together the burger. Soak the sunflower seeds for at least 1 hour (this can even be done overnight). Soaking is not a necessary step, but it makes the seeds easier to work with and provides a softer texture for processing. All the seeds will go for a trip into a food processor for a few pulses to create a meaty texture. I recommend a food processor over a blender because the wider base allows the items to be chopped more evenly. A blender doesn’t always do the job quite as nicely, which can lead to some parts getting liquified if not done in small batches. Once your seed mixture resembles ground meat, place in a large bowl, add in the remaining ingredients, put those latex gloves on, and use your hands to mix everything together and create 4 patties. The trick is to let these patties sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes so they set- you can even let them hang out for up to 2 days in the fridge before cooking. Pan fry the burgers to create a crispy, browned outside. I have not attempted them in the broiler yet so I can’t vouch for that method. The burgers are fairly delicate, so be careful when flipping. Once cooked, enjoy either on a whole grain bun or on top of a salad. Top with your favorite veggies and condiments (have I mentioned lately how awesome Mazi is???)
Give this Freekeh Sunflower Burger a shot for your next Meatless Monday. Or try them out at your next tailgate or football watching party. Tell me what you think by giving a shout in the Comments below.
Tag me and use #NutritionNuptials for a chance to have your creations shared on my social media sites.
Freekeh Sunflower Burger
- 1 C cooked Original Freekeh ~1/3 C uncooked
- 1 C vegetable broth or water
- 1/2 C sunflower seeds soaked for 1 hour and drained
- 1/3 C pepita seeds shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 C hemp seeds
- 2 TB chia seeds
- 1/2 C. coarsely chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 C minced shallot ~ 1 small shallot
- 2 tsp tahini
- 1/4 C plain breadcrumbs
- Pinch cayenne pepper ~1/8 tsp
- Pinch freshly ground pepper ~1/8 tsp
- 2 TB olive oil
- Optional: whole wheat buns English muffins, flat bread, low-fat cheese, favorite toppings of choice.
Cook Freekeh according to package directions in vegetable broth (or water). Allow to cool and place covered in fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
In food processor, combine sunflower seeds, pepitas, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and mushrooms. Using short, quick pulses, process until coarsely chopped. The mixture should resemble the consistency and texture of ground meat. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add Freekeh, shallots, tahini, breadcrumbs, cayenne and fresh ground pepper. Using hands, combine mixture until ingredients are well-blended and sticking together.
Shape mixture into 4 patties and place on plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes to allow patties to set.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook burgers until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
Place on bread of choice and add favorite toppings. Also makes a delicious protein for salad.
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.
1 burger=430 calories, 29g fat (3g sat fat), 34g carbs, 8g fiber, 16g protein, 283 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)