Vegan Chickpea Spinach Burgers - with BACON

Vegan, Vegetarian, healthy, buger

I don't know that I really understand the appeal of the burger form.  It seems these days, everything comes in the form of a burger - chicken, bison, the all-encompassing generic veggie burgers - hell, there are even some very ambitious, heart-disease prone folks out there who have ground up bacon into one giant patty.  But why?  These things are already so delicious as they stand - why do you have to throw them together in a bowl, grind the heck out of them, then clump them together into this weird cross between a shotput, hockey puck and a frisbee?

If I had to wager a guess - and now I do, because I started writing this and my mama didn't raise no quitter - I'd say it's because we're all just craving that traditional, backyard full-beef burger.

Vegetarians and red-meat haters relax - I'm not going into that whole "we're all animals pre-programmed to eat meat" diatribe - it's trite and proven untrue.  But culturally, that old-fashioned beef burger always meant something more than a lump of meat slathered with condiments between two pieces of bread.  It was a staple - something undoubtedly patriotic, something everyone could enjoy.  It meant family and friends, warm summer nights, poolside games - it meant community.

Now, food is more complicated and confusing (for example, I made a vegan burger then put bacon on it).  People are finding new foods, and there's very little you can call a staple these days.  Folks dodge beef because of humanitarian concerns, lifestyle choices, health problems - but everyone still understands what a hamburger means, or perhaps, used to mean.  And, I think, the burger-shape-loving folks of this country are drawn to that, and thus, there is now a "burger" for every differing palette and diet.

It's a thought - maybe people just really, really like the shape of a burger - maybe it's just conveniences.  Or maybe, they're trying to recreate the symbol that the hamburger used to be - by reshaping their food of choice into that odd hybrid of shapes.

And in the spirit of that thought, here's an odd concoction that everyone will love, and if you have a mix of veggie lovers and meat lovers, there's no reason you can't use meat as an optional condiment - one dish, yet there's something for everyone!

Vegan Chickpea-Spinach Burgers - Ingredients

1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 14 oz. can chickpeas
3 cups spinach, chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce (likely less if you’re using canned/salted chickpeas)
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
1/2 c. wheat flour
cooking oil
And bacon, if you want it.  I also used up the last of our potato rolls, but this would be equally delicious, and less heavy, if you put it on a salad.

Onions being fried

1. Add oil to a large skillet set to medium-3/4 heat
2. Add onions, and cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic - cook until fragrant
3. Add spinach and chickpeas, and cook until spinach is COMPLETELY wilted.

healthy green protein

4.  Add the mixture to a bowl, and toss in the rest of the ingredients (except, obviously, the bacon)
5.  Mix well - the combination should be thick and easy to form into patties with your hand

Delicious Vegan Recipes

6.  Using your hands, create patties out of the mixture.

Peanut Butter, Yeast, Flour

7.  Add a little more oil to the skillet, turn to 3/4, and add the patties.  Cook until browned on the bottom, then flip and brown the other side.

Healthy Meat Alternatives

8.  If the idea of not having meat with your dinner scares the bejeebus out of you, now is the time where you can ruin your healthy, vegan meal with bacon.

Lighter Bacon Burger

Incredibly easy, wicked quick, and surprisingly scrumptious!  As always, I hope you try out the recipe - I would love to see your pictures on!


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