Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hummus Burgers

Limiting LDL cholesterol (so-called "bad" cholesterol) from your diet overnight takes a lot of planning. Rather than making the person eating the low-cholesterol diet feel deprived, we decided to use an empowered approach. We looked at all the foods that fit into a minimal LDL cholesterol diet. We used the Self Nutrition Data site to see what nutrient values each food had then used the University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide to look up what each nutrient in that particular food item does for the body. Then we created a list of ingredients that would help lower total serum LDL cholesterol intake.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and Tahini Paste Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015
To make the radical changes we needed, we decided to experiment with the ingredients and see what tasty alternatives (or total disasters) resulted. Today's recipe started out as a batch of simple, homemade hummus. While I was mixing it, the dog started pestering us, and I realized it was because the mixture smelled good enough to make some almost-real, protein-rich veggie burgers. Only later, while the burgers were baking and I had time to look up chickpeas and sesame paste did I discover that garbanzo beans are a complete protein all by themselves, with more iron and calcium than a standard quarter-pound hamburger made from 85 percent lean ground beef.

Hummus Burgers Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015

Our handheld egg slicer made it easier to mash the chickpeas. It took about 10 minutes longer than a food processor would have taken, but it left the hummus with a better texture. After taste-testing, we decided that our next attempt would include at least four cups of cooked, whole lentils for added texture.

Egg Slicer Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015

Egg Slicer Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015
We used the hamburger press that we bought last year at Harbor Freight to make the patties. Each burger is one cup of hummus pressed about 3/4 inches thick.

Harbor Freight Hamburger Press Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015

Harbor Freight Hamburger Press Photo by Jack V. Sage 08/30/2015

This recipe requires a #10 can of chickpeas (close to seven pounds) a 16-ounce jar of tahini paste, one small lemon, 1/4 cup of onion powder, two tablespoons of garlic powder, one tablespoon of ground black pepper, one teaspoon of coarse sea salt and one tablespoon of paprika. You will also need a colander; a large 8-quart mixing bowl; an egg slicer, potato masher or food processor; a hamburger press, a vegetable grater, two cookie sheets and a pancake turner.

Drain the chickpeas in a colander for five minutes, rinsing with cold water at least once. Force the drained chickpeas through the egg slicer one small handful at a time until all of them are mashed, or whirl them in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the entire 16-ounce jar of tahini paste and all the spices.

Slice the lemon, pulse it in the food processor or blender until finely ground and add it to the chickpea and tahini mixture. Mix all the ingredients together by hand until well-blended.

Wipe the inner surface of the hamburger press with olive oil to prevent the hummus mixture from sticking to it. Wipe olive oil onto the two cookie sheets as well. Place the bottom ring of the hamburger press on the first cookie sheet, starting in one corner. Fill the ring with as little as 1/2 cup or as much as one whole cup of hummus mix. Press the top down gently, twisting it into position as marked on the ring, to make a 1/4 pound, 1/3 pound or 1/2 pound burger.

Brush the top of each burger with olive oil, and then sprinkle each burger with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the burgers in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Switch to "broil" and broil for 10 minutes until the tops brown. Makes 10 to 12 burgers.

Allow the burgers to cool on the cookie sheets, and then freeze them overnight. Place each burger in a zipper bag and keep frozen until ready to use. 

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