This post is sponsored by the American Pecan Council. I wish I could buy everyone a plane ticket to southern California this time of year. In terms of weather, pace of life, experiences, I love it all so much I wish I could give the coastline a big squeeze! There are cooler days in the fifties, mornings with fog, days with rain, and even more days with seventy degree sunshine. Throw in a few random eighty degree weekends with acai bowls, followed by chillier nights ending with warm bowls of soup – and it’s exactly the kind of randomness I crave week to week. Plus there are less people visiting, and the holiday craze is over so we can get back to bowls of raw veggies and plant burgers topped with avocado and sprouts. (I’m sorry holiday food, I see you, I loved you, and I’m over you.)
I decided there aren’t nearly enough veggie burgers on this site, and Scott agreed (my previous recipe from years ago is his favorite). I’m not sure why we don’t make them more often, they are so incredibly easy to throw together, and involve toppings, which is just exciting. I have yet to nail down a recipe using beans and grains, and end up focusing more on the veggie-heavy sort. Typically this is because the bean and grain patties always involve some kind of flour, and maybe I’m weird, but I don’t want flour in my burger. I’m already enjoying it with a bun, and would love if it was filled with a more nutrient dense ingredient than flour (oats included). This is when I thought to use nuts! Most importantly my favorite nut as of lately, pecans.
Pecans are so wonderful in savory foods, and we love them especially paired with wild rice. They contain a valuable package of protein, healthy fats and fiber, and a butter-y flavor and texture that is incredibly good in a veggie burger patty. As you know from my first post featuring pecans last month (these cookies) they are the only major tree nut indigenous to the United States – so neat! Nearly eighty percent of the world’s pecans are grown right here in America. And when I think of America, I think of burgers, so it’s time the two got together and made a delicious plant burger, right?
This recipe comes together in minutes. All you need to do ahead of time, with your weekly food prep, is to be sure to cook up a batch of wild rice and pop it in a container in the fridge, along with a jar of sunflower seeds in water to soak (for the sauce). Come dinner time during the week when you’re ready to make the burgers, you’ll only be thirty minutes away from prepping and cooking everything! And it’s an easy breezy thirty minutes, I promise.
I hope you enjoy this recipe if you give it a go! It tastes so much like California to me with the sprouts and avocado. If you do try, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below. And a big thank you for your replies on my Instagram post inquiring about hurdles you feel as if you are facing when it comes to eating more plant-based this year too. I’m writing them all down and hoping to dive more into those topics, with helpful recipes as well, in the coming months. Know that I am rooting for you! – xx
This post was sponsored by the American Pecan Council. All words and opinions are my own, and I absolutely love pecans. Thank you for supporting Faring Well through your support if its sponsors.
WILD RICE PECAN BURGERS + CREAMY SUNFLOWER CHIVE SPREAD
Makes 8 small burgers, or 4 servings.
wild rice pecan burgers
1 cup cooked wild rice mix
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 cup raw pecan halves
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
3 minced (or pressed) garlic gloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
5 to 6 cranks of fresh black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon low sodium tamari
creamy sunflower chive spread
3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3/4 cup filtered water
thinly sliced red onion
whole grain buns
Ahead of time: cook up a portion of wild rice, and get the sunflower seeds soaking in water for at least 4 hours (can soak longer in a jar in the fridge, ie. several days).
Make the veggie burgers: combine all of the ingredients listed in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 6 or 7 times. Then stop and scrape down the sides, giving it a stir. Pulse another 4 to 5 times, and it’s ready. You want it to be able to hold together, but still have bits and pieces left whole to give it texture.
Heat a ceramic nonstick skillet on the stove over medium-high heat (I use these Green Pans). If using a traditional skillet, add a little oil to keep the burgers from sticking.
Form 8 equally sized balls from the mixture and shape into patties about an inch thick. Place in the heated pan, and do not touch for 10 minutes. Check and make sure they have browned well before carefully flipping and cooking an additional 5 minutes to brown the other side too. Transfer to a plate for serving.
While the veggie burgers cook, make the spread. Rinse and drain the soaked sunflower seeds and add to a blender with the remaining sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth, then taste for seasoning. (Make adjustments with salt and lemon juice if needed.)
Now it’s time to build the burgers! Give a good schmear of spread on the inside of each bun half, and layer with a patty, sliced avocado, red onion, and sprouts. Enjoy right away! Any leftover cooked patties store well in an airtight glass container in the fridge for a few days (makes a delicious cold burger/sandwich for lunch).
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