GangstaLean – Veggie Burger

Shortly before the launch of the Gangsta Goodies Kitchen blogsite, the website designer asked a question that neither of us had given any thought to. She asked, “How do you want to label and/or divide your recipes up to make it easier for people to access the recipes on your blogsite?”  For weeks we tried coming up with creative ways to categorize the recipes…soon we had a list a mile long but, in no time we eliminated each idea for one reason or another. We were back to square one, our deadline was fast approaching and we were getting a little antsy.

Now here’s the irony…in the midst of our creative gridlock, my younger daughter was hospitalized for a video imaging EEG.  An EEG is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal disc attached to your scalp. And, now that I’m writing this blog I wish we had a picture to share with you to give you an idea of what she looked like with all these wires glued to her scalp. Anyway, she called me from the hospital kinda late one night and I could tell she wanted to talk.  One conversation lead to another and before we knew it we were having a full blown Gangsta Goodies brainstorming  session at 1:30 A.M.

She was on a roll…spitting out all types of ideas, I could barely keep up with my pen. Suddenly she said with much confidence and excitement, “Wait a minute Mama, I got it!” I asked, “Got what?” She replied, “I got the best ideas ever for categorizing our recipes.” I was all ears with my pen and paper in hand. First she wanted me to reassure her that I wouldn’t laugh and she credited her sudden burst of creativity to the EEG. She took a deep breath and declared that our healthier recipes will be in a category titled, GangstaLean.

Instantly I got a vision of my mother on a Saturday morning in the kitchen with the broom in her hand singing and swaying her hips to the hook of one of Curtis Mayfield’s hits; “Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac Diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gangsta lean ooh ooh.” How many of you remember cleaning up on Saturday mornings with your Mama blasting her favorite tunes? Take me back, take me back…

So, as you become more familiar with Gangsta Goodies Kitchen know that our healthier options will be featured in the tab labeled, GangstaLean.  Let me now introduce to you the veggie burger, straight outta GangstaLean. They are loaded with healthy grains, beans and fresh veggies…and they are exploding with flavor. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do in the Gangsta Goodies Kitchen.

• 1 cup packed, fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• ½ cup uncooked Quinoa
• 1/3 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes + 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil
• 1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
• ¼ cup bread crumbs ( we used Panko)
• ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
• ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 small zucchini chopped
• 3 medium-sized garlic cloves chopped
• 1 large egg
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup garbanzo beans (drained)
• 1 cup black beans (drained)
• Sea salt (to taste)
• Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Cooking Directions
1. Pour the broth into a small pot, place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Add the basil, sun-dried tomatoes & oil, almonds, bread crumbs, onion, Parmesan, garlic, egg to a food processor or blender. Process until you have as smooth a consistency as possible. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
3. Mash the garbanzo & black beans in a bowl.
4. Add cooked quinoa, garbanzo & black beans to the bowl and mix until its evenly incorporated into the sun-dried tomato mixture.
5. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Use an ice cream scooper to shape veggie burger mixture into 8 perfect sized burgers. Use the back of the ice cream scoop to flatten into a patty. (be gentle and don’t flatten too much)
6. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will help mold the veggie burger mixture.
7. Coat non stick skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once the pan is very hot, use a spatula to place burgers into the pan. Don’t crown the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then carefully flip burger over and reduce heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes.





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