Easy Veggie Burger with Carrots, Zucchini, Chickpeas and Halloumi Cheese

i’m still in a bit of a recovery mode from yesterday’s rambling tea party and banquet, so here’s a post originally published on eat.drink.better.com.  it’s the first recipe in a series inspired by the what-the-hell-am-i-going-to-do-with-all-these-vegetables game i play (and very much enjoy) every week when i pick up my organic veg bags. read the original here and support an awesome local healthy eating website!

happy saturdays,

mei

*****

Zucchini Carrot Veggie Burger on Salad

A lot of supermarket vegetarian burgers try so hard to resemble meat that they ignore the fact that vegetables actually taste delicious in the first place. Why try to replicate a beef burger with a monotonously colored brown thing full of mysterious ingredients and even weirder textures when you can eat a vegetable burger that actually showcases the flavors of the vegetables? Here on Eat.Drink.Better we’ve seen fantastic burgers made of black beans, white beans, lentils and portobello, and and even beets! Here’s another veggie burger that’s brightly colored, packed with exciting flavors, and simple to make with both fresh and canned vegetables. Plus, it’s healthy but still deliciously tasty thanks to the freshness of just-grated carrots and zucchini with the heft of canned chickpeas and the salty tanginess of halloumi cheese.

Never heard of halloumi before? I saw this white cheese for the the first time when I moved to London – it’s a traditional Cypriot cheese with a firm texture similar to mozzarella and a rich saltiness reminiscent of feta. You could substitute either of those cheeses in this recipe, although halloumi works particularly well because of its high melting point, which prevents the cheese from melting all over the pan when you pan fry the burger. So forget those frozen brown hockey pucks passing as veggie burgers that come straight out of the supermarket freezer – this meat-free dish is full of pretty colors and easy on the eyes as well as the mouth. Enjoy!

Easy Veggie Burger with Carrots, Zucchini, Chickpeas and Cheese

(makes 4 burgers)

What You Need:

1 clove garlic

1/4 small onion

1 large carrot

1 zucchini

1/2 can chickpeas

4 oz halloumi cheese (I used a lite version and it tasted great)

1 egg

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

salt and black pepper

white pepper (optional but delicious!)

red pepper flakes (if you like things spicy)

olive oil

What To Do:

1. Grate the carrots, mince the garlic and slice the onion. Saute the garlic in olive oil over low heat. In a few minutes, add the onion and let it soften a bit, then add about half the carrots to cook until they become soft and golden.

2. While the garlic, onions, and carrots are cooking, grate the zucchini into the other half of the carrots.

3. Drain the chickpeas, mash into a thick paste with a fork, and add to the carrots and zucchini.

4. Dice the halloumi into tiny pieces and mix into the carrot, zucchini and chickpea mixture.

5. Add an egg and the lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix all the ingredients together with salt and pepper and any other spices of your choice (I used both white and red pepper) and shape into four patties. You may need to squeeze a bit of liquid out to get the patties to stick together better.

6. Fry the burgers in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side, until they get crispy and brown and delicious!

Serving Options:

I ate my burger on top of a salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, and diced halloumi cheese. It would also be delicious as a more traditional hamburger on a bun with a yogurt sauce and greens. So versatile and tasty, the veggie burger doesn’t have to be mysterious and brown if you make your own!

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One thought on “Easy Veggie Burger with Carrots, Zucchini, Chickpeas and Halloumi Cheese

  1. Piedro says:

    I discovered halloumi a few years ago as I moved to Cyprus, never heard of it before. But straight away I fell in love with that delicious cheese that is so versatile and gives its special note to so many dishes. Very often we try new halloumi recipes and there is not one week since then, that we won’t have at least one meal with halloumi, not to speak about BBQs, where having halloumi is a must.
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe and giving me some new ideas.

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