Buffalo chickpea patties

Buffalo chickpea patty KaleAndAle.com

Buffalo chickpea patty

franks redhot wings sauce buffaloThis patty is a long time coming. I have had this idea bouncing in my head for so long, but I can’t only blog about my love of Buffalo wing flavoring, specifically Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce (or, can I, you guys?!). Anything I can put it on or in is made a lot better. I love this spicy stuff, and I wanted to make a patty that proves you don’t have to eat chicken to have a fun Buffalo patty. This burger does, indeed, hit all the hot spots!

I used chickpeas because (besides being my favorite base) they don’t have too much a taste, so they would work well, though I could see kidney beans working too, if you had them on hand. I added all the regular players in a proper Buffalo chicken meal (sans chicken): Carrots, celery, blue cheese, hot wing sauce, plus onions and bread crumbs for texture, taste and to hold the patty together and help soak up the sauce. Which brings me to another point, you need a balance of sauce to dry ingredients, Not enough dry and it won’t hold together. Buffalo chickpea patties cooking KaleAndAle.com

These burgers really don’t need any topping, as it’s all incorporated into the patty. To keep things light and crisp, I ate my burger on a bed of lettuce (OK, with cheesy beer bread, you got me, this was a whole comfort food meal).

Buffalo chickpea patty

Makes 5-6 patties


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 carrot, diced or shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese (can substitute some for mozzarella or cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup hot wing sauce
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients. except the oil.
  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. When the mixture is set, form 5 to 6 patties. If the mixture seems too wet or hot when tasting it, add a little more breadcrumbs so the mixture is moist but sticks together.
  4. Put two tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil heats up, turn it down to medium.
  5. Place the patties in the skillet, cooking about 6 to 8 minutes per side, until browned.
  6. The center will be moist, but if you need to cook the patties a little longer to firm up in the middle, place on a baking sheet in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. When cooked through, place the patties on a plate with paper towels to absorb any extra oil.

Best black bean burger

Best Black Bean Burger KaleAndAle.com

So good, hence being dubbed the Best Black Bean Burgers.

Any time I go to a restaurant and see the veggie burger is made in-house, I get excited. Although many times it disappoints, either it’s not cooked enough or bland. But I am always happily surprised to get the black bean burger at Duffy’s, a sports bar chain restaurant in South Florida. Better known for beer and chicken wings, the Duffy’s burger is very good. Baked and flavorful and topped with avocado. And I think this burger I created could rival the Duffy’s burger.

That’s why I’m dubbing this burger the Best Black Bean Burger. It has a nice balance of flavors, it’s not too dry and not too soft, a good amount of spices and will hold up with whatever toppings sound good at the time. The addition of zucchini and carrot keeps the burger from being too dry and adds a hint of sweetness. And the vivid colors don’t hurt.

Best Black Bean Burger KaleAndAle.com

Loving the colors of these black bean burgers.

The burger is very simple to make and I assembled it while I had something else in the oven, formed the patties and slipped it into the oven all while my side dish was baking. It would be a great substitute for a vegetarian or anyone looking to eat healthier at a Labor Day get-together.

Best Black Bean Burger

Makes 6 patties


  • One can of black beans
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon spice of your choice (I used cumin)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Dice or grate the zucchini. Place it in a bowl with slots, put a healthy dose of salt on it and let it sit for 10 minutes to sweat. Wrap it in a towel or paper towels and squeeze to get out all the liquid. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the black beans.
  3. Dice or grate a carrot, add it and the zucchini to the bowl with the black beans.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients and stir until mixed.
  5. Let the patty mixture sit for 15 minutes. They should firm up and dry out. If they still seem too wet, at more breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture will form into patties and stay together.
  6. Oil a baking sheet. Form six patties and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
  8. Flip and cook for 10-15 more minutes.
  9. Top with whatever sounds good. I recommend avocado or tangy barbecue sauce.

What foods are you most looking forward to on Labor Day?

The making of veggie burgers (and a recipe)

Over on Serious Eats, The Food Lab set out to make a veggie burger that doesn’t suck. They take you through their thought process on coming up with the perfect burger.

I’ve kind of mentioned in previous veggie burger posts that there are key components to any successful burger: veggies (duh, the name) seasonings (flavor) and beans and/or grains, at the very least. And this article takes you through all the components, what worked (and didn’t) and why they are necessary to a great veggie burger. There is also a recipe included. If you are interested in veggie burgers and experimenting to try your own, it’s worth a look.

And one thing I always mention that this article didn’t was that all veggie burgers (that I’ve ever tried) can be doubled and frozen to have them ready for the future without the work. Just pop them in the oven (for best results) to reheat.

TVP burger

I recently tried a burger with a product I’ve never used before: Textured vegetable protein. It is used in place of ground beef and is made from reduced-fat soy beans. I figured a veggie burger would be a really great place to start.

TVP (as it’s called) is high in fiber, protein and iron. Because it is like ground beef, it has a lot of uses. There is a recipe for rice and beans on the package I plan to try soon.

Back to the burger. I found this on the Bob’s Red Mill site. It also uses chickpea flour to bind it, so it turns out really chewy. And I used the vegetables and seasonings from the recipe, adding an Italian seasoning blend I have, but you can use whatever sounds good.

Textured Vegetable Protein Burgers

Makes about 6 burgers (depending on size)


  • 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the boiling water with the TVP, ketchup, sea salt and herbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then mix in the grated carrot, chopped celery, chopped green onion and parsley flakes. Mix in the oil and vital wheat gluten flour to make a firm mixture.
  2. Scoop out a packed 1/2 cup of the mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat until you have 4-6 formed patties.
  3. Place patties on a greased baking sheet at bake at 350° for 30 minutes, flipping burger after 15 minutes.

Have you used TVP? What did you make with it?

Lentil burger

Lentils are a pretty great food. They don’t have much of a taste, so they can be versatile. They are cheap and quick to make, making them a great pantry staple. They have a high amount of protein and fiber, so they are a healthy and logical choice to star in a veggie burger.

This is an easy recipe that creates a thick, filling, flavorful veggie burger, great for meatless Monday, Lent or a healthy alternative to meat. Veggie burgers also last a long time in the fridge and are always easy to freeze for future use.

I have had this recipe for a long time; I got it from The Veggie Table, a good (albeit old-school interface) website that has a lot of good vegetarian recipes. Because the lentils take on the flavor of the food they are with, feel free to substitute other veggies or spices based on availability and preference.



Lentil burgers

Makes about 8 thick burgers


  • 1 cup dry lentils, well rinsed
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, optional
  • ¾ cup rolled oats, finely ground
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs


  1. Place the lentils, water and salt in saucepan, bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft, with splitting skins.
  2. Sauté the onion and carrot in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the lentils, onions, carrots, pepper and soy sauce (if using, I replaced a little of it with liquid smoke) in the large bowl, then mix in the ground oats and bread crumbs.
  4. While still warm, form the lentil mixture into patties, which can now be frozen, refrigerated (for up to 5 days) or cooked immediately.
  5. Cooking (2 possibilities):
  • In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil, place a burger on top and fry until brown, 1-2 minutes. Repeat on other side and serve.
  • In a 400º oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown, about 15 minutes.

Meatless Monday: Veggie-bean-grain burgers

As I come across veggie burger recipes that look interesting, I clip them and put them in a folder. I was looking through the folder to see if anything different would inspire me.

I have a few go-to burgers, like my easy chickpea patty, and I have a lot of different burgers I will make “someday.” This burger falls into the second category and, after it caught my attention, “someday” came last week.

Unlike many burgers I make which rely on either veggie, bean or grain, this has it all. Thus, I’m calling it my veggie-bean-grain burger. And to pump up the grains in it (it calls for bulgur) I used my awesome Whole Grain Medley mix from Target’s Archer Farms brand, found next to the other grains and beans. This stuff is awesome! And it has a reclosable bag, unless you rip it open below the resealable part. 🙂

This will be added to my rotation. And it’s pretty diverse; if you don’t have the right bean, grain, cheese or veggie, any of that amount can be substituted.

Veggie-bean-grain burger

Makes 4-6 burgers


  • 1 cup cooked grains
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) beans of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil, to coat the skillet


  1. Pulse the beans in a food processor.
  2. Put them in a big bowl with the grains, Swiss cheese, carrots, scallion and egg.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and mix all together.
  4. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  5. Make 1/2 cup of the mixture into a tight ball and flatten, making sure not to flatten the edges too thin. (This is how I make veggie burgers that really stay together, learned from many years of experience and countless burgers that fell apart.) Repeat until your skillet is full. I don’t like to overcrowd my skillet and it’s small, so I cook three burgers at a time.
  6. Cook untill browned and cooked through, about three minutes per side.
  7. Let cool between paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve when cooled in a bun (or I often use a lettuce wrap) with toppings of your choice.