My little brother is now a vegan, and I’m pretty sure my parents are completely at a loss as to what to cook for him. My dad owns steak restaurants. No butter?! No cheese? We had a very close call involving an apple hand pie when I forgot that it’s primary ingredient is indeed butter (not vegan. not at all.) My brother is better than me in many ways, and this new dietary restriction is just added to a long list of reasons. So when he and my sister came to visit last weekend, I had to wow him with my creative vegan recipes. And also save my poor parents by giving them a recipe he can finally eat.
So I made vegan falafel burgers. I saw many falafel recipes that called for dried chickpeas to soak for 24 hours. That’s all great, but since this is in burger form, I didn’t see that as necessary. I used canned chickpeas, and they worked perfectly. The other great thing is, if you simply drain the chickpeas and add the breadcrumbs and flour, it holds together easily, no egg needed to hold it all together. It seems like a long list of things to do. Pickling cabbage and making tzatziki sauce, but it’s all pretty simple.
Let’s get started on this recipe!
First, you’ll make your pickled cabbage. In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Cook on low just long enough so the salt and sugar dissolve. Then put all your cabbage into a large jar. Pour the mixture into the jar over the cabbage. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
While the cabbage sits, you can make your falafel burgers! My food processor broke, and I used an immersion blender to puree about 3/4 of the mixture. Leaving some whole beans in there. You can use a food processor and only pulse 3/4 of the beans with the herbs and spices. Then stir the remaining beans and the puree in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Add in the breadcrumbs and flour and stir until everything is evenly combined.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of breadcrumbs on a plate. In your hands, roll a ball and flatten it out to the size and shape of a burger. Coat both sides lightly in the breadcrumbs on the plate and let it sit on the plate. Repeat with the remaining falafel mix until you have about 8 patties.
To make the tzatziki sauce, simply whiz together the dairy free yogurt with the cucumber, lemon juice, parsley, dill, and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor.
To grill the burgers, use a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown.
I like to also grill the buns in a little oil for a couple minutes until toasty. Then top your burgers with tzatziki sauce, cucumber slices, red onion, pickled cabbage, tomatoes and dig in!
I love these simple burgers. What is your favorite version of a veggie burger?
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ cups shredded cabbage
- 2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley leaved
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ cup breadcrumbs plus 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs for dusting
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 ounces of plain dairy-free yogurt or coconut yogurt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup diced cucumber
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- sliced tomato
- sliced cucumber
- sliced red onion
- pickled cabbage
- tzatziki sauce
- 8 hamburger buns
- In a small saucepan, add the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Heat to medium-low and stir until sugar is just dissolved, two minutes. Add the cabbage to a large jar. Pour the liquid over the cabbage in the jar until full. Let it sit for one hour at room temperature and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- In an 8 cup food processor, add 1½ cans of garbanzo beans, reserving the remaining half can. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, garlic powder and cumin. Pulse until roughly chopped. Remove the chickpea mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining beans, flour, and ½ cup plus 2 tbsp breadcrumbs to the mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. If it's not dry enough to make into patties, add another tbsp of breadcrumbs until it's more firm.
- Sprinkle a large plate with the remaining breadcrumbs. Roll a ball of the mixture in your hand and flatten into a palm-sized patty. Place on the breadcrumb plate and coat the outside lightly in the breadcrumbs on both sides. Repeat with remaining garbanzo bean mixture until you have about 8 patties.
- In a large non-stick pan, add half the oil over medium high heat. Add 4 patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the patties are browned on each side. Repeat with remaining patties and place on a clean plate. Set aside
- In a food processor, add the dairy-free yogurt, lemon, cucumber, salt and pepper, parsley, dill, and garlic. Pulse a few seconds. Sauce should be chunky. Set aside
- In a large non-stick pan toast the buns, cut side down until just browned. Remove to plates. Add the burger to the bottom bun. Spread tzatziki sauce on the top bun. Add the tomato, cucumber slices, onion, and cabbage to the top bun. Serve hot.