Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thai Carrot Burgers

This has been one of those weeks at work where the demands on my time never seem to cease. During those weeks when work is particularly chaotic, having a delicious and nutritious lunch is more important than ever, particularly if it doesn't take me very long to throw together at night. One of my favorite solutions to this problem is whipping up a batch of veggie burgers on the weekend for lunches during the week. My recently rekindled obsession with veggie burgers (thanks Moosewood!) has led to me start tackling the long list of bookmarked recipes I haven't yet made from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, starting with Sesame Sweet Potato and Cabbage Burgers and most recently leading me to these vibrantly flavored Thai Carrot Burgers. Fans of the cuisine of Southeast Asia will be delighted by this melange of sweet, spicy, fresh, and earthy flavors, reveling in the cloud of spices that fills the kitchen while these burgers are cooking. Sweet carrots play beautifully with the spicy serrano,  rich and creamy peanut butter, and fresh cilantro in this powerfully aromatic burger that has more flavor than anything that healthy has a right to. Although best fresh out of the oven, these will still delight even if (unideally) frozen and reheated in the work microwave. As corny as it sounds, even when life is crazy, try not to lose yourself in the shuffle-staying healthy and energized with meals like this is the best way to make it through.

Thai Carrot Burgers
from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
makes four 6-inch burgers

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch scallions, including one inch into the dark green parts, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped (seeded or not, depending on your personal heat threshold)
4 cups grated carrots (about 8 medium size carrots)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Juice of 1/2 lime 
1/4 cups roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat a large lidded saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, add the scallions and cook just until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile pepper and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the carrots, salt, coriander, tumeric, and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are soft but not mushy.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, peanut butter, and lime juice. Stir in the carrot mixture and the cilantro. Fold in the bread crumbs. Let sit for about 10 minutes, allowing the crumbs to absorb some of the liquid. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 4 patties.

4. In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned each side, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I made these for dinner this evening ... DELICIOUS! :-)

    We put them on toasted bread with mayo, ketchup, slices of raw onion (Vidalia), slices of pickle, a slice of cheese, and some lettuce.