Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w/ Harissa Aioli

Here is another easy veggie burger recipe for you. A Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w/ Harissa Aioli!  Warning! This is a spicy burger due to the harrisa so if you can’t take the heat, use less harissa, Sriracha or make this standby “special sauce” I make for my kiddos, which is mayo and ketchup mixed together and then add a pinch of cayenne.  It won’t be the same without the harissa, but if spicy isn’t your thing, it’s a pleasant alternative. 

This burger is incredibly tasty deriving its flavors from the Tunisian Spice Blend which consists of coriander, cumin, caraway seeds, and crushed red pepper (optional… well because it’s already spicy!).  I shredded carrots in my food processor and then added the chickpeas, grated onion, garlic, oat flour, and the Tunisian Spice blend.  Mix with a mixing spoon or your hands (even better) and fry on high heat.  Add toppings. Simple and easy.

I am convinced that these days consumers are opting to make their own veggie burgers instead of purchasing frozen pre-made ones.  When I was a strict vegetarian years ago, frozen veggie burgers were my go-to quick meal for lunch and/or dinner.  I didn’t read labels as much as I do now, so I wasn’t paying attention to the sodium content and the products used in the ingredients.  In my mind, I was eating healthy because it had the word veggie in the name.  I’ve since learned that there is a difference between being healthy and thinking you’re being healthy.  Nowadays, restaurants are making their own house-made veggie burgers with kick ass ingredients. There is an arsenal of plant-based veggie burger recipes that can be downloaded and whipped up in minutes in your kitchen, including this one 😜.  The possibilities are endless and equally tasty! 

Enjoy!

Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w Harissa Aioli//serves 4

burger
2 cups grated carrot (about 5-6 carrots)
2 cans (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup oat flour
2 tablespoons Tunisian spice mixture (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and pepper

tunisian spice mixture//makes 6 tablespoons
adapted from Epicurious
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Finely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, and crushed red pepper in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.  Do ahead: Can be made 1 month ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.

quick harissa aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons store bought harissa (I used Trader Joe’s Harissa)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the harrisa, stir together mayonnaise, harissa and lemon juice.  Spread harissa on each bun.

Toppings:
Massaged kale
Tomatoes
Red onion

In a food processor fitted with the shredding disc, grate the carrots and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Switch to the blade, and add the rinsed and drained chickpeas, grated onion, garlic cloves, oat flour, spice mixture, and salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.  The mixture should be thick and hold firmly together.  Heat a grill pan to high and add oil.  Form the mixture into 4 ¾ inch-thick patties.  Grill until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side.  Serve the burgers immediately with the toppings and harissa.

Glorious Green Juice

I am an avid juicer.  I juice to rid my body of toxins, clear skin, boost my immune system and because it’s good for me.  When I first started juicing,  I wanted to purchase my own juicer.  I found that purchasing juices at my local juice bar limited me to what was on their menu and it was getting a bit pricey.  So, I researched juicers and learned all that I could possibly learn before I made the purchase.  Here’s the rundown.  There are three types of juicers: the centrifugal, masticating and hydraulic press. 

The centrifugal juicer is generally the most popular and most affordable juicer.  It chops up the juice with its cutting blade and spins the produce at a very high speed.  This produces more heat, which oxidizes the juice.  It doesn’t extract the full amount of juice from your produce, but it is fast and efficient.

The masticating juicer runs at a lower speed, which means it generates less heat.  It chews your produce producing less pulp, giving you more nutrients and more juice.  The one I purchased that I’ve had for over a decade is the Champion Juicer 2000 Commercial.  It has served me well.

The hydraulic press juicer (the mother of all juicers) produces the best quality juices and is the most expensive.  The hydraulic press has two steel plates, clamps down on the pulp and puts extreme pressure, thus releasing more juice than any other type of juicer. 

So, there’s my quick Juicer 101 if you’re interested in becoming a regular juicer.  Once you purchase your juicer and you’re not sure what to juice, I recommend carrots and apples or carrots and beets as a starter.  When I started juicing, the first book I purchased was an amazing book called, Miracle Juices by Charmaine Yabsley.  The book has beautiful pictures of juice and each juice is either linked to a specific ailment or categorized by dieting, weight gain, and so on.  I remember when I first purchased my juicer, I went juice crazy and I think I made pretty much every juice in the Miracle Juices book.  These days I juice what’s in my fridge as I often stock my fridge weekly with various types of produce.

I made this glorious green juice as it has been a minute since I made green juice and to help me manage a cold. Swiss chard is packed with nutrition and comes in various colors: green, rainbow and yellow stems.  It also is mildly bitter so for those a bit apprehensive about the flavor of green juice, I'd highly recommend this combination as an introduction.  You're getting all your nutrients and a great tasting juice!

Glorious Green Juice//serves one

2 cups swiss chard
2 persian cucumbers
4 carrots
1 medium-sized pear
1-inch piece ginger

Wash all produce and feed through your juicer.  Enjoy as soon as possible.