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Hoppin' John Burgers

Hoppin' John Burgers

How you you celebrating New Year’s Day? At our house, we usually have a vegan brunch and some form of black-eyed peas, a customary food for the new year, believed to help usher in prosperity to those who eat them on the first of January. I don’t know if they will bring prosperity but I still love black-eyed peas: they cook quickly for a legume (no soaking necessary), and they are full of fiber. This year, I decided to turn these into burgers.  The result was a burger that was soft and flavorful on the inside, crispy on the outside, thanks to the sesame seeds (actually, some cultures consider sesame seeds good luck, too).  They take a little time but they are easy to make and truly delicious. Serve hot from the oven or warm up in a skillet coated with a little oil. Load up with your favorite fixings - especially greens, also considered good luck! - and dig in.   

Hoppin' John Burgers
Makes 18-20 burgers

2 cups dried black-eyed peas, sorted
1 cup quinoa
1 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. thyme
1 t. basil
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 T gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 T. fresh chives, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sesame seeds

Cook the black-eyed peas in plenty of water, at least 12 cups. Partially cover and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Cook for an hour or until the black-eyed peas are soft. Drain.

While the black-eyed peas are cooking, combine the quinoa with two cups of water in a small pot and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable stock over medium-high heat for a minute, then add the onions. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes, until the onion is beginning to soften, then add the garlic, spices, crushed tomatoes, tamari and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat, occasionally stirring. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly brush with oil. Spread the sesame seeds on a large plate.

Place half of the cooked black-eyed peas in a food processor and purée until smooth. In a large bowl, combined the puréed black-eyed peas, remaining beans, quinoa, tomato-onion mixture, garbanzo bean flour, scallions, chives and any additional seasoning. Mix together with a large spoon. The mixture should be thick. Scoop up 1/3 cup, roll into a ball, then roll each one in the sesame seeds, coating it completely. Place on the prepared baking sheet, press to lightly flatten, and continue until the sheet is full.

Bake for 20 minutes, gently flip, then bake for 17 more minutes. Serve warm with all your fixings. Enjoy the new year!

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