Today we are summiting Mount Whitney which means we are at the end of our hike of the John Muir Trail! Today is no easy day, however, as we are hiking around 16 miles, including a steady climb to the Mount Whitney summit, and then 6,300 feet of descent to Whitney Portal. Since I’m writing this for the future, I have no idea how I’m going to be feeling at this point, but I can imagine it will be a mixture of happiness and excitement (for a shower) and almost a bit of sadness that this trek we’ve been preparing for over a year is over. I’m also pretty sure I’ll be ready for some good food and a glass of wine. It’s a good thing we’re heading to Napa Valley for a little relaxation before we head home!
While I’m not a vegetarian (BACON!!) I can definitely appreciate a good veggie burger. In fact, when there’s an option between a regular beef burger and a veggie burger, I almost always go for the veggie. I like the heartiness and flavor from veggie burgers, and all of the different things they can be made one.
How-ev-er…one thing that really bums me out about veggie burgers is that most of the homemade recipes I’ve made are not exactly grill-able. It seems that the combination of beans, grains, and veggies just can’t mesh quite like good ‘ol ground beef and it ends up a hot mess on the grill. Luckily I have found a SOLUTION! So now you can grill out in your backyard or have a picnic in the park (with a grill nearby) and enjoy your new favorite veggie burger without throwing in curse words at the grill. Picnics are much more enjoyable without the swearing, y’know.
The trick is pre-cooking the veggie burgers on the stovetop. You don’t have to cook them completely, since you’ll be throwing them on the grill later, but you want to get that nice crust to form on the outside so you have no problem handling it on the grill. Then you can keep them in the refrigerator or even the freezer for when you are ready to throw them on the grill. Works like a charm, I’m telling ya!
These veggie burgers were inspired by Mezzetta’s Make That Sandwich contest. Their challenge to me was to create a sandwich with a few of their tasty products that could be enjoyed on a picnic. I’ve been on a mission to make a creative veggie burger that could be grilled, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to take charge and make it happen. I was sent a bunch of their products including a jar of Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions, Olive Parmesan and Garlic Everything Spread, Savory Garlic Everything Spread (SO.GOOD!!) and figured they were the perfect starting point for a Mediterranean themed veggie burger.
Garbanzo beans are the base of this veggie burger, and are amped up in flavor from the Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions and a generous spoonful of the Savory Garlic Spread. I also threw in some breadcrumbs and an egg for binding it all together and a handful of arugula arugula for some greens. The combo flavor was awesome along with a nice lathering of the Olive Parmesan and Garlic Everything Spread on a toasted bun and topped with feta cheese and more arugula.
I loved these so much I made them three nights in a row! Once for a friend and the other two times for Marc who, as a beef burger lover, happily ate these veggie filled burgers!
Now it’s your turn to create a fun new sandwich using Mezzetta products, which can be found at grocery stores nationwide. Bonus incentive: $25,000! Can you imagine winning $25,000 for making a SANDWICH?! Let’s see what ya got!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mezzetta. The opinions and text are all mine.
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 12 oz jar Mezzetta Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions
- 1 tbsp Mezzetta Savory Garlic Everything Spread
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tbsp canola oil
- feta cheese, for topping
- arugula, for topping
- Combine garbanzo beans, red peppers and caramelized onions, garlic spread, salt, and arugula in large food processor and pulse until finely chopped and almost paste-like.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add breadcrumbs. Stir well to combine.
- Add egg and mix in well.
- Using 1/3 or 1/2 cup measuring cup (depending on how large you want your patties), scoop out burger mixture and form into patties. You want them to be an even thickness from edge to middle.
- In large skillet, heat 2 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat.
- Add veggie burgers, working in batches of 2-3 at a time depending on how large your skillet is.
- Cook 5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.
- If you are cooking them to grill for later, let them cool completely and store in airtight container in the refrigerator. To grill: place on oiled grill and cook ~3 minutes on each side, just so they are warm throughout. You can also toast your buns on the grill while you are grilling the burgers.
- If you are cooking them to eat now, toast your buns in the oven or on stovetop while you are cooking them.
- Spread buns with Olive, Parmesan, and Garlic Everything Spread, then top with burgers, arugula, and feta.