Tahini and butternut squash add moistness and flavour to these chickpea burgers, while the polenta gives them a lovely, crispy coating.At a mere 160 calories each, these are delicious, diet-friendly, filling, and incredibly satisfying.
Place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin-side down, fill the well (the hole where the seeds used to be) with water, and roast for 20 minutes or so, until soft.
While the squash is cooking, gently sauté the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms in the olive oil, until they have begun to caramelise, and come cleanly away from the skillet.
Roughly mash the chickpeas until you have a coarse paste.
Add the ground flax seed, tahini, paprika, Vegeta, and parsley to the chickpeas, and mix in.
Once the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms are done, add to the chickpea mixture.
Pour away any remaining water left in the squash, remove the skin (cook’s treat – the roast skin is yummy!), and mash the flesh. Add to the chickpea mixture.
Mix everything together well. You should now have a firm but not dry, burger mix.
Taste, and season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Over a medium-high flame, heat a little oil in a heavy-based skillet, scoop up enough of the mixture to make into a ball a bit larger than a golf ball, flatten slightly, press each side into the polenta, and then place in the pan.
Don't be tempted to move the burger around - you need to give it time to develop a crisp, golden crust.
After 3-4 minutes, check to see if the bottom is done, if it is, carefully flip the burger over, and cook the other side.
Serve in a bun, tortilla, or pita with green salad, a little dressing of your choice, and maybe some tomato slices. Or forget the bun, and simply wrap the burger in an iceberg lettuce leaf for a healthier, and low-calorie alternative.
Because I have no way of knowing whether you’ll use a smidge, a spray, a teaspoon, or a tablespoon of oil for frying, or even none at all if your skillet is non-stick, the nutritional information for these ultimate veggie burgers is sans frying oil. If you do use it, and are calorie/macro-counting, do be sure to factor it in.