These chickpea burgers are similar to falafel, but with the added whole-grain goodness of brown rice and wheat germ.
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2/3 cup wheat germ, divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads, warmed
- 8 slices tomato
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- Heat a small skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add coriander and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 20 seconds more. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder; set aside.
- Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. (Alternatively, preheat a grill to medium-high.)
- Coarsely mash chickpeas in a medium bowl with a potato masher. Stir in rice, 1/3 cup wheat germ, lemon juice, salt, pepper, the reserved spice mixture and the scallion mixture; mix well. Shape the mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place the remaining 1/3 cup wheat germ in a shallow dish and dredge the patties, pressing the wheat germ onto them firmly. If broiling, place the patties on a lightly oiled rack set on a baking sheet. (If grilling, oil the grill rack; see Tip.)
- Broil (or grill) the patties until browned and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Tuck the burgers into pitas with tomato slices, spinach and yogurt.
Serving them on pita breads with thick slices of tomato and a dab of plain yogurt continues the Middle Eastern theme, but if you want to take it even further, drizzle with a little sauce made with minced garlic and tahini thinned with water and lemon juice.
478 calories; 10 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 82 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 15 g fiber; 813 mg sodium