These burgers use lettuce leaves in place of buns and are served with homemade, salt-free ketchup, sliced onions, avocado and tomatoes. Leftover burgers also taste great crumbled into a green salad or on top of a baked potato.
½ cup dried pearl barley or short grain brown rice
1 ¾ cups water if using barley, or 1 cup water for brown rice
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup rolled oats
½ yellow onion, diced
6-8 mushrooms, diced (white button, cremini or shitake)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
¼ cup no-salt ketchup (see below) or tomato paste
On the side: tomatoes, lettuce leaves, avocado, sliced red onion, salt-free ketchup (below) and/or mustard
1. Place ½ cup dried pearled barley into a pan and add 1 ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 60 minutes. If using brown rice, combine 1 cup water with the 1/2 cup rice, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked barley, beans, oats, onion, mushrooms, herbs and spices, and ketchup. Transfer half of this to a food processor and pulse a few times, just until sticking together. Place this into a new bowl. Pulse the second half of the vegetable mixture, and add to the first half.
3. To make burgers, shape into patties about 3-4” wide and about a half-inch thick. Place patties into a non-stick skillet (see below) and cook on medium heat, flipping after about 5-10 minutes on first side. Cook until browned lightly on both sides, pressing down occasionally with the spatula. Don’t overcook or over-flatten these, since as they cool a bit they will firm up. Serve with lettuce leaves as buns with tomato, avocado and onions, mustard, and salt-free ketchup (click here for recipe).
Notes: Cook the barley or rice the night before and refrigerate for better results when forming and cooking the patties. / If you are avoiding gluten, use short grain brown rice (sweet brown rice is very good since it’s so sticky) instead of barley, and gluten-free oats may be substituted for regular oats. / Since we’re not using any oil in the pan, use a good quality non-stick pan; I like the Berndes brand, made in Germany. / Westbrae Naturals makes a salt-free ketchup.
Preparation: 20 minutes; cooking time: 10-15 minutes each burger (60 minutes to cook barley); makes: 10-12 patties