Fraiche Nutrition: Portobello Freekeh Veggie Burgers
I strongly debated whether or not to include the ingredient ‘freekeh’ in the title of this post. It’s not exactly a mainstream ingredient, and I actually just learned how to pronounce it, let alone cook with it. I decided to throw caution to the wind and throw it in there. What a rebel.
Quinoa has been centre stage for a couple of years now as a ‘superfood,’ and rightfully so. It’s a nutrition powerhouse. So my attention was piqued when I heard that freekeh (pronounced ‘freek-hey) is actually superior nutrition-wise compared with quinoa, and is set to be the next super-grain. Because it’s harvested when it’s young, the grain retains more protein, fibre, and minerals than mature wheat. It’s even a source of beneficial prebiotics (the healthy food for the good bacteria in our guts) and is low on the glycemic index which can help control blood sugars and assist with weight loss.
While new to our North American culture, freekeh is made from durum wheat and is an ancient grain that’s been a part of Middle Eastern diets since biblical times. I have been meaning to try it for ages, and was reminded of this during my last shopping trip to Nature’s Fare Markets (they always have those unique ingredients I’m searching for). I loved the idea of incorporating it into a recipe, and decided to put it into a veggie burger, thinking that the texture may work well. My hunch was right, and these were a hit, even with my meat-loving husband.
(Note: freekeh is NOT gluten-free. So it appears that quinoa still has it’s competitive advantage. Whew, says quinoa!)
All that being said, you can substitute brown rice for the freekeh if you wish.
- Chop the mushrooms into fine pieces. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Turn to medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has cooked out. Add the parsley and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
- In a large bowl combine the mushroom mixture with the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Form into patties and heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan. Cook the burgers in batches (don’t crowd the pan) until each burger is golden brown on one side and flip. Repeat with the remaining burgers and serve on a bun (or between lettuce leafs) with your favourite burger toppings!
Tori is a Registered Dietitian and self-proclaimed foodie. Her nutrition philosophy embraces moderation and quality without deprivation. She started up Fraîche Nutrition on a whim in August 2014, inspired to help share her love of food and educate others on simple healthy eating at the same time. Tori believes that food and nutrition has become overly complicated, and hopes to help others live healthier lives one wholesome recipe at a time.