Let me paint a picture for you…
Me, my husband Patrick and two of his friends near the coast of Northern California. We’re walking along a cracked sidewalk, carefully stepping around garbage, discarded cigarettes and homeless-looking people. Every store we walk by seems to be boarded up, closed down or torn to shambles. We find the one restaurant besides TacoTime that seems to be open, and wander inside. Everyone is tatted, pierced and staring into nothingness, adorned in hippy clothes with beers in hand. The smell of marijuana drifts around our heads…
This is a typical scene from a night in Garberville, California…also known as the “marijuana heartland of the U.S.”
It’s these kinds of situations where you find the best surprises. Like a) the bearded man in the corner strumming Bob Dylan songs on his guitar, and b) the veggie burger I ordered that turned out to be completely delicious, despite my skepticism. (Pretty sure my waitress was high…)
My meal inspired me to create my own version of that scrumptious sandwich…and this is what I dreamed up…
A Sweet Cashew Veggie Burger, piled high with sprouts, avocados, tomatoes and feta cheese, drizzled with Creamy Ranch Dressing and garlic mayonnaise.
I’d say my visit to Garberville was a success.
- Olive oil
- ¼ yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium-sized beets
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. paprika
- ½ cup carrots, peeled and shredded
- Salt pepper to taste
- ½ cup quinoa
- Creamy Ranch Dressing
- Garlic mayo (mix 3 Tbsp. mayo with 1 tsp. minced garlic. Adjust to taste.)
- Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package.
- Dice the onion and sauté in oil over low heat until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beets, cashews, chickpeas, garlic and paprika and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor or high-powered blender. Add the shredded carrots and pulse until a sticky dough forms.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the quinoa, mixture from the blender and salt and pepper, and mix with a spoon until combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Divide the dough into 6 even balls and form into patties.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil until the pan is coated. Place the burgers in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Gently flip the burgers over and turn down the heat to low. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the burgers are firm on the outside.
- Serve on a whole-wheat bun and top with your favorite toppings. (See suggestions above).