Veggie Burgers with Kale Recipe

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Kale, Glorious Kale 100 Recipes for Nature's Healthiest GreenNicole Cabot scored a bull’s eye when she created these gluten-free veggie burgers. The burgers have a bit of everything brown rice, beans, vegetables, and kale with just the right amount of flavor, yet they are still simple to make. Nicole, a private chef here on Martha’s Vineyard, likes to serve these crispy burgers on a bed of greens with kimchi mayo. Alternatively, serve the burgers with a bun, lettuce, sliced tomato with Sriracha mayo, or without buns, topped with a tomato salsa.

  • Yield: 7 burgers (or a dozen mini sliders)


  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice (about 3½ cups cooked)
  • Salt
  • 3 large kale leaves, stripped from stalk, chopped into small bits about ¼ inch, and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely grated carrot (smallest grate on a box grater)
  • ¼ red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, finely diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, or pinto or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon grainy or Dijon mustard
  • Dash of Sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive, avocado, or coconut oil, for sautéing
How to Make It
  1. Cook the brown rice in a small saucepan with 2¼ cups of water and two pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Let cool.
  2. Place the kale in a bowl, and add the olive oil and two pinches of salt. Massage for 1 to 2 minutes, until reduced a bit. If the kale feels moist, squeeze out the moisture with a paper towel. Add the carrot, pepper, and scallion. Set aside.
  3. Place the beans in a large mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, and Sriracha. Mash together with a potato masher and stir until most of the beans are smashed. A few whole beans are fine. Add the cooled rice and the kale mixture and mix well. Add additional salt, if needed. Squeeze the rice mixture a bit with your hands to break down the rice slightly, to help hold the burgers together. Form into six or seven patties, making each burger patty by forming back and forth between your hands until you compact it slightly. Chill for 30 minutes on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Don’t skip this step, which helps the burgers set.
  4. Heat your oil of choice in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the burgers without crowding them and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until crispy on the outside and hot inside. Serve immediately.

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