Pumpkin Burgers ( Vegan )

Pumpkin Burgers
Pumpkin Burgers

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chickpeas or cannelini beans
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced [approx 1/2 tsp]
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 fresh burger buns + all your favorite toppings
for bolder flavor, add an extra extra 1/4 tsp cumin and cinnamon
feeling spicy? amp up the cayenne to give these babies some heat!
of course no burger is complete without a not-so-secret sauce...
smoky chipotle aoli: 1/2 cup your favorite vegan sandwich spread! 1/2 cup  your favorite vegan sandwich spread! 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo 1/2-1 clove of garlic, smashed & minced [optional] 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tsp sriracha 1 tsp parsley 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp salt
First cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package in either water or your favorite broth.
To prettify the burgers, I grind my oats in a food processor ( a blender works too ) so they resemble a coarse powder.  Combine your ground oats and cooked quinoa and set aside.
Next drain and rinse your beans, then pulse in a food processor or blender to lightly "whip" the beans.  They'll be easier to form into patties this way,
  Next, caramelize your onion in approx 1/2 tablespoon of oil.  It's just like sauteing, only you'll turn the heat up a teeny bit more and encourage the golden browning that you'd avoid otherwise.  Heat your skillet to medium-high with approx 1/2 teaspoon of oil, add chopped onions, and stir frequently.  Add a pinch of salt to help those babies give up a little liquid and feel free to add a little water or an extra drizzle oil to the pan to help de-glaze the brown bits that stick.  You'll want to cook your garlic in the same pan, but add it at the end [make sure the pan isn't too dry] and saute only briefly so it doesn't bur.  Once your veggies are ready, transfer to a large bowl with the beans, pumpkin, quinoa, and oats and add your herbs/spices to season.  I usually taste and sniff as I go and adjust the spices along the way.  A little extra garlic, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne made their way into the batch I made myself, but when I made them for spice-shy friends I added less heat.  Let your senses and spice-preference be your guide!
Divide the pumpkin mixture into four equal parts and form into balls.  Cup each ball in your hands and squeeze while pressing it into a compact disc.  Form into 4 patties.  If you're making these for later, pop them on a covered plate or wrap individually in plastic and refrigerate until later.  Ready to eat?  Pour a teeny bit of oil in a skillet, heat to high, and cook for a few minutes on each side until you're left with a golden crust and a warm center.
for the sauce: Finely chop your chipotle peppers  and whisk it together with the remaining ingredients or simply combine all ingredients in a small food processor/blender and pulse.  Taste, and then add more of any of the above ingredients that you'd like to amplify.  I make it a little bit differently each time depending on my mood -- sometimes with extra garlic and sometimes with a whole lot of heat!  It's super flexible and ridiculously tasty!  Spread a little on each bun and plop your pumpkin burger in the middle, piled high with all your favorite toppings.  Enjoy!

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