Chef Jose Andres has stated that the future of cooking is in fruits and vegetables (and that meat is boring). While we'll never be vegetarians (giving up foie gras, steak, and pork belly is just too hard for us), we are trying to lighten up and eat more vegetables. For the past year, we've enjoyed Meatless Mondays - but with the start of Lent (Mar 9), I decided to up the ante and cook exclusively vegetarian (and a few seafood) dishes for the entire 40 days.
So far I've enjoyed the challenge, but have found that for me, it's easier to conceive a dish with meat. Meat naturally has umami flavor in it so I'm aware that I need to replace that flavor (so far mushrooms have been our staple and luckily my husband loves all varieties of mushrooms!) Another challenge I'm facing is that it's still really cold here in NYC and the availability of local fruits and vegetables is scarce (compared to the summertime when I feel it's so much easier to for us to increase our vegetable and fruit intake because they're so fresh and abundant during the warmer months). We regularly eat salads with our meal - but for the main entree, I find that I'm oftentimes using canned or frozen vegetables. This Chickpea "Burger" recipe is one of those recipes.