A Recipe Makeover

This week’s assignment for my Cooking Lab, ‘Cooking with Whole Foods’ was to makeover a recipe of my choice and turn it into a healthier version, explaining my rationale. We are not allowed to use an actual recipe for our makeover dish, so you have to do your best to come up with a recipe of your own. I chose to makeover the ‘nom nom burger’.

Original Dish

Nom, Nom Burger from Holstien’s

Nom Nom Burger w Descr.

INGREDIENTS and COOKING METHOD (Taken from their menu or estimated)

  • Kobe Beef (Broiled)
  • Cheddar Cheese (Melted)
  • Thousand Island Dressing (Mayonnaise, Egg, Cream, Ketchup, Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Lemon Juice, Paprika, Vinegar)
  • Potato Chips (Deep Fried and served inside the bun)
  • Bun


  • French Fries (White Potatoes Deep Fried)
  • Onion Rings (Deep Fried)
Here is my Recipe makeover. I tested it out and it turned out pretty darned well and made for a tasty meal! One of the things that the instructor emphasized in class, is that all recipes are really just a template. You can substitute ingredients based on what you have available in the pantry or refrigerator, to work around food allergies or intolerances, or simply because you like another ingredient better. A recipe is just a guide, so if you fancy giving these a try, feel free to switch out any of the ingredients you like. You could use a different bean or use a variety of beans. You could try some different veggies or put a different twist on the flavor with your favorite spices. Have fun and be creative!

Chickpea & Veggie Burger

Version 2


CHICKPEA BURGER (Replaces Kobe Beef Burger) Makes 6 -8 Burgers)

  • 1 cup dried Chickpeas (Washed and Sorted, Soaked Overnight and Cooked with Kombu (to improve digestibility)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, medium dice (sautéed in olive oil)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt, two pinches
  • 1 tsp Cumin, 1 tsp Cardamom and ½ tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper, fine dice (roasted in oven, skin removed)
  • 10 Sundried Tomatoes, diced (rehydrated)
  • 4 Carrots, grated
  • 3 tablespoons of flaxseed to ½ cup of water OR 1 egg
  • Parsley, minced ¼ cup
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
Version 2 Version 2 Add chickpeas to food processor and pulse, retaining some texture. In a large bowl mix the chickpeas, carrots, roasted red pepper, sundried tomatoes, parsley, flaxseed mix (or egg). Heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt, stir well. Sweat the onions, add the garlic, cumin, cardamom and chili powder to release flavor. Add to bowl with rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Form patties by hand. Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan and add the burger patties. Cook for approx. 3 minutes each side.

SWEET POTATO FRIES - BAKED (Replaces French Fries)

  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, ¼ inch baton shape
  • Salt, pinch
  • Paprika, ½ teaspoon
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, add olive oil. Add sweet potatoes and coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and paprika. Bake in the oven (400 degrees for approx. 20 minutes).

SWISS CHARD (Replaces Onion Rings)

  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, chiffonade
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Salt, pinch
Heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt, stir well. Sweat the onion until translucent. Add the Swiss chard and a small amount of water, simmer with the lid on until Swiss chard is tender. Season with lemon juice and add more salt if needed.

AVOCADO DRESSING (Replaces Thousand Island Dressing)

  • 1 Avocado
  • Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp
  • Lemon Juice
  • Add the avocado, garlic powder and lemon juice to a food processor. Process till smooth and creamy.
Version 2 I chose to makeover the burger with chickpeas because according to Jukanti, Gaur, Gowda and Chibbar (2012) they are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber and their protein quality is deemed superior than that of other pulses. In addition, they state that chickpeas are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acids, giving them a variety of potential health benefits, including potentially positive effects on diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. This high fiber heart-healthy food is an excellent substitute for the high calorie, high saturated fat content of the Kobe beef. In addition, the burger has the added benefit of three vegetables high in carotenoid antioxidants (the carrots, red pepper and tomatoes). Johnson (2002) explains the many health benefits offered by dietary carotenoids, including decreased risk of various diseases including cancer and eye disease. Wittenberg (2013) talks about the importance of having the right type of fat in your diet for ideal health, like the healthy mono-unsaturated fat found in avocado, in addition to reducing your intake of saturated fats like those found in thousand island dressing, making this a healthy switch. The baked sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to the deep fried restaurant version. I chose to replace the deep fried onion rings with the beautiful and nutritious Swiss chard. Wittenberg (2013) explains that chard is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family known for it’s immune boosting, disease-fighting abilities. Swiss chard’s rich colors are packed with health promoting phytonutrients, Wittenberg (2008). Including vegetables in the burger and as a topping also helps a person easily increase the amount of servings per day they are consuming. This recipe utilizes a variety of real, whole foods, herbs and spices using healthy methods of preparation. It is a more nutritious, health supporting, balanced meal and yet still satisfies a person’s craving for a burger, fries and a creamy topping. Please let me know if you try out this recipe and what substitutions or changes you make. Maybe you already have a recipe you’ve made over in some way that you’d like to share. We’d love to hear! email_signoff1
Please let me know if you try out this recipe and what substitutions or changes you make. Maybe you already have a recipe you’ve made over in some way that you’d like to share. We’d love to hear!
Johnson, E. J. (2002), The Role of Carotenoids in Human Health. Nutrition in Clinical Care, 5: 56–65. http://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-5408.2002.00004.x
Jukanti, K., Gaur, P.M., Gowda, C.L.L. and Chibbar, R.N. (2012). Nutritional quality and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): a review. British Journal of Nutrition, 108, pp S11-S26. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114512000797
Wittenberg, M. (2008). New Good Food: Shopper’s Pocket Guide to Organic, Sustainable, and Seasonal Whole Foods, pp 11. New York: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1580088930
Wittenberg, M.M. (2013). The Essential Good Food Guide: The Complete Resource for Buying and Using Whole Grains and Specialty Flours, Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables, Meat and Poultry, Seafood and More, pp 24-25, pp 217-219. New York: Ten Speed Press.
ISBN 978-1607744344