This post was created in partnership with Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are our own.
There’s nothing like having a child to make you value family. Alex and my son Larson is just 3 months, but in that time he’s drawn us inexplicably closer to our extended family as we teach him the joys of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
About grandparents: I never got to meet my maternal grandfather. He passed when my mother was at the tender age of 8, from a heart attack. I’ve always wondered what he was like, and how our family would have been different had he been around. Would he have been a mentor figure to me? Did he like to laugh? Tell stories? Eat leisurely dinners with family al fresco? My mother always told me she never envisioned making it past 35, since her dad didn’t make it that far. Luckily my mom is happy and healthy today, but it makes me think: what can Alex and I do to make sure we’re here to enjoy the future with Larson and his children?
Of course we can’t change the future or avoid catastrophe, but what we can do is cherish our health. Though we don’t have full control, we can take steps towards ensuring our bodies will be nourished, strong, and full of energy.
Since my grandfather’s death in 1961, cardiovascular disease still remains the number 1 killer of both men and women in North America. At the same time, changes in diet and exercise can go a long way in helping to keep your heart healthy.
This recipe is inspired by heart health. It’s full of nourishing vegetables and features tart cherries, since researchers have found that Montmorency tart cherries may provide a number of cardiovascular benefits. Why tart cherries? The health benefits come primarily from anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Studies indicate that Montmorency tart cherries may help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce inflammation and improve belly fat: all factors specifically linked to heart disease risk.
This veggie burger with zesty tart cherry salsa we created as a delicious way to foster your health. If you’re a regular meat eater, remember that a veggie burger is not a hamburger! Think of them as a veggie-filled sandwich, that happens to be burger shaped, savory, and delicious. This veggie burger is full of flavor and also stays together on the bun. They take a bit of time to make, but are absolutely worth it and leftovers save well. The tart cherry salsa is fantastic: lightly sweet and ultra tangy. It would also work wonderfully over fish, and leftovers from the recipe are perfect with tortilla chips. We paired the burger with a modest slather of spicy mayo, which is the perfect texture contrast to the salsa and burger.
More with tart cherries
Montmorency tart cherries have been linked to several health benefits; and lucky for us, they’re incredibly delicious! We love them by the handful–and here are a few more recipes featuring this tasty fruit:
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this veggie burger with tart cherry salsa recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar-free. For gluten-free: Use a gluten-free English muffin or bun, and gluten-free flour in the burger.
This veggie burger with tart cherry salsa recipe is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. Product opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors of A Couple Cooks!
Veggie Burger with Tart Cherry Salsa
- For the burgers
- 15-ounce can chickpeas (1½ cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 large carrot
- ½ red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ cup cilantro leaves (or parsley)
- 6 tablespoons flour of any type (gluten-free if necessary)
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil (for frying)
- For the salsa
- 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 large jalapeno chile pepper
- ½ cup minced red onion
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- For serving
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Mexican hot sauce
- 4 whole grain English muffins
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dab the chickpeas with a paper towel to remove extra moisture, then place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sesame seeds, then process until a paste-like consistency is formed. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
- Cut the carrot into rough chunks and peel the red onion and cut into chunks. Peel the garlic. Place the carrot, onion, garlic, and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor; pulse until finely ground. Scrape the vegetables into the bowl with the chickpeas.
- Stir in the flour, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix with a spoon until combined, then form 4 round patties and place them on plate.
- In an ovenproof frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Place the patties in the pan, cover, and fry them about 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown, then flip and fry for another 4 to 5 minutes until browned, turning down the heat as necessary. Place the pan in the oven and bake the patties for 15 minutes. Remove the patties from the oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the tart cherries. Place them in a bowl with the lime juice and maple. Chop the bell pepper. Remove the seeds and ribs, and mince the jalapeno pepper (taking care when handling). Mince the red onion. Finely chop the cilantro. Add all ingredients the bowl and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature until serving.
- Mix together the mayonnaise and hot sauce. Toast the English muffins.
- To serve, place each burger on an English muffin, and spread the top of the muffin with spicy mayo. Top with tart cherry salsa and serve. Eat any leftover salsa with chips.