1/4 cup + 8 tsp hot sauce, divided (I used Frank's original, as the spice level is perfect for this recipe)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp ground flax
Garlic Dill Ranch
3/4 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and drained*//sub hemp hearts for nut-free option
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup filtered water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 toasted burger buns (I like sprouted grain) OR 8 lettuce leaves OR 8 collard leaves
Baby greens or lettuce
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with the 'S' blade. Pulse until the florets resemble little grains of rice. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
Pulse the chickpeas in the food processor until crumbly and add them to the mixing bowl.
Place the rolled oats in the food processor and process until a coarse flour forms. Then add them to the bowl as well.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl: the cooked quinoa, olive oil, garlic, onion, hot sauce, smoked paprika, flax, salt, and pepper. Mix with a large spoon or use your hands to stir everything around.
Divide into 8-10 even patties. To form them more easily, lightly oil a 1/2 cup measure, press burger mixture in to fit, and guide it out using your hands, then press around the edges to compact.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until becoming crisp around the edges. (Cooking times will differ depending on your oven and the type of baking sheet that you have.)
While the burgers are in the oven, make the garlic-dill ranch: Place all ingredients except the dill into a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Pour into a jar or bowl and mix in the dill. Cover until ready to use.
OPTIONAL STEP: To give the burgers an irresistible crispy buffalo sauce exterior, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add 2 tsp of olive oil or coconut oil to the skillet and place four burgers on it. Drizzle 1 tsp of hot sauce onto the top of each burger. Cook for 3 minutes per side, then repeat with the remaining 4 burgers. If you choose not to proceed with this step, simply add more hot sauce to your burger along with the other accompaniments.
To serve, place a burger on the bottom half of a bun or lettuce/collard leaves. Top with pickles, ranch, tomato, lettuce, and carrots.
*Quick soak option: Place the cashews in a pot of boiling water and soak for 45 minutes, then drain and proceed.