Life Extension Magazine®

Spread of ingredients used in Brook Headley's Superiority Burger

Superiority Burger Cookbook

Brooks Headley shares recipes from his restaurant, Superiority Burger, in his new cookbook.

Scientifically reviewed by: Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Brooks Headly.

Superiority Burger is a small restaurant located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, in New York City, that specializes in vegetarian and vegan fare. In the five years since its grand opening, it has become a worldwide sensation, with pop-up restaurants opening in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

But you don’t have to travel around the world or wait in lines around the block to see what the fanfare is all about.

Brooks Headley, owner of Superiority Burger, recently published the Superiority Burger Cookbook. In it, he documents nearly every recipe from the restaurant’s main menu and specials board—including the renowned Superiority Burger.

But Headley cautions not to expect this burger to have the taste or texture of one made with meat.

He explained, "This is not fake meat, nor is it vying to be. The un-likeness to the real thing is canny." Instead, he continued, "Think of these as vegetable and grain croquettes that get put on buns.

Like its namesake, Superiority Burger Cookbook offers a wide variety of sandwiches, sides, soups, and more.

Here, Life Extension® shares the Superiority Burger recipe itself, along with the special sauce that gives it that extra kick. We’ve also included two side dishes and a soup that could quickly take this robust burger from lunch fare to a hearty dinner.

—Laurie Mathena

Superiority Burger

Makes 8 to 10 patties

Superiority burger sitting on napkin

1 cup red quinoa

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoons ground toasted fennel seeds

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 cup small-diced carrots

½ cup coarse breadcrumbs

¾ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon hot chili sauce

2 tablespoons non-modified potato starch

Grapeseed oil for searing the patties

Toasted buns/shredded lettuce/roasted tomatoes/2 pickle slices/ Muenster cheese (if you like)/ sauces of your choice (like Special Sauce, see next page) for serving

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cook the quinoa in 1½ cups unsalted water until fluffy, about 45 minutes. Cool and reserve. In a separate pan, sauté the onion until translucent and browned, and season with salt, pepper, the fennel, and chili powder. Add the chickpeas and keep on the heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Deglaze the hot pan with the white wine vinegar and scrape everything stuck to the bottom of the pan back into the mix. Using a potato masher, roughly smash the onion-chickpea mixture. Mix the chickpea mash by hand with the cooled quinoa.

Roast the carrots in the oven until dark around the edges and soft, about 25 minutes. Add to the chickpea-quinoa mixture. Add the breadcrumbs, walnuts, lemon, parsley, and chili sauce, and season again with salt and pepper, until it tastes sharp. Mix the potato starch with 1 tablespoon water to create a cloudy, thick slurry. Fold the slurry into the burger mix as the binding agent. Form the mixture into 8 to 10 patties and sear in grapeseed oil in a hot sauté pan or cast-iron skillet until fully browned, about 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, place each patty on a toasted bun with shredded iceberg lettuce, roasted red tomatoes, 2 pickle slices, Muenster cheese (if you like), and sauces such as Special Sauce.

Special Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup chickpea mayo (see on right)

½ cup roasted red tomatoes

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup hot chile sauce

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a tall container just large enough to fit the top of an immersion blender. Blend until smooth and the tomatoes are broken up. Season with salt, if necessary, and a little bit of pepper. This can also be done in a food processor.

Chickpea Mayo

Makes about 2 cups

½ cup liquid from a chickpea can

20 individual chickpeas

1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon cane sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2½ cups grapeseed oil

Combine the chickpea liquid, chickpeas, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt in a tall container just large enough to fit the head of an immersion blender. Blend at high speed until the mixture is completely smooth and all the whole chickpeas are broken down.

While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil. As you add the oil, an emulsion will form and it will begin to thicken. Check the seasoning for salt and sugar. This will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Peas and Pesto

Peas and Pesto in a to-go paper bowl

Serves 6

6 cups packed basil leaves

1 garlic clove

½ cup marcona almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound shell-shaped pasta (we use gnocchi shape)

2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen (if fresh, blanched)

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath. Blanch the basil leaves for only 5 seconds, until they turn bright green. Using a strainer or a spider, remove the leaves from the water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath. Save the blanching water.

Drain quickly and squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the basil to a blender and add the garlic clove, almonds, and olive oil and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

In the pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until just shy of al dente. Immediately strain in a colander and then spread out the pasta on two flat sheet trays to cool as quickly as possible.

Combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and peas in a large bowl. Toss thoroughly so that the pesto really thickly coats all the pasta (inside and out) and the peas begin to find their way into the cavities of the shells. If the sauce is too thick, a squirt of water will make it creamy. Check the seasoning for salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Stuffed Green Peppers with Coconut and Iceberg

Stuffed green peppers after baking on sheet

Serves 4

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 pound firm tofu, drained well and roughly crumbled

2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 ears of corn, husked and kernels removed from the cob, or 2 cups creamed corn

One 13-ounce can full-fat coconut milk

4 to 6 green bell peppers

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

1 celery stalk, cut into small dice

2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

Heat the grapeseed oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the crumbled tofu and cook until golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Add the golden balsamic vinegar and cook for a little longer to let the sugar in the vinegar caramelize. Scrape the tofu into a bowl and set aside.

Rinse out the sauté pan and return to medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook, stirring often, until a deep brown color develops.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, until aromatic. Deglaze the pan with water if the onions are getting too brown and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the corn, coconut milk, and the cooked tofu. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and blend a little using either an immersion blender or a food processor. The mixture should have the consistency of thick chili. Add salt and black pepper as needed.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, deseed using a little paring knife, and remove the stem if you are concerned about accidentally eating it. Stuff the peppers with the tofu mixture using a small spoon—use the back of the spoon to push the mixture into the pepper to fully fill it. Add enough filling to form a mound on top of the pepper.

Pack the peppers as tightly as possible into the baking dish with the stuffed part facing upward. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the peppers, cover with aluminum foil, and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.

Crank the oven to 425°F and cook for another 15 minutes, until the filling is browned.

Serve these at room temperature or warm. Though the peppers are good on their own, a small salad of iceberg lettuce, toasted coconut, celery, and rice wine vinegar scattered over the top of the peppers right before serving is a nice garnish.

Vegetable Soup with Curly Parsley

Serves 6

Extra virgin olive oil

3 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, cut into small dice

3 celery stalks, cut into small dice

2 red bell peppers, cut into small dice

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup dry white wine

6 cups water

½ head green cabbage, cut into ¼-inch ribbons

Red wine vinegar (optional)

1 bunch greens (kale or Swiss chard), stems removed, torn into small pieces

Fresh curly parsley

White Italian bread, toasted, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, rubbed with a garlic clove, and sprinkled with salt

Heat a slick of olive oil in a large deep soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are starting to brown and are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery, and bell peppers to the pot and cook for about 8 minutes more. Add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for at least 5 more minutes, until the tomato paste starts to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the white wine and scrape up any stuck bits from the pot. Add the water and another large pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, add the cabbage, and let simmer, just until the cabbage starts to get soft, about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning for salt and acidity (add a little red wine vinegar if the soup tastes flat) and black pepper.

When ready to eat, add the greens to the very hot soup and let them wilt and turn a vibrant green color. Serve with a scattering of parsley, and a slice of the toasted bread.

Book cover of Superiority Burger Cookbook

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

Excerpted from Superiority Burger Cookbook: The Vegetarian Hamburger Is Now Delicious. Copyright © 2018 by Brooks Headley. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

To order a copy of Superiority Burger Cookbook, call 1-800-544-4440 or visit

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