Black Bean Burgers with a Kick
Black bean burgers have always been one of my favorite vegetarian meal options. They are filling, flavorful, and don’t look like “weird vegetarian food.” You can fit in at a backyard BBQ, or have a tasty and quick weeknight meal. Unfortunately, most frozen veggie burgers are not vegan (or at least my favorite brand is not!) This gave me a good excuse to create my own! I love the hint of chipotle spice that kicks up my favorite brand of burger, so wanted to find a recipe that could recreate that. I found this recipe at the Daily Garnish, and tweaked it a bit to use what I had on hand. The best addition: a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce, which added the spiciness I was craving, and also worked to help bind the burgers a bit! Still, these were pretty delicate and would not be the best to put on a grill, but they are great heated on a pan or a griddle! I enjoyed mine with some avocado and salsa – craving fulfilled!
I was shocked to find out that not everyone likes black bean burgers as much as I do… My friend, who is also participating in the vegan challenge this month, was complaining to me about a black bean burger he had at a vegan restaurant. I was quite surprised, since this place usually has pretty good food. After a little bit of questioning, we figured it out – he ordered a bean burger to satisfy his beef craving. Well, the two are nothing alike (flavor, texture, juiciness… nothing!) He finally admitted that the flavors of the burger were good, and he could get over the “mushy texture” if he were looking to enjoy this burger in its own right and not as a replacement for his favorite food. I guess that is an important thing to realize for new meatless eaters – find new foods that you enjoy, and don’t look for them to be exact replacements or replicas of meat dishes.
Other things that you need to enjoy in their own right: green bean fries. They are crunchy, salty, and reminiscent of a potato fry, but definitely have a green bean-y taste. I absolutely loved them, and will definitely make them again!
Question: Do you try to find healthy foods to replace old favorites, or do you find new things to love that suit your lifestyle?
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
adapted from the Daily Garnish, serves 6-7
3 cups black beans (rinsed if canned)
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely ground
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
In a food processor, coarsely grind almonds. Add oats and pulse. Remove from food processor and mix with carrots. Process the beans and oil together until a paste just begins to form. Combine the two mixtures with the spices and the chili sauce. Mix until evenly combined. Form 6-7 patties by hand. Pre-bake in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, and then crisp the outside on a hot pan or griddle. Serve with avocado and salsa.