Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade Spicy Black Bean Burgers

I just have to say, I have a thing for veggie burgers. When I was a "regular vegetarian" I used to LOVE Morningstar Farms' different veggie patties. One of my favorites was their tomato basil pizza burger. It was an excellent mix of cheese and pizza flavor. I also loved their black bean patties.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of vegan burgers available in the freezer case that are as tasty. I mean, I love Amy's products, and the Qrunch patties are awesome, too. But to me, there's nothing quite like a spicy black bean patty topped with lettuce and onions and between the top and bottom of a whole grain bun!

And the good news is that it's fairly simple to make veggie burgers out of beans from the comfort of your own home. Like I said, this month is all about making veganism easier. Making your own burgers can save you money and you'll be happier with their superior taste!

Now, homemade burgers sometimes have a different texture than their frozen counterparts. Most people recommend frying them until they're crispy on the outside. If you're trying to cut back on your oil, though, you can make them on a nonstick electric griddle with an amount of success as well. Baking them is the same thing, though some oil on a nonstick sheet probably works best. I recommend using the griddle technique. Frying is my second favorite. And I haven't tried making homemade burgers on a grill before, so my apologies if you try and are unsuccessful. I imagine they could stick to the grill VERY easily or fall apart and fall into the flames. Eek!

In any case, these burgers were great. They were my first attempt at black bean burgers and I loved them. I know, I'm modest. Sorry! But I thought they were fabulous and I hope you do, too. They were a great combination of substance and flavor. The taco seasoning made it just spicy enough for me. And I love the black bean flavor. The corn kernels give you a pop of sweetness every now and then. And my guess is that you could try this recipe with other types of beans with reasonable success. But for these patties, here's what I did.

2 cans of black beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup picante sauce or salsa
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
1 shallot, diced (you can also try 1/2 cup diced red onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

Drain and rinse the black beans in a colander. Pour most of the beans into a food processor with the olive oil and blend to the best of your ability! Add the squishy beans and the saved beans to a large bowl. Add the picante sauce, corn, jalapeno, shallot, and seasonings and mix well. Add your flour and see how easy it is to form patties from the mixture. If the contents stick easily to your hands or if the patties don't hold shape, add more flour one tablespoon at a time until you've reached the right consistency. 

Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees. I made five patties using a 1/2 cup measure to separate them into even amounts. I had some leftover and just added it to the ones I had already made. You don't have to be so specific. You can also use 1/3 of a cup for each patty and get about 7-8 patties instead. Or you can just eyeball it.

Let the patties bake (or fry?) on your nonstick electric griddle for 5-7 minutes on each side. Be careful when you flip! If you start throwing your patties around they can smoosh in the middle.

Makes 6-8 patties.

I was really impressed that these patties didn't ooze out of the back. And they were so tasty. Ahh! Anyway, I think you should try these. Don't be scared! It doesn't take as long as it sounds!

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