Friday, April 10, 2015

Black Bean Burgers!



Yesterday, as I have many many times in the past, I was craving a good, hearty burger.  I have been a burger fan ever since I can remember, and nothing seems more satisfying when you're really hungry.  

Over the last few years, as many of you already know, I've been moving more and more away from a carnivore diet and closer towards a full vegan diet.  To that end, I've also been finding myself lately trying to move away from eating so many fake, vegan meats, and truly trying to find a whole food alternative - not that I want to give up fake meats altogether, because they are pretty great oftentimes.  I have a black bean burger recipe that I have been making for a few years now, and I have been perfecting it over those same amount of years. 

Get ready for a taste explosion!  These burgers are hearty, filling, and delicious!  Now, to be fair, do NOT expect these to taste like hamburgers or you will be disappointed!  If you expect them to just taste mighty delicious you will be pleasantly surprised.  Okay, on to the recipe then.  You can make substitutions where noted, and if you're feeling really ambitious you can play around with it and make it your own.  Enjoy!


Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

1-15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. of quinoa, rice, or your favorite grain.  
1 c. vegetable broth/stock
1 tsp each granulated garlic, granulated onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, smoked or regular paprika, and pepper
2 T. olive oil, or favorite cooking oil
2 sun-dried tomatoes, re-hydrated in water and drained, or packed in oil and drained
1 T. ground flax
1/2 c. flour, any kind will do, just use what you have. (More flour will make a firmer burger, and less flour will make a softer burger. I recommend firmer as it won't squish out of your bun.)

Instructions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray or brush/rub it down with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil.

2.  On the stovetop, bring your vegetable broth/stock to a boil.  While it's working on a boil, rinse your grain in a colander thoroughly.  When the broth begins to boil, add the grain, lower to med heat and cover for about 15 minutes, or until tender.  (Cooking times will vary depending on the grain.  Most grains cook in about 15 minutes unless you're using brown rice, for example.  Adjust time for this.)  When the grain is cooked, remove from heat, uncover, fluff with a fork, and let cool.

3.  While the grain cools, add the beans, seasonings, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil to a food processor or high-powered blender.  Puree until smooth, or leave it a bit chunky.  Either way is perfectly fine.

4.  Add the puree to a mixing bowl, then add the cooled grain, and the flour.  Using a spatula, or mixing spoon, mix together until well-incorporated.

5.  Form your burgers.  I find the best method that works for me is this:  take a 1/3 c. measuring cup.  Moisten with water and pack it with the black bean mixture.  Turn it out onto the greased baking sheet, and then use the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten the burger a bit into a burger shape. If you want larger burgers, use a 1/2 c. measure, and if you prefer sliders, use 1/4 c. measure scant.  Repeat until the mixture is gone.

6.  Put the burgers in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until brown on one side.  Flip the burgers and bake on the other side for an additional 15 minutes. 

Notes:

Times are approximate.  Remember, everyone's appliances work differently, and you definitely need to adjust for different altitudes.  My suggestion is to keep an eye on things until you know for sure if these cook times work best for you!  You can make the burgers smaller or larger depending on preference, and it will not affect the cook time much, but again, keep an eye on them.  If you want to double to recipe (as I like to do often) then you just double the ingredients...that's it!  Now, slap 'em on a bun, pita, toast, or whatever, and slather it with all the condiments and accoutrements one can handle!  Happy eating.  :)


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