Black Bean Burgers
AKA: "In Defense of the Veggie Burger"
We have some beef with the lack of attention that veggie burgers get. There’s a few weak arguments that people can make against them- namely, that they rarely have flavor and that the texture is just… weird. Vegetable-y. Crumbly. Guys, there’s no reason to feel like that anymore. We’ve cracked the case on how to make burgers out of stuff other than meat and it doesn’t taste mushy or weird. We used a combination of mashed Black Beans, short grain rice, walnuts, and oats that helped give a hearty bite to our burgers and a great texture. Mashed black beans can be a little too smooth on their own, so the walnuts and oats help give a better mouthfeel. Are you worried that none of these ingredients so far have a ton of flavor on their own? Have no fear. We’re going to remedy that with some other stuff.
Like we mentioned, black beans, rice, and oats are not known for having a lot of flavor on their own, so we’re going to sauté some aromatics to get them WHAT? (Aromatic). We minced our mushrooms in the food processor so that they were all very uniform, and as they cook they end up releasing more moisture since they’re smaller pieces and have more surface area. You’ll want to cook them until the water they start to release evaporates so that your patties aren’t soggy. More flavor please! In addition to our garlic, onions, and mushroom we also used tomato paste, which is rich and slightly sweet. Vegan Worcestershire doesn’t contain anchovies like the regular version does, but gives that same savory-ness, sometimes called umami. If you are into the whole BBQ thing, you could also use barbecue sauce instead, just be careful to not throw off your liquid to solid ratios. The whole goal of these burgers is keeping them together while they cook.
Once your vegetables are finished cooking, you can add your Black Bean Burger Seasoning so the taste is fresh and doesn’t get lost in the cooking. We love the smokiness that the Chipotle Meco Chile Powder and Smoked Paprika give it, and there’s also some Porcini Powder in it that help to add a savory and meaty flavor. Obviously, this blend is great in black bean burgers, but but it would also be delicious anywhere you want to complement more earthy flavors- think meatloaf, mashed potatoes, or chili.
We cooked our black bean burgers in a cast iron skillet, but you could also grill them with the help of some tin foil- remember our veggie burgers don’t have the same fat as a normal beef burger would, so you’ll want to make sure you use a little oil or non-stick spray so that your patties don’t stick. We chose olive oil, but vegetable oil would also work if that’s what you had that. We wanted our pan to be hot so that the burgers had a nice sear on them, but we had a little trouble with our burner which meant the burgers started browning unevenly in the pan. When you’re making these at home, you’ll want to keep an eye on them, and don’t be afraid to rotate them if you notice one part of your pan is getting hotter than the rest.
- 3 Tbsp flax seed, ground
- 5 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Small onion, minced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 12 oz. Mushrooms, minced
- 14 oz. Can of black beans, drained and mashed
- 1 Cup Brown rice, cooked
- ¾ Cup Walnuts, ground coarse
- 1 Cup Rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp Low sodium soy sauce, or liquid aminos
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (use vegetarian if you want the recipe to be vegetarian)
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- 1 Tbsp Black Bean Burger Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Combine ground flaxseed and 5 Tbsp water and mix well. Set aside to let thicken.
- Combine mashed black beans, rice, walnuts, oats, arrowroot powder, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and flaxseed mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon or by hand.
- In a sauté pan heat 1 Tbsp olive oil to medium heat.Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Increase heat slightly to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure all moisture is cooked off. Add Black Bean Burger Seasoning and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Combine the cooked mushroom mixture with the rest of the ingredients combined earlier. Mix well with a wooden spoon, or by hand. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Refrigerate mixture for 30-40 minutes.
- Form mixture into 8-4oz. patties (½ Cup) approximately ½ inch thick.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet to medium. In batches, cook burgers 3-4 minutes per side. Do not flip too early, as the burger could stick.
- Baking directions- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad, and place burgers on it. Bake in 375F oven for 15-18 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Serve on rolls with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion and desired condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and vegan mayo (if making the recipe vegetarian).