Mouth-watering burgers minus the meat.
I’m not the most successful vegetarian. Since I was 20 years old (we won’t talk about how long ago that was), I’ve pinballed back and forth between vegetarianism and the life of an omnivore. I’ve always enjoyed the time I spent eating a strictly vegetarian diet, rarely missing the taste or texture of meat, and I’ve always felt healthier when I cut out animal fats. However, in spite of my fondness for tofu and all sorts of vegetables, something always seems to pull me back to hamburgers, steaks and chicken strips. I chalk it up to my slightly rebellious nature, which doesn’t like being told what to do.
Regardless of whether or not there is meat in my diet at any given time (as it currently is), I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes, and love trying new ones. I attempted black bean burgers once a few years ago, and I accomplished nothing more than a mess. They fell apart before I could even get the patties onto the bun. Fortunately, I’m not easily discouraged, so I decided to give it another shot. This recipe was slightly different, and I changed a few things here and there to make it my own. They turned out much better on my second attempt, and they were delicious!
This would be a fun recipe to experiment with. Try adding some sweet corn instead of (or in addition to) the bell peppers, or maybe bulgur or brown rice for a more chewy texture. Maybe a slice of swiss cheese melted on top? I can’t wait to try them again, just to find out what other goodness I can add!
These freeze really well, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a double batch and pop a few in the freezer for later, which will save you some preparation and cleaning time when you make them again.
1 16 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup quick oats
2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
handful of button mushrooms, finely chopped
half a large yellow onion, finely diced
1 head of garlic, crushed
half a red or green bell pepper, finely diced
(optional: a small finely diced jalapeno, seeds removed)
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. olive oil
Toppings of choice (for this one I used sauteed mushrooms and onions, sliced tomato, melted cheddar cheese and mayo with Sriracha sauce. Avocado would be a great addition!)
In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until they’re good and smooshy. Set aside about half a cup of a combination of bell pepper and onions, and puree the rest along with the carrots, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic, and place mixture in the bowl with the smashed beans. Add the reserved diced peppers and onions, oats, soy sauce, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. If you like it spicy, add the jalapenos to the bowl.
Mix well, and divide into four patties. Add more oats to the mixture if it’s not dry enough to form solid patties.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dust the sides of the patties with flour before placing in hot oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Slap that sucker on a bun with the toppings you like best and enjoy!