Spicy Basil Black Bean Burgers

4 Aug

I love bean burgers — and not just because I’m vegan. I honestly think they just taste better. I could eat one every day, especially these. And yes, because they’re not made with tempeh, soy, seitan, or TVP, they tend to be “mushier,” “crumblier,” or whatever other adjective you want to use to deprecate these fabulous edible entities. But who cares? The fact remains that bean burgers rule. And black bean burgers are king and queen. This should come as no surprise.

I had my first ever, true bean burger at a vegan restaurant just last year. What made it so true? Well, it wasn’t a pre-made-frozen-boxed-grocery store-bought disappointment. It was homemade, just like a good bean burger should be. And that “not-so-meat-like consistency” was actually what I liked most about the bean burger besides how good it tasted. So, here I am, a year later, deciding to take the bean burger into my own hands, because honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I just want to be able to eat one whenever I want without having to go out.

This burger is fabulous and very easy to make. Don’t be deterred by the size of the ingredients list — it’s mostly made up of spices. This recipe is really, very simple. And once you have your veggies chopped, it’s very quickly made too! These were just the right amount of spicy for me, but if you want to kick it up a notch, add more cayenne or better yet, more chipotle chile pepper. It goes without saying, but the smoked paprika gives it a really nice smoky flavor, you’d be sad to go without it.

If you don’t have access to an oven (like if you’re camping or in a dorm with just a stove top), no worries! You can still enjoy these, just omit the oven step. They will just be a bit less firm. Since it’s summer and everyone’s firing up the barb-y, you’ll be happy to know that you can also grill these. Now, I haven’t tried this myself, but I’m sure if you wrap ’em up tightly in aluminum foil and toss ’em a bit on the grill, they’ll be just fine!

Wherever you are, however you cook them — I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Ingredients:
(makes 4 burgers)

1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chile pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 2 tbsp water)
Nonstick cooking spray

For assembling the burgers:
4 burger buns, lightly toasted (FYI: Whole Foods’ new brand are vegan)
4 tomato slices + 4 red onion slices + lettuce/spring greens for dressing
Vegenaise or Earth Balance’s Mindful Mayo
Organic ketchup (I like: Organic Heinz — despite the rumors, the “natural flavors” are vegan, Muir Glen, and Organicville)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, make the flax egg by whisking the water and ground flax seeds together with a fork. Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix the salt and spices. Set aside.

In a non-stick pan on medium high heat, heat the oil for 30 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the peppers and mushrooms, and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the salt and spices and stir for another 2 minutes, until well blended and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

Add half of the black beans, the veggie/spice mixture, carrots, bread crumbs, and flax egg to the bowl of a food processor. Process for about a minute, stopping to scrape the mixture down the sides of the bowl and processing again, if needed. Now add the remaining black beans and basil and pulse for about 30 seconds, until just incorporated.

Remove about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture to form one patty. Repeat to form remaining three patties.

Lightly spray the same non-stick pan you used to make the veggies with cooking spray and place the patties on it (you may need to work in batches). Cover and cook over medium heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Lightly spray the tops of the patties with cooking spray and flip them to brown the other side, again, covered for 4 to 5 minutes.

Once the patties are done, place them on a baking sheet covered with foil and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes.

To cook these on the grill, simply wrap them in foil and cook on each side for a few minutes.

Assemble burgers and enjoy!

Patties can be frozen prior to cooking.

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2 Responses to “Spicy Basil Black Bean Burgers”

  1. meg August 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    These look delicious! I love black bean burgers but haven’t had any recently because the only ones I found had eggs and milk in them. I must make these soon!

    One question: My boyfriend and I both hate mushrooms. Can we replace them with something else?

    • Melody M. August 4, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

      Thanks, Meg!

      I can hardly taste the mushroom in these, but if you don’t even want to chance it, you can replace them with another 1/4 cup of bell pepper. I hope you and your boyfriend like these! 🙂

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