Thursday, June 24, 2010
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
I've never made a veggie burger. Heck, I never even tried one until this year. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a burger that isn't meat. I love meat! Why take out the meat?? Meat can be lean, meat is tasty and has more protein than any veggies could dream of having. But,people sure seem to like them, so I gave one a try at a place renouned for their veggie burger, Rebar restaurant in Victoria. It was fabulous! Even so, it took me a while to get going on making one for myself, though I've been compling recipes galore...lentil-quinoa, mushroom-pecan-rice, black bean, and a zillion different flavour combinations. Today, I decided to embrace the bean.
Black beans are full of fibre and nutrients, and have some protein too. Not like a pork chop or anything...but some. And combined with a whole grain, they form a complete protein. I do love the little guys in chili and burritos and soups and salsa, so why not a burger? I combined a few recipes for maximum flavour and a bean-rice-nut combo that sounded good to me, and put my own spin on it. The resulting mash was a little scary, I admit. I formed it into patties that were disturbingly mushy..there was no way these would make it on the grill. Instead, I pan-fried them with a little cooking spray. All I can say is thank goodness for non-stick pans. The gooey rounds did brown nicely and seemed to firm up a bit....I tasted a little corner to see what the situation was. Hmm tasty, but sandwiching it in a bun seemed foodhardy; as others had warned me, black bean patties are quite mushy and will likely just squish out if bitten in a bun. However slapping it on a plate was not at all appealing...what to do. I decided to place them open-faced on a half bun with some cheese on top and bake it to melt the cheese and get the bun crispy, like I do with sloppy joes. Filled with trepidation, I pulled them out of the oven, two little soldiers all covered in cheese and smelling yummy. At first bite, I fell in love. OMG. These taste like MORE...the only problem with them was stopping at just two. I don't know how to describe the taste, but if I tried it would include spicy and savoury and delicious...and the cheese is essential. I cannot emphasize enough how important the melted cheese is. Make these. You'll thank me!
Sherylyn's Spicy Black Bean Burgers
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup whole-grain rice (I used a blend that had black, red, brown, and green rices in it as well as some other grains)
1/2 cup spicy Clamato juice
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Cook the beans according to directions, then drain, reserving 2 Tbsp of liquid. Add that to the flax meal in a small bowl and mix. Cook the rice in the Clamato juice and 1/2 cup water and cool.
Combine all the ingredients and pulse in a food processor until everything is uniformly combined but not pasty (I used a food grinder and ran it all through using the coarse grind plate).Form into 6 patties. At this point it would be to your advantage to refrigerate them for a while to firm up; I just plunged ahead.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Spray the patty tops too. Slide the patties into the pan and cook for about 8 minutes per side, until brown and crispy-ish on the outside. Careful with the flipping, they are pretty squishy.
Place a patty on half of a whole wheat bun, and top with sharp cheddar. Bake at 400 for about 6 minutes, just until bun is crisp and cheese is bubbly.
Enjoy! Totally worth the effort.
Nutritional values: Each patty has 135 calories, 4g fat, 4.4g prtein, 22.8g carbs, 3g fibre, and 100ish mg sodium.