Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Veg Out.

Black Bean Burgers.

I've been trying to include less meat in our diets lately.  Having once been a vegetarian for seven years, I've strayed pretty far from my no meat days.  And all the research out there about the benefits of eating a more plant-based diet is pretty convincing.  Decreased blood pressure.  Less heart disease.  Lower cholesterol.  Healthier gastrointestinal tract.  All good things.

I have mentioned this before but now that I've added meat back into my diet, I sometimes find it difficult to think of meal ideas without meat.  Weird, I know.  Of course there are always salads loaded with vegetables but I wanted something more substantial for dinner last night.  I decided to be adventurous and make my own black bean burgers.  The result?  Pretty damn tasty.  Easy, too.

Deluxe Black Bean Burgers (modified from this recipe, makes 4 big patties):
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro leaves (I used parsley because that's what I had)
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten (<-- VERY important!)
  • 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions (<-- This is my addition)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
In a large bowl, finely mash the black beans with a potato masher or a fork.  Add the onion, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, Worcestershire, hot sauce, cilantro, egg white, quinoa, flour, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Form into 4 patties and arrange on a platter.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil.  Sear patties for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they have a nice crust.   Remove the patties to a paper towel lined platter.  Assemble the sandwiches on a bun or multi-grain bread with a patty, some spinach, a slice of cheese and your favorite condiments.  Enjoy.

So we didn't have any eggs in our house yesterday and I didn't feel like running to the store so I improvised with some weird concoction of olive oil and milk.  I don't know what I was thinking but it sort of worked.  Obviously the egg white is included to help keep the patties from falling apart when you are cooking them.  Somehow I thought that adding the quinoa would help (it did) and it also became a yummy and healthy addition to the recipe. 

Does talk of a potentially healthier you persuade you to eat less meat?  Yep.  It certainly does.  Maybe this isn't even related but when I was a vegetarian, I was definitely at my thinnest.  But I was also living in So Cal, which I'm sure had something to do with it, too.


  1. Those look so delicious - I love a good black bean burger.

    My diet is pretty similar - a once vegetarian, then added fish occasionally, then adopted my fiances habits and ate any meat [and anything really] and gained 30 lbs over 4 years! I'm finally back on the meat as a rarity track and I feel so much better - not to mention lighter.

    I totally know what you mean though regarding a meal not feeling complete without meat. I feel like in our society - at least in my house growing up - meat was always the center of the meal and anything else is just bonus food. Whenever I'm vegetarian I usually expect that at least half the time it's going to feel like making a meal out of a bunch of side dishes.

    You should give these quinoa burgers a shot - http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/love-my-quinoa-burger/ - they're my favorite I'd tried so far, come together really quickly, and store well in the fridge [and probably the freezer too!]

    Hope you're well!

  2. I'll have to try that recipe. Looks delicious! Have a great day! xo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...