Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

We're trying something new around here.  I've been reading a lot about meats and the products you injest when you eat conventional meats (the growth hormones, antibiotics, affects of genetically modified organisms that are in the feed of most meat animals, all that stuff), and needless to say, it's grossing me out.

Now I'm not about to turn vegetarian - but I figure that since organic meat is crazy expensive and local farmers are extremely uncommon around here, it wouldn't hurt us to consume less meat products and obtain protein from other sources for a few meals a week.  
I've even convinced my carnivore husband of it, and he's agreed to have at least one or two dinners a week that don't include meat. 
However, since he is doing P90X and needs lots of protein for all that muscle building he's doing, just veggie-based meals won't cut it.  We're trying to incorporate more beans and brown rice into our diet, so black bean burgers seemed a natural choice.

This was a first for everyone in my family.  Not only had I never made black bean burgers, I had never eaten one either.  I don't think Grant had either.  So I have no point of reference with which to compare this recipe, I can only comment on whether we liked it or not. 

The general consensus - we did.

Corban (7) wasn't a huge fan, he liked the taste of the burger but just didn't enjoy it on a bun.  I have to admit, it was a bit strange to be looking at something like a burger but experiencing a texture completely different.  I did really like the flavor of the burgers, although I think I might enjoy it more wrapped up in a tortilla or maybe a pita bread. Just so I'm not expecting a real burger sort of meal. 

Grant loved the leftovers - he just ate them plain without buns for his lunch the next day.

Note:  The original recipe called for 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, which I omitted because of certain people I love who despise it.  It also called for a minced shallot - I just used some onion powder, because I don't normally ever keep shallots on hand. 

Recipe: (adapted from Annie's Eats)

3/4 cup panko
3 T. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 large eggs
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/2 t. onion powder

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine the panko with 2 tsp. of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend. Add the mixture to the skillet and toast the panko, stirring frequently, until light golden brown.   Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place 2-1/2 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 T. of the oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne.  Whisk to blend.  Add the egg mixture, toasted panko, remaining 1/2 c. beans, bell pepper, cilantro (if using), and onion powder to the bowl with the mashed beans.  Stir together until evenly combined.  

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions (I made about 8), about 1/2 c. each.  Lightly pack into 1-inch patties.  (At this point, the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking.)  Heat 1 T. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.

Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and repeat with the remaining oil and bean patties. Serve warm.  I melted some cheddar cheese on half, and pepper jack on the other half.  


  1. Those look really good! I love black beans and black bean burgers, but I'm sad to say my husband is not a fan of black beans :( Oh, well... more for me!

    You guys can totally do two meals each week w/o meat -- pretty soon you won't even miss it.


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