Thursday, June 23, 2011

Better than Beef Burgers

For a quick meal I like to buy those veggie burgers from the freezer section at the grocery store.  They actually don't taste all that great and are a bit pricey.  I finally decided to stop torturing myself and try to find a more palatable and less expensive option.  After looking at many recipes I finall settled on one from the Whole Foods website.  There stores are pretty awesome so I figured their recipes would be too.  With a little tweeking this recipe is now my favorite make ahead burger.

I was a little scared at first.  I haven't done much cooking with beans.  Since moving down to central Florida though,  they keep popping up!  First it was black beans and rice and now it's these awesome burgers.  Beans are filling and cheap, especially if buy dried and rehydrate them yourself which is very simple.  I buy beans in bulk, cook them up in my crockpot and freeze for later use.

The first step is rinsing and draining your beans whether they are canned or from your freezer.

Then, if you are lacking a large food processor like I am, get out a fork and start mashing.  I left some chunk, I want a burger not baby food!

My spice choices are interchangable.  If these are flavors you don't like experiment and find a combo that works for you.  I just happened to have fresh parsley as it's the only herb that sproted for me this year.  That plant is uber healthy and fresh parsley is devine!  I was out of fresh garlic so I subbed 1 tsp of garlic salt.  Be sure to not add too much salt if you use garlic salt too.

I chopped up some red onion, about a 1/4 a cup.  Not a big fan of onion but chopped up finely it added great flavor and no crunch, just the way I like it.  I ended up giving mine a spin the food processor.

Actually that looks like way less than a 1/4!
Mmm, homemade bread crumbs.  I like to save the heels of store bought bread loaves and make them into bread crumbs.  Always have store bought on hand though too because I use a lot o fbread crumbs!

Didin't quite have 1 cup but thats okay.
Place everything in with the bowl of mashed beans and mix until well combined.

I had enough mixture to from into 6 largish patties.

I cooked up three of my patties that night for dinner but froze the rest for later.  These freeeze remarkably well!

I served them on those 100 calorie flat buns with some mustard and lettuce and tomato.  I was afraid that Mr. Penguin and the roommate wouldn't like them but they ate them up.  These are so filling and really a better alternative than a greasy fried hamburger.  Not that I would refuse Big Mac i fit were handed to me but with these hanging around the freezer I feel less inclined to stop at Mickey D's!

Better than Beef Black Bean Burgers
adapted from Whole Foods


1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 egg
1/4 red onion, chopped finely
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 bunch of fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil


1. Put beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork leaving some chunk. Add egg, onion, bread crumbs, herbs, garlic  salt, pepper and worchestershire sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
Alternatively you can bake patties in a preheated 350F oven, 10min per side.

Patties can be made ahead and frozen for later use.  Just place paties on some parchment paper on a sheet pan and place in the freezer until patties are rock hard.  Patties can then be transferred to a storage conatiner or ziplock bag. 
Tip: Reuse the parchment paper to seperate patties for stacking then storing so they don't stick together.

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