Greg over at Pleasant Peasant Cuisine, is a lifelong vegetarian and is on a quest to find the perfect veggie burger. He has several great recipes on his blog. We too hanker after a good, tasty burger, but ours is even more difficult to find as it has to be vegan, gluten-free and nightshade-free, so no egg, wheatflour or tomato. We also need it to be simple, quick and uncomplicated!
Greg has used kidney beans, tofu and seitan, but we decided to try and devise our own version using black beans, which we’d never had before. We enhanced the protein content of the beans with organic chickpea flour to hold it together, chia seeds instead of egg, and walnuts to give it some bite and texture, as well as sweetcorn for a little colour.
Everything was thrown into the food processor and pulsed to bring it together, then shaped and cooked in a little coconut oil in a frying pan.
Black beans are often used in cajun and creole cooking and are good for vegetarians and vegans alike as they are high in protein and fibre:
1 Cup of cooked black beans provides 1/3 of a day’s protein requirement + 15g of fibre – US dietary guidelines recommend 21-25g per day for women and 30-38g per day for men.
They are also a good source of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which, along with the other B vitamins, helps convert carbohydrates to glucose for fuel to provide energy and also helps metabolise fats and protein.
Black beans contain magnesium – important for relaxing muscles, good quality sleep and elevating mood – as well as iron.
So, on to the burgers – you thought I’d never get there, didn’t you?!
As always, the measurements are appoximate, it was a case of let’s try this and see how it goes and if it’s not enough add a bit more! Everything was organic and gluten-free. If you want a bit more colour or spice, you can add chilli powder or flakes or paprika or different herbs.
1 Cup Cooked Organic Black Beans (we used tinned, strained and rinsed)
1/2 Cup Walnut Pieces
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*
1 Cup Frozen Sweetcorn, defrosted
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 Stick Celery + leaves, chopped
1/2 Small Carrot, shaved
1 Clove Garlic, pressed
A good splash of Tamari
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt + Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Dried Miso Soup
2-3 Tbsps Chickpea Flour + extra for shaping & frying
Put everything in the food processor and pulse a few times to bring it together, don’t overdo it you want some texture not a purée! Test to see if you can squeeze it together. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
Dust a board with some flour and shape the mix into burgers.
We managed 4 good-sized ones and a smaller one.
They are quite soft, so handle gently and use a fish slice to lift them into the pan and flip them over.
Melt a little coconut oil in a large frying pan, but not smoking.
Cook on a medium heat turning a couple of times until done.
Served with a watercress or babyleaf and rocket salad, we added sprouted mung beans (more protein), and cumin spiced sweet potato oven chips (fries) with a piquant cashew ‘cheese’ sauce (see here for recipe),
Do visit Greg, his blog is full of improvised, unusual and colourful recipes and beautiful photos (click on the link at the top of this post).
Copyright: Chris McGowan