Best black bean burger

Best Black Bean Burger KaleAndAle.com

So good, hence being dubbed the Best Black Bean Burgers.

Any time I go to a restaurant and see the veggie burger is made in-house, I get excited. Although many times it disappoints, either it’s not cooked enough or bland. But I am always happily surprised to get the black bean burger at Duffy’s, a sports bar chain restaurant in South Florida. Better known for beer and chicken wings, the Duffy’s burger is very good. Baked and flavorful and topped with avocado. And I think this burger I created could rival the Duffy’s burger.

That’s why I’m dubbing this burger the Best Black Bean Burger. It has a nice balance of flavors, it’s not too dry and not too soft, a good amount of spices and will hold up with whatever toppings sound good at the time. The addition of zucchini and carrot keeps the burger from being too dry and adds a hint of sweetness. And the vivid colors don’t hurt.

Best Black Bean Burger KaleAndAle.com

Loving the colors of these black bean burgers.

The burger is very simple to make and I assembled it while I had something else in the oven, formed the patties and slipped it into the oven all while my side dish was baking. It would be a great substitute for a vegetarian or anyone looking to eat healthier at a Labor Day get-together.

Best Black Bean Burger

Makes 6 patties

Ingredients

  • One can of black beans
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon spice of your choice (I used cumin)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Dice or grate the zucchini. Place it in a bowl with slots, put a healthy dose of salt on it and let it sit for 10 minutes to sweat. Wrap it in a towel or paper towels and squeeze to get out all the liquid. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the black beans.
  3. Dice or grate a carrot, add it and the zucchini to the bowl with the black beans.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients and stir until mixed.
  5. Let the patty mixture sit for 15 minutes. They should firm up and dry out. If they still seem too wet, at more breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture will form into patties and stay together.
  6. Oil a baking sheet. Form six patties and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
  8. Flip and cook for 10-15 more minutes.
  9. Top with whatever sounds good. I recommend avocado or tangy barbecue sauce.

What foods are you most looking forward to on Labor Day?

Baked quinoa burgers

I have an on-again, off-again love affair with quinoa. Sometimes (like now) it’s all I want to eat. Other times I think it’s bland and boring. But, like tofu, the relative blandness is what makes it an exciting base for many foods to play with and add flavor.

Quinoa is a superfood, gluten-free and easier to make than pasta or rice, making it a great substitute or addition to a lot of meals. Acting as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed, full of calcium and fiber and is a complete protein.

This is a great burger because the quinoa brings some nuttiness, but what really shines is the seasonings used. And you can use whatever seasonings or fresh herbs you are in the mood for or have on hand. I had so much fun making this that I have another quinoa burger in my mind that I plan on making and (if all goes well) sharing very soon. Hope you like quinoa because I have been cooking like a mad woman with it lately. Do you use quinoa and, if so, how?

Quinoa Burger - KaleandAle.com

Baked Quinoa Burger

Baked quinoa burger

Adapted from Cooking Quinoa

8 larger burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (or a mix of carrots and celery)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice (I used Old Bay blend and cumin)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed and water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so, until the mixture is thickened.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa and flaxseed. Stir until well combined. Add onion, celery, nutritional yeast, garlic, seasonings, cumin and salt and pepper. Mix well and add in bread crumbs. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.
  4. The mixture should be moist and sticky but not wet. If it’s too wet add more breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time. If it’s too dry add water a tablespoon at a time.
  5. Spray a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Arrange patties and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Flip and bake an additional 10 minutes.

National burger day: My favorite veggie burger

Easy chickpea patties

Easy chickpea patties

Today is National Burger Day (really, there is a day for everything, but isn’t it like a day late this year?) so I thought I would post my favorite veggie burger recipe and one of the most popular recipes on my blog: the Easy Chickpea Patty.

This was the first vegetarian food I made when I gave up meat at the age of 15, and it’s still one of my favorite recipes.

It is simple and really the veggies can be substituted with whatever veggies you like or have on hand. It’s quick to make and filling. I like it between thin bread or lettuce, piled with tomatoes, pickles and spicy mustard. What is your favorite way to enjoy a burger?

Garbanzo bean burgers

Makes 6 burgers
  • 2 cups pre-cooked or canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and mashed
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  1. Mix all ingredients except cooking oil in a bowl.
  2. Form 6 flat patties. Fry in oiled pan over medium-high heat until burgers are golden brown. Turn burgers over and fry on the other side until done.

Beet burgers

I recently posted about not liking beets and asked for suggesting on how to use beets so they didn’t have that “beet” flavor. (Good unprocessed food vegetarian I am, right?!) Well, AgriGirl was kind enough to suggest beet burgers. Since I’m a sucker for any veggie burger, I thought I would give it a shot. Thanks for the suggestion, Tammy!

beet burgerI modified the burgers using Tammy’s suggestion (shred the beets and add flour, walnuts, rosemary and feta and saute) and remembered I had this beet and beet green fritters recipes. I love not wasting the greens and adding them to get a little more nutrition.

I combined the recipes to make a super recipe. I used beets, walnuts, caraway seeds, the greens and feta and it made a nice, naturally salty and flavorful patty with great texture. In the end it still tasted beet-ish, but it was a great patty I would make again. And I haven’t tried this beet, bean and rice burger, but it sure looks great, too.

Beets and greens burger

Makes 12, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch beets, with greens, peeled and grated
  • Salt
  • Greens from 1 bunch beets, stemmed and washed in 2 changes of water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta
  • Corn meal to coat the  burgers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Greek yogurt to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. Salt the beets generously and leave them to drain in a colander placed in the sink or in a bowl for 1 hour, tossing and squeezing the beets from time to time. After an hour, take up the grated beets by the handful, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and transfer to a bowl.
  2. While the beets are draining, heat a large pot of water over high heat and stem and wash the beet greens in 2 changes of water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the beet greens. Cook for about 1 minute, until tender, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain, squeeze dry and chop fine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg and add the grated beets, walnuts, cumin, caraway, beet greens, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and feta. Mix together well. Put it in the refrigeration about 30 minutes to firm.
  4. Combine the oils in a large frying pan and heat until rippling, about 275 degrees. Take up heaped tablespoons of the beet mixture and form patties. Lightly dredge in corn meal. Carefully transfer to the pan, taking care to fry them in batches so you don’t crowd the pan, and fry until patties are golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain briefly on a rack or plate lined with paper towels. Serve with yogurt in a pita.

Val’s best vegetarian burger

So I tried my hand at my own vegetarian burger, starting with this recipe and expanding. I had some millet in my pantry a while and figured I would use it to make a burger.

Millet was one of those things I hadn’t had before, so I picked some up while going through the bulk section at Whole Foods. It is gluten-free and is rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, according to Wikipedia. This burger is so good, it might be my new favorite veggie burger.

Millet burger

Makes about 8 burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup millet, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots and/or celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop.
  2. Bring the millet to a boil in 2 1/2 cups water until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff.
  3. Sautee the onion for 5 minutes in the oil. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook about 3 more minutes.
  4. In a big bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Add the other vegetables, millet and egg and mix.
  6. Form into patties and cook in a few tablespoons oil in a hot skillet for a few minutes per side, until golden brown.

This was my first time using millet. Do you have a recipe you like using millet?