Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from The Everything Beans Book by Katie Kimball.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- (2 jalapenos, optional, seeded)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- one can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. cooked green lentils (I used canned)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. bread crumbs
1. Open cans of black beans and brown or green lentils, rinse them well with cold water, and drain them in a small sieve.
2. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan. Roughly chop onion and red pepper; peel garlic. Sauté vegetables in the oil until they have softened, about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Pulse the sautéed onion, pepper, garlic in a food processor, along with the fresh cilantro and optional jalepeno, until finely chopped. Add the beans and lentils and process until pasty. If your food processor is a bit weak, you may want to tackle this in two batches. (I only have a mini food processor, but I did it in three batches and was fine.)
4. When mostly smooth, add salt, pepper, and the eggs. Process until combined and then add 3/4 of cup of bread crumbs and process briefly until incorporated. Give a little stir around the very center for anything your blade may have missed. If your food processor is on the small side, you may wish to remove the legume/vegetable mixture to a bowl and simply stir in the rest of the ingredients. (this is what I did!)
5. Add more bread crumbs bit by bit until the mixture starts sticking together. It is now ready to form patties.
6. Put some flour in a salad bowl to use in flouring your hands and the outside of the patties. Form 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick patties. The patties might seem a little fragile, but you don’t want them too stiff or they might dry out and get crumbly once cooked.
7. Cook in a well-greased skillet over medium to medium-high heat, or an indoor grill, for about 5-8 minutes on each side, turning at least once for even doneness. You can add oil in between sides, especially if you want a nice even browning look, or if you’re using a cast iron skillet.
8. Serve between two buns with an assortment of condiments and favorite toppings. Keep with the Mexican theme and offer fresh peppers, pickled jalapenos, avocado slices and salsa.
Thoughts on This Week’s Recipe:
Ease of preparation: This one took a little work, but mainly because I only have a mini food processor so I had to do it in batches and it created quite a mess. I think it would be much easier if you use a large food processor or a Vitamix…so I now have one more reason I need a Vitamix! I also cooked my own lentils, which took a little more time than using canned.
Overall opinion: I really enjoyed these…they were super flavorful and I’m all for a healthier alternative to regular hamburgers.
Husband’s thoughts: He enjoyed these…although he is a big fan of regular hamburgers, so I’m not sure if I could get him to make the switch permanently, but he thought they were a nice change.
Would you make it again? Yes…when I get my Vitamix! One thing I loved about these is that the recipe made 8 burgers, so I wrapped half of them in wax paper and froze them and we have another meal all ready to go in the future.
Did you omit or add anything? I didn’t use the jalapenos since I was serving the burgers to the kids too, and I didn’t want them to be too spicy.
How did you serve them? I served mine topped with cheese, tomato slices, pickles, and salsa. I would have loved to top them with some avocados too, but didn’t have any on hand.
Would you change anything next time? I might try them with a chipotle pepper in the mix, although they’re already pretty flavorful.
Although he looks happy and like he’s enjoying the burgers…he really didn’t eat anything except the bun, so I struck out with the kids on these ones, which surprised me. I think less picky kids would like them though!
This Week’s Recipe:
This week’s recipe comes from Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. Print out the recipe and join me!
Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3/4 cup medium-grain brown basmati rice rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup sugar snap or snow peas trimmed and cut in half diagonally
- 8 spears asparagus trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes and serve immediately; this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.