Black Bean Burgers.

A couple of years ago I got hooked on those Morningstar Black Bean burgers.  Although I am (and will probably always will be!) a true dutchy meat-and-potatoes kinda girl, I really liked these, almost to the exclusion of regular burgers on the grill.  Of course they aren’t cheap – so they were added to my list of things to replicate homemade.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped fine
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 slices dry whole wheat bread crumbled into tiny pieces

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium low
  • Saute garlic and onion in oil until soft
  • Add the celery and pepper, fry until softened
  • Mix in the herbs and spices and heat through
  • Mash or puree half the beans
  • Add reserved beans and all other ingredients EXCEPT hummus and soy sauce
  • Mix well by hand
  • Add enough of the hummus and soy sauce to moisten mixture fairly well
  • Mixture will seem a little sticky, but it’s better than a bit dry because they will dry out while cooking
  • Form 10 flat patties and cook on medium until brown, approximately 10 minutes per side.

Notes:

  • I used bread crumbs instead of the crumbled bread (same difference)
  • I froze the patties before cooking
  • When I did cook them, I think 10 minutes per side is excessive.  There really isn’t anything to actually cook when you think about it..so I just did it enough to brown both sides and heat through.  Maybe 10 minutes total.

Opinion:

I was excited to make them and then I was hesitant to actually try them.  After seeing all the gray mushy beans it just looked unappealing!  They definitely look a lot better after you cook them.  I think they were a very good start.  The taste was acceptable (although not very exciting, it could use a little more flavor somehow).  We started looking at the ingredients on the Morningstar box that I had in the freezer and had two good ideas – one, a little less beans and replace them with some cooked brown rice to give them a little more substance.  Also, the Morningstar ones have corn in them which I also like.  I will have no problems finishing off this first batch as they were very good – but I think I could improve with some variation.

Addendum:

I made a second batch with some variations.  I substituted cooked brown rice for half of the black beans, added some corn, and substituted red pepper for green pepper (just a personal flavor preference).  I learned that #1, rice really sucks up a ton of oil, so when I fried them I ended up with very very oily burgers in the first batch!  Definitely do not overdo it with the oil.  I think that next time I will try 3/4 beans to 1/4 rice, the rice added a good flavor and texture but it was too much.  The burgers were a little crumbly.  Adding the corn and substituting the red pepper were great, the burgers tasted amazing.  Getting closer!

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