So I used buy these manufactured black bean burgers in the frozen section. They were fine. A little tough, a tad cardboard like, but they would get the job done. Then, after working on my second book, I couldn’t bring myself to buy processed veggie burgers anymore. So, I went on a frenzy to develop or adapt recipes to make my own versions. I learned two key things. First, if you can chop, stir and play patty cakes with your hands, you can make your own burgers. Second, they’re infinitely better tasting. Plus, they don’t take that long.
Sun-dried tomatoes offer a mellow flavor while the greens offer a bit of bite. Greens such as arugula, Italian kale, swiss chard, mustard greens or beet greens all work well. For super-easy cookouts, make the patties ahead, then reheat them on the grill. In summer, I add in freshly grilled corn, but this is optional. Stash a few in the freezer for busy weeknight meals. Onions, tomatoes and a couple of slices of avocado pairs well as toppings. The other nice thing is that its bound with quinoa, which also makes them gluten free. Makes 6 to 8 patties.
Black Bean, Greens & Corn Veggie Burgers
½ cup quinoa
1 small onion (8 oz.) finely chopped (1 cup)
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped (¼ cup)
2 handfuls mustard greens, washed, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1½ cups cooked black beans
OR a 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons corn kernals (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil or cooking spray
Stir together quinoa and 1½ cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. You should have 1½ cups cooked quinoa.
Meanwhile, place onion and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.) Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Add the greens and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes or so until softened and wilted. Stir in ¾ cup black beans, garlic, cumin, steak seasoning, and 1½ cups water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add 1 cup cooked quinoa, and process until smooth or put into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining black beans and corn if using. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and cool.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray or coat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until browned on one side about 4 minutes. Turn, cook another two minutes and then place into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.