I wrote this for Burnside a few years ago about eating less meat and the impact it could have on our environment if every American family went meatless just one day a week. Back then, I had to be a little sneaky when it came to all-veggie meals because Grant thought very highly of protein of the animal variety. It’s a testament to how far we’ve come in a few short years that I made black bean burgers about a month ago, and Grant asked me to make them for his birthday dinner when it comes around. Be still my beating heart is about all I had to say to that!

So this week, Grant and I decided to do a little vegan/no sugar/no gluten cleanse after overindulging in South Beach visiting my sister last week. Grant surprisingly really liked it. Of course, it’s pretty easy when you have all of these delicious local vegetables to choose from. I’ll post my regular black bean recipe soon because it’s so tasty, but these were a great substitute if you’re avoiding animal products altogether. They didn’t hold together quite as well as the regular recipe, but we didn’t seem to mind!


Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Recipe very loosely adapted from Lukas Volger’s black bean burger recipe in Veggie Burgers Every Which Way 

1.5 cups cooked black beans (pressure cooker alert!)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 cup flax meal
2 tablespoons oats
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin or coriander
Couple tablespoons of oil for frying (I used safflower oil because of its high smoke point)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix a half cup of the beans, cilantro, mustard, onions, pepper, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin in the food processor until combined thoroughly.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining beans, flax meal and oats, using a fork to smash the beans. I don’t put all of the beans in the food processor to retain some of the texture in the final burgers.
4. Add the mixed ingredients from the food processor into the bowl of beans and mix together just until combined.
5. Form the mixture into patties in the size of your choice.
6. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the patties until browned – for about five minutes on each side, replacing the oil as necessary.
7. Once the patties have finished cooking, transfer them to the oven for about twelve minutes.

Because we were doing the gluten-free thing, we served ours over salad greens from the garden with sauteed mushrooms on top. Feel free to serve them on a traditional hamburger bun with all of the fixins though. Jasper had them for lunch the next day in a tortilla, which looked delicious too.

Grant’s plate about three minutes after dinner started speaks for itself!