Last day of the year! I should be making some kind of black-eyed pea dish or a decadent dessert to ring in 2014. Or perhaps featuring some of my most popular recipes of the past year. But when I get a bee in my bonnet to make something that I've eaten at a restaurant (that I was inevitably, irrefutably and miserably disappointed by), I just cannot help myself. I have to go home and make it better. Healthier, too, of course.
We paid a first-time visit to a neighborhood tavern and I got so excited when I saw black bean burgers on the menu! It's not often that we find vegan-friendly (and nutritarian-friendly) items on a menu in our small mountain town. Well, long story short, this burger came to the table and it was sad. So very sad. First of all, it was thin. I mean, the white-flour bun they served it on was at least 5x the thickness of the burger. And it was BLACK on the outside. Not in a good way. I'm not sure what they did to it because it didn't taste burnt, but I'm talking black like charcoal. That can't be good. Acrylamides anyone?
Well, these black bean burgers are... dare I say... the BEST we've ever had? There is so much flavor it's ridiculous and the consistency is spot on; a nice crunch on the outside and soft but not mushy inside. Hey, I don't use the word ULTIMATE lightly! Being so happy about these, I just couldn't wait to share the recipe with you.
- 2 cans no-salt-added black beans
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
- ½ cup red pepper, finely chopped (I used Serrano for a mellow heat)
- 2 chopped green onions
- 1 TBS chopped cilantro
- 3 TBS ground chia seeds + 6 TBS water
- 1 TBS cumin powder
- 1 TBS chili powder
- 1 TSP smoked paprika
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the chia with the water and set aside.
- Drain ONE can of the beans. Do not rinse.
- Place both cans of beans into a food processor with ONE cup of the rice, the chia mixture, cumin, chili powder, tamari and paprika.
- Pulse until combined.
- Turn the mixture out into a mixing bowl and stir in all remaining ingredients.
- Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into burgers. Use a heaping scoop so that the burgers are about 3½" wide and 1" tall. The mixture will seem VERY loose and wet. Don't worry, it firms up when it bakes.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then gently flip and bake another 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a little extra smoked paprika and serve with whatever kind of bun or toppings you like.
Healthy trails and a happy and safe New Year to you and yours!