I promise, that despite the fact that everything I have posted so far has no meat, we do eat meat. In April of this year, though, our church underwent a corporate fast. For many reasons Drew and I chose to do a Daniel fast. A Daniel fast is found in the Bible, in Daniel chapter 10. In all effects, it is a mostly raw vegan fast. Shout out to Hallelujah Acres! From this three week experience, we came away eating a lot less meat than we normally do. It's not for idealistic reasons; we just crave it less and want vegetables more. Enter the black bean burger!
From the time I saw this recipe and its picture in the February 2009 issue of Gourmet, my interest in this meatless burger was piqued. It wasn't until May of this year that I made the thing, and it will now be among the dishes I make on occasion. Aside from salads, there's not a lot we repetitively make in the Givens household, so "on occasion" means we like it! For those of you seeking a VERY affordable and healthier meal, this is it! What gets cheaper than beans?
If you're not afraid to eat a meatless burger, and even if you are a bit afraid, I encourage you to try something like this. It's filling, but you don't feel absolutely sick-stuffed afterwards. It has an interesting and delicious flavor from the black beans and spices that makes you realize that this is no ordinary burger. The texture is different; unless we did something wrong, it's still fairly soft on the inside, like a thick bean burrito.
The process of making the burgers was very easy. Being that we don't love cilantro, I omitted it. This is what I love about cooking that used to scare the pants off me before! After realizing that omitting and substituting ingredients in a cooked dish usually just results in a little variety and not in a chemistry disaster, I felt so much more free to improvise in certain areas. Frying the burgers in the pan was dead simple, too. The hardest part about this meal is trying not to absolutely squish the burgers while eating them.
We topped ours with sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, avocodo, and the normals of ketchup and mayo. This summer I hope to make them when we have garden fresh tomatoes as well. By the way, if you've never had avocado or guacamole on a regular burger, you should try it. It's so good, it will make you want to slap your mama. Provided, of course, you like avocados.
If you click the Gourmet link below, it will take you to the webpage of this recipe and a more photogenic burger. I think the burger in the picture would be better with avocado.
We served ours with baked sweet potato fries.
Black Bean Burgers
2 (14-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns
•Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, and cayenne until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cilantro and remaining can beans. Form mixture into 4 patties.
•Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Serve on buns.
- I made this recipe even more budget friendly by cooking black beans. About1/2 pound dried black beans, when cooked, will yield about 2 cans' worth. Feel free to make more than you need for black beans and rice, or whatever you like.
- As aforementioned, I omitted the cilantro because we don't like cilantro. I may have added some coriander seed for more a more downplayed flavor. In case you didn't know, cilantro and coriander are the same thing.
- This made four whopping patties. I think next time I would make 5-6 smaller ones so that
- it's not quite so much on your bun at once
- I know cooking will be more consistent, and
- it may help them to stick together more- unsure of that one.