Dudes, it has been ages since I've made burgers! I've been super seriously craving them bad. A quick scan of my cupboard revealed a can of black beans and, thus, it was decided. I've had a bit of a sketchy history with making the illustrious black bean burger. I crave bean burgers, and *gasp* sometimes I just buy the frozen ones. Come on! You know you do it, too. My biggest difficulty has been making the burgers hold together, especially enough to flip them while baking. Well, my dearest darlings, I finally accomplished this feat of awesomeness. Part of the trick is making sliders (little burgers) and the other is the use of vital wheat gluten and breadcrumbs. The small size of the sliders fit easily on the spatula and they seem to cook throughout without the edges drying out very much.
An a-side: I love flavored mayos. Garlic mayo, cajun mayo, chipotle mayo, etc., so I made some spicy mayo for these burgers and it was mega rad! I mixed my Vegenaise (best vegan mayo by leaps and bounds) with some chili powder, cajun seasoning and smoked paprika. Let it sit aside for at least 5 minutes so the flavors can develop more. You won't be sorry.
I also made my own slider buns! I used someone else's recipe for those, so I can't take any credit. But here is the link to the recipe. The only real changes I made were to skip the "wash" and the sesame seeds. While I love sesame seeds, I do not enjoy them on buns. Then, I just made them into a bunch of smaller buns instead of full-size burger buns. When they were done, I brushed some melted Earth Balance butter on top to keep them soft while the burgers were cooking. Here's the progression:
|Just rolled following the first rise in the bowl.|
|This is after the second rise. Ready for the oven.|
|Hot buns!! Just need a little brush of butter and they're good to go.|
What I used:
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4-1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushroom (about 4 average white mushrooms)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp oil of your choice for cooking veggies - I used coconut oil
- 1-2 tsp steak sauce
- 2-3 TB bbq sauce
- about 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- about 1/4 cup or a bit more vital wheat gluten (also called vital wheat gluten flour)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Even though I used silicone, I still spritzed it with some cooking spray just to be sure the burgers didn't stick.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper and onion. Stir a few times and cook until the onions are nearly translucent. Add in the garlic, carrots and mushrooms and cook another few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add your beans and cooked veggies to a food processor and pulse about 10 times, or until you don't see any whole blackbeans left, but don't totally puree the mix. Now, empty the food processor into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the spices, and sauces. Then fold in the bread crumbs and gluten. Let it sit a few minutes to activate the gluten. Now, here's the tricky part. You want to pull off a little bit of the burger mix and roll it into a ball in your hand. Then smoosh it down a bit. If the patty seems to be holding its shape and not instantly turning to mush, you're probably in the clear. Otherwise, add more bread crumbs until it reaches a stable consistency. It won't be super firm or anything, but it should stay together when gently handled.
- Okay, well, now make a bunch (or a few patties) about 1/2 inch thick and carefully transfer to the prepped baking sheet.
- Bake for about 12 minutes. Spritz the tops with some cooking spray and then gently use a spatula to flip the patties over and cook about 6 more minutes. The edges should be just a bit crispy.