Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Burgers (Vegan, Gluten Free)

So it seems that after my post yesterday people are interested in hearing about this veggie burger recipe of mine. And I am more than happy to share it. Now, if you haven't heard about these burgers, which let's be honest you probably haven't, allow me to brag for a moment. This past Friday, after a long day of hiking my favorite guy and I were craving some veggie burgers and sweet potato fries. I didn't want to go to the grocery store yet again so I assured him that I could put something together with what I had at my house. And apparently what I came up with is the best veggie burger ever. Or at least that's what the word on the street is. I have had many taste testers, both veggies and carnivores alike and they've all loved it. These burgers have a nice smoky flavor and are super filling! Who says you can't be vegan and have your burger, too?

But before I get to the recipe, I think I should share some pictures from the hike. You know to help you work up an appetite, put you in the same frame of mind that we were in when we first sank our teeth into this tasty meal. Make sense? No? Yeah, didn't think so. I just really want to share the pictures!

We were half expecting mountain lions to attack us as soon as we walked into this clearing,
fortunately the only animals we saw were deer, a bunny, hummingbirds and an eagle.
What a goof. Trying to lift the boulder.

At first we thought all the dead trees we saw were a result of a landslide. But on closer inspection, they were actually chopped down. Why? Who knows, but there were a TON of them. 

We were not expecting to be so close to Pike's Peak so that was a cool surprise once we reached the reservoir at the top.
Needless to say, after over 7 hours of hiking through the Colorado mountains we were more than ready for food. So on a whim I threw some ingredients into a bowl and here's what came out:

Spicy Black Bean Burgers
  • 2 Cans Black Beans
  • 1/3 Cup Quinoa Flour
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Cup Minced Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Carrot
  • 1 Jalapeno, minced (include the seeds for spice)
  • Handful Fresh Cilantro
  • Approximately 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Sea Salt to Taste and then some (you want them to taste a little too salty before they're cooked)
Makes 4 Burgers.
Rinse and drain black beans, set aside to dry. Chop and mince all your veggies and throw them in a bowl. if you want to be faster or lazy about it, you can just throw it all in a food processor. Once everything is chopped, add your black beans and mash everything together with a potato masher. Once it all starts to stick, add the flour and spices and mash until everything is mixed. Divide the mix into 4 equal parts and then form them into burgers. Add this point you have a few options:
  • Bake the burgers. On a greased cookie sheet, aluminum foil or silpat cook the burgers at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes on each side.
  • Use a skillet. On medium heat, in a greased skillet, cook the burgers until the underside had turned brown, flip and repeat.
  • Partially bake and finish them off in a skillet. Follow the above directions, just cut the cook time in half.
  • Partially bake and finish them off on a grill. Follow the same directions you would if finishing in a skillet.
As I said yesterday, I have now made these burgers 4 times in the last 6 days. This gave me some time to experiment. I think the easiest way to cook them is in the oven because you can walk away and forget about them. But taste and texture wise, I think it's best to partially bake and finish them in either a skillet or on the grill to add a little more crispness to the outside. 

Also note that this recipe is flexible, the measurements above by no means have to be exact. Feel free to get creative with the veggies you include. It also tastes great with red pepper, but I'm sure any bell pepper would be great. You could also mix in corn for a more traditional southwestern burger. Let me know what combinations you come up with!

I've also tried this burger with several different topping combinations, but by far my favorite is tomato, avocado and kale. Also, be sure to toast the bun- it's way better! And if you have a gluten sensitivity, use a gluten free bun, which you already knew, or try it wrapped in a corn or rice tortilla! Serve with a side of sweet potato fries 'cause they're awesome!

But most importantly, enjoy them because they will not last long.

What's the best veggie burger you've ever had?
Do you enjoy hiking?
What's your favorite post-hike meal?


  1. YOURS!!!

  2. Inspired! Great post!
    personal style and fashion musings of a LA fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane!

  3. I am so excited to try these! They look amazeballs :o)

    1. Yeah, I don't even want to tell you how many I ate over the course of the last week haha

  4. Hi, I really want to make these! They look great. You say 20 mins each side in the oven, so 40 mins total? Do they retain their moisture? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, approximately 40 minutes total. Feel free to play around with it, though. Even if they look kind of dried out on the outside, they'll still be moist on the inside. Like I said in the post, I've made these a variety of ways. I've made them without measuring ingredients, I've forgotten them in the oven... haha but they always come out great, they're pretty much foolproof so just have fun with it!

  5. Was the bun in your picture gluten free?! It looked amazing. What is it?

  6. Hey Kaila! Thanks for stopping by! No, these buns were not gluten free. They were whole wheat buns I found at Sprouts.

  7. I often mix in some chopped cashews or peanuts, or sesame seeds.
    Sundried tomatoes also go beautifully with veggie burgers.
    Aduki beans are a nice base for the batter too.
    I use potato flour, which is common in Sweden, but I don't know if it's used elsewhere.
    I didn't even know you could get quinoa in the shape of flour.

    I'm not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I try to avoid meat in most of my meals.

    1. Yum! I bet sundried tomatoes are really good! Is potato flour like potato starch? And that's great that you think outside the box when it comes to meals! I think too many just eat meat without thinking about it. Thanks for stopping by!