Are you ready for BBQ season? When I first gave up eating beef, barbeques were a little awkward for me. I didn’t know if I felt left out or it I stuck out because everyone else was eating hamburgers while I was grazing on salad and raw veggies. I have a game plan for this summer because now I can take along a tasty bean burger that’s not so conspicuous. I know, I know . . . there are millions of veggie burger recipes out there. But since you’re here, I’ll share my take on veggie burgers. I’ve tried a few store-bought veggie burgers, but they’ve all been pretty “blah”. Many of them are made with tofu. We all know that tofu does not take on a life of it’s own; it takes on the life of whatever other ingredients are in the recipe. Basically, it’s a flavor and oil “sponge”. Unfortunately, most veggie-burger vegetables don’t have really strong flavors, so the tofu relies on additives like soy sauce or Tamari. These burgers contain a lot of sodium. (As a side note, I recently discovered that about 45% of the calories in tofu come from fat. I’ll be a little more selective when it comes to tofu recipes in the future.) Be careful that you read the label as some veggie burgers contain egg whites. I’ve had some okay restaurant veggie/bean burgers, but these are typically grilled with a lot of oil. And it seems that many bean burgers seem to lean towards Mexican seasonings that include cumin, bell and jalapeno peppers, corn and cilantro. We eat at Chipotles on a regular basis, so the last thing I’m after is a Tex-Mex inspired burger. This recipe for Sundried Tomato and Black Bean Burgers is pretty straightforward. The burger looks like a hamburger, does not fall apart when flipped and does not slide out from under the bun and other toppings. Not a lot of funky flavors, no seeds or nuts, no brightly colored veggies drawing attention to what’s on your bun. You can top your burger with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions, sauteed mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, etc. I served the burgers with a salad of micro-greens, radishes, carrots and fennel and olives. I discovered a trick to including other vegetables with micro-greens. Since micro-greens are so light and “fluffy”, heavy ingredients like tomatoes and cucumbers tend to gravitate toward the bottom of the salad bowl. I grated the radishes, carrots and fennel on a box grater so they would mingle nicely with the micro-greens. So, get ready for summer and BBQ season. Make a few batches of these burgers, place in the freezer and you’re ready at a moment’s notice for some fun in the sun. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
Sundried Tomato Bean Burgers
1 Tbsp. ground flax
½ tsp. Better Than Bouillion No Beef Base dissolved in 6 Tbsp. water
1 can black beans
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, diced
1 cup sundried tomatoes, minced in mini chop
¾ cup oatmeal, ground into flour
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tsp oregano
¼ cup parsley
Mix ground flax with 1 tablespoon of broth. In large bowl, mash beans. Mix remaining broth into beans. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into six patties.
Place grill pan on grates of barbeque grill. Preheat grill on medium heat. Lightly coat pan with non-stick spray. Grill burgers for 5 minutes, flip and grill another 5 mintues.
To bake in oven, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through and slightly browned, flipping once.