There’s a restaurant chain in Florida that our friends Sean and Nancy introduced us to a few years ago. They do a vegetarian burger which I copied and made for a while. They also do a rather wickedly delicious martini which Nancy taught me about, but …..back to the story at hand….I was never completely happy with it as it had too many ingredients and the flavours weren’t clean and wholesome enough for me. I’ve always had the nirvana of vegetarian burgers hovering at the back of my mind, waiting to bloom. Looks like its season has finally arrived.
620g (3 c) or 2 (425g) cans black beans
2 roughly chopped onions
1 large tomato roughly chopped
large bunch (20g) coriander roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 seasoning peppers finely chopped
2 garlic cloves pressed
320g (2 c) cooked brown rice (I used brown basmati)
2 tbsp chia seeds
juice 1/2 lime
olive oil for cooking
I know that bean burgers are stereotypical vegetarian food, but I urge all of you, carnivores, omnivores and herbivores alike to try these. They are easy to make, very healthy for your temple and deeply satisfying in the tummy. I promise. I’ve made black beans burgers many times before, each time making small improvements. This version hits the bullseye! It is truly delicious even as left overs, as they are moist and lovely. Added bonus is the ingredients are inexpensive. You could easily cook the beans yourself and freeze what you do not need for another batch…..you see…I’m that confident you will like these. Or, just use the canned variety.
In a recent post I told you that I had only just discovered a grill pan for using on top of my cooker. Well, I just found its sister. A flat cookie sheet-esque thing which was brilliant for cooking these babies. Also, I laid my teflon sheets on top of that and it worked an absolute charm. There was none of that holding of breath, twisting of elbow, bending of spatula malarky associated with some types of burger cooking.
Start by mashing the beans with a potato masher. You want 2/3 of it to be smushed but some whole beans left. Add the rest of the ingredients and get your hands in there to bring it all together. Divide into 8 or 9 balls each weighing roughly 150g. Shape into burger patties. Heat up your magical sheet like mine or a perfectly acceptable frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Cook until there is some colour on both sides. You don’t need to worry too much as most of the ingredients are cooked anyway.
Coming back to the cooking method, I reckon that if you have a solid metal cooking sheet meant for whatever purpose, you could use it here. In Trinidad, many people own a “platine” (plah-teen) which is used for cooking roti skins, or maybe you have a cast iron sheet for some other purpose. The point is, check out cooking without the boundaries imposed by the sides of a pan. Its very liberating.
We had these for supper one night with vegetables simply cooked. I chose a tahini sauce for the topping which suited it perfectly. The next day we had them with a salad for lunch.
A point to note with these burgers is that they are quite low on the glycemic index (GI) especially if you use brown basmati which has the lowest GI of all rices I’ve used. The black beans are a legume or pulse which as you know are a complex carbohydrate and therefore are broken down really slowly by the body, hence making them low GI.