Black bean and red quinoa burgers

Summer is here and that means barbecue season. With outdoor grills stacked with meat and fish, there are also many ways in which vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the party.

The veggie burger is a popular choice. However, unlike beef burgers, veggie burgers have a softer texture and can crumble and fall apart on your plate and on the grill. Well, not anymore. Featured above is a black bean and red quinoa vegan burger that I created this week. The pattie is still softer than a beef pattie – there’s no way out of that – but this pattie still holds its shape.

Here’s the recipe:

Black bean and red quinoa vegan burgers

Makes 6-8 patties

Level: easy (once you organized your ingredients)

Ingredients

Base:

  • ½ cup dry red quinoa
  • 2 cans (15 ounce or 400 grams each) black beans (makes 2 cups strained black beans)
  • 2½ cups diced brown button mushrooms
  • 3 garlic buds pressed (skins discarded)
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsps) chia seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water (replaces one large egg)

Spices/herbs:

  • 1/4 cup green chives – finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) each of thyme and paprika
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Spicy sauce:

  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp good quality soja sauce (fermented naturally)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
DSC_0123
Grilled oat and walnut crumbs.

Dry crumbs (total 1 cup): *

  • ½ cup natural rolled oats
  • ½ cup walnuts

* I normally make my own crumbs/breadcrumbs which I store in a sealed glass jar. Crumbs are simple to make and they keep for a long time. There are many ways to make crumbs. Here’s one way – with roasted oats and walnuts.

If you’re making the crumbs for this recipe, then make them first. This is what you do:

Heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F. Measure ½ cup walnuts and ½ cup rolled oats. Chop the walnuts so that they are about the same size as the rolled oats. Spread these on a baking sheet and roast for 3-5 minutes in heated oven until brown. Turn/mix a few times while they roast. Transfer to a food processor and process just a little, so that you don’t end up with a powder but instead, course crumbs. I recommend that you make a larger batch and store the mixture in a glass jar for future use.

Procedure

Rinse and strain the quinoa. Bring 1 cup of salted water to the boil and add quinoa. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and give it stir. You will end up with 1½ cups cooked quinoa. Set aside.

Rinse, strain and pat dry the black beans. Transfer beans into a large bowl and mash with fork (it’s fine if you still have some chunks of black beans). Add the cooked quinoa to this and mix well.

Here you can put the chia seeds in a small bowl and add the warm water. Mix with fork and let this sit for while – it will turn into a jelly. This will help bind the mixture.

Fry the diced mushrooms with the pressed garlic in a dry pan (no oil, no butter in pan) until all the water has evaporated. You will end up with 1 cup of fried garlicy mushrooms. Add this to the black bean and quinoa mixture. Give it all a good stir. Add the green chives and mix. Add the thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, dijon mustard, soya sauce and cayenne pepper. Add this into the black bean/quinoa mixture and mix. Add the chia seeds and mix.

Add the dry crumbs and mix and turn with clean hands. Adjust spices/herbs.

You can cover and chill the mixture in fridge or proceed directly to forming patties and frying them. Add some olive oil in a heated pan or place them directly on the outdoor grill. I fry them for a good 5 minutes on each side.

For another delicious vegan burger recipe, but this time, made with black lentils instead of black beans, I suggest this recipe by Catherine Katz at Cuisinicity.com.

Bon appétit and have a great summer!

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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