“Naw, I don’t need anything,” I said.
Linda and I were in Panini’s Deli, a sandwich shop right in the middle of the Discount Health Foods store. I’d link you but, you know, they’re too cool to have a website. We were eating the best sandwiches you can find in this godforsaken restaurant desert of a town, but that doesn’t do them justice. These sandwiches are the bomb, made with fresh, semi-trendy ingredients like red pepper alioli or basil pesto mayo, with several vegetarian sandwiches that — surprise! — aren’t all variations of “avocado, tomato and bean sprouts.”
Surrounding it is one of the two best health food stores in the region, complete with an awesome bulk foods and bulk spice section. Linda was asking if I wanted to do any shopping.
There had to be something. There is always something I want/need from the health food store. I get all my spices there now. They’re cheaper —less than half the cost usually — and even fresher than you find in the supermarket. But for the life of me, nothing sprung to mind. We finished noshing our awesomewiches and took off, emptyhanded.
That was yesterday.
Today, I go to make some Old Bay seasoning (don’t ask; it’ll bore you to death and I have to get to my point here sometime). It has cardamom in it.
Oh, yeah, that spice I love. That spice I ran out of a few weeks ago. That spice I made a mental note to buy when I next went to the health food store.
They sure look ugly coming out of the oven!
I didn’t even tell you that story in order to tell you this one. I just told it to remind everyone to keep your shopping lists handy. :p
And this story is just about a yummy veggie burger that I love. I like that, even though it has bread crumbs, which I consider filler, it doesn’t go nuts with them and it still is full of wholesome stuff like green pepper, hot sauce, onions, and of course, black beans. I also love that it stays the heck together. Lots of homemade burgers don’t. It’s like, the nearly-unattainable goal of all veggie burgers: stay together. Like muskrats. Muskrats in love.
Yummy Black Bean Burgers
In my search for good veggie burger recipes, the hardest part is finding burgers that actually stick together! This recipe for black bean veggie burgers stays together very well and has a great Mexican kick to it too. Just be sure to make the ingredients as dry as you can before mixing: pat dry the beans, and strain or pat the green pepper and onion. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher, and cut up the green pepper, onion and garlic very finely. I actually haven’t tried this without a food processor so if you do, report back, soldier! Adapted from allrecipes.com
Yield: 4 large patties or 6 to 8 smaller patties
Special equipment: A food processor makes it much easier!
1 (15 ounce) can (1½ cups) black beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry.
½ green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
½ onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (can also use any hot sauce)
½ cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375°F and oil a baking sheet or line with parchment or a silicone baking mat (like a Silpat).
Add beans, green pepper, onion, and garlic to your food processor. Pulse until veggies are finely chopped and beans are pasty, but not quite puréed. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, chili powder, cumin, and Thai chili sauce. Add bean and veggie mixture and mix well. Finally, stir in bread crumbs. If mixture is not thick enough to form patties (it should be), add more bread crumbs.
Take a look at your buns and make your patties about the same size. Big, round, luscious buns require bigger patties, of course. Small, firm buns need small patties. There are zero sexual innuendos in this paragraph.
Put the patties on your prepared baking sheet, and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes total: 10 minutes on one side, flip, 10 minutes on the other side.