Saturday, December 15, 2007

Almost burgers

Yesterday Mohamed was helping me unload the groceries from my trip to the store when he spotted some hamburger buns. "We're having burgers?" exclaimed my vegetarian-by-force husband. He was so excited I almost sent him off to Wendy's to buy himself a slab of beef. I informed him that the buns were actually for black bean burgers. He misheard me and his whole face fell. I am not exaggerating when I say he looked like he was going to cry as he told me, "I am NOT eating burgers made out of flax seed."

In order to get the full impact of how funny my husband's misery was at that moment, you have to understand I've been on a real health-food kick for some time. We don't really eat meat, or cheese, or any processed food- you get the point. And I am always "sneaking" flax seeds (the ground kind. Ask me about them and I'll tell be happy to share why everyone should eat flax) into smoothies and oatmeal and muffins. So, the idea of an entire burger made out of flax seeds put my meat-loving man over the edge. And made me laugh. For a long time.

I made the burgers today, and they were okay. Amira enjoyed making the patties, and once we put enough lettuce and onions on the bun they tasted quite good. Next time I'll definetly add avocado and also make sure I make the patties thinner so that they will be crispier. And, for the record, although I'm sure no one would have noticed them at all, I did not add any flax seeds to my burgers.

Here is a recipe, courtesy of

This is not the recipe I used, but my kids are starting to whine so I don't have time to type out the one I used. This one actually sounds better. Oh, and a few of the comments on the recipe said that some people used oats or brown rice, instead of bread crumbs (thought that might work better for you, Ame.)

Black Bean Burgers

1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs

If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

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