Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homemade Black Bean Burger - 6 points per patty

What is up with stores not carrying black bean burgers anymore? Are they really a relic of the '90s? I spent a lot of happy high school and college vegetarian days scarfing down black bean burgers from Chili's and Morningstar Farms frozen black bean burgers with Trader Joe's guacamole. Ah, the good old days. I missed black bean burgers, so I decided to make some. This recipe came out very, very well. I think that actually if you double the poblano, add more chili powder, and more vital wheat gluten, they'd be perfect. At six points per patty, they're more of an investment than a three oz cold cut sandwich, but they are probably healthier and the patties are thick and satisfying. Use half a small whole wheat pita in place of a bun, and even with some cheese and barbecue sauce it's an under-ten-point meal.

Homemade Black Bean Burgers (6 large patties)

1 can black beans, drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 poblano pepper
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
4 tbsp cornmeal
1 egg
4 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
black pepper

Turn on your broiler to high. Very lightly coat your pobano with oil and put it in the broiler. You'll want to turn it after about 3 minutes, when the skin is blackened.

Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup quinoa, cover, and turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner. In about five minutes you will have fluffy quinoa. Around that time, you may be ready to take out your blackened poblano and put it in a bowl covered with saran wrap.

While the poblano is cooling, put the black beans, onions, garlic, spices, egg, worcestershire sauce, gluten, and quinoa into the food processor and puree them. It may in fact be better to just mash them, but I'll stick with what I did right now since it turned out well.

Pour the puree into a bowl. Peel and chop the poblano, and stir in the chopped poblano and bread crumbs. Now, it must be kneaded-- this is what makes gluten activate. It's a wet, sticky mixture, so I used a rice paddle to sort of fold it and press it in a kneading motion until it became firmer.

Cover a baking sheet with cornmeal. Form patties by hand and press into the cornmeal on each side to coat.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. When hot, add three patties. Flip after few minutes, when the cornmeal on the bottom is browned. Before taking them out, throw a tbsp of soy sauce in the pan. It will sizzle up and season the burgers. Repeat with the second batch.

They are good right away, but better refrigerated overnight and then reheated. You can reheat them in a dry nonstick skillet. Top with some avocado, salsa, cheese, barbecue sauce, or whatever your soul desires.

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