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Black Bean Burgers: Gluten Free

 These black bean burgers stay nice and delicious for a few days in your fridge and are great for packing into your toddler’s lunchbox. A great vegetarian addition to your weekly meals.

Hooray for another great meal for the whole family! These black bean burgers are gluten free, protein packed, and a nice vegetarian addition to your weekly meals. When it was first suggested to me to create a recipe for a black bean burger, I have to admit, my thought was….zzzzzzzzz boring. To be honest, veggie burgers were never really my thing because they usually taste kinda…. blah…. until I started playing around with fun condiments and spices. Black beans are kind of like tofu in that you really need to season and create flavors throughout the dish so you can taste them properly. Sort of like a blank white piece of paper…. there’s nothing wrong with it, you just have to draw or paint on it to truly appreciate it right? Same thing with most legumes, so let’s get to work!

To be sure patties stay formed well, I make them the day before (or a few hours before) and let them have some quality fridge love. I usually do these open-faced or with no bun at all. See my condiment suggestions below. 

Ingredient notes
I try to stay away from cans as much as possible since many are contaminated with
Bisphenol or BPA, and well…aluminum itself. BPA is a toxic chemical that has the potential to harm the body even at small doses and many of today’s cans are lined with it. Aluminum accumulates in the body and is heavily associated with memory problems like Alzheimer’s Disease.  The good news is, most of the products I always used cans for (ie crushed tomatoes & beans) now come in boxes! For this purpose, if all you have are cans, it’s totally fine, just something to keep in mind.

 Sent my hubby to the store to grab a box of black beans and he showed up with aisle 4 of whole foods. There really was no turning back, I had to make black bean burgers but they ended up turning out pretty damn well.

Condiment ideas and additions
sliced avocado and red onion
mayo & dash of ketchup
lots and lots of pickles with mustard
lettuce, & tomato
more hot sauce
more salsa
slice jack or cheddar cheese
sauerkraut (sounds crazy I know but adds such a nice zing and so much nutrition)

Toddler Tricks
I cut them up in bite-sized pieces for Tommy and serve with diced avocado and a nice refreshing piece of fruit. If he’s not in the mood for that type of texture, my plan B is to break them up into a mashed sweet potato and he devours it. Sometimes I will throw in another vegetable on the side like green beans or broccoli. If you’re adding extra spices or hot sauce in the burgers, make your child’s first, then add anything that might be too spicy for them.

Ingredients
2 13 oz boxes (or 2 cans) organic black beans
1 egg
1 large bunch cilantro chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced or grated
2 tbsp salsa
1 cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup organic corn (fresh would be awesome)
½ cup cornmeal
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Coriander
Dash hot sauce (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Olive oil, grass-fed butter, or natural cooking spray for pan

1 lime (for finishing)

 Here is what they look like when freshly formed. Lots and lots of cilantro makes these burgers super delicious and super healthy. The addition of the corn adds some nice texture and sweetness. Let the patties sit in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours so they behave when frying.

Cook the brown rice according to package directions and set aside 1 cup. (The rest can be used during the week). Drain beans, place in large mixing bowl and mash well. Add egg along with the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Let mixture sit 5-10 minutes. Form into burgers. I like smaller ones (¼ cup measure or even a heaping Tbsp if I’m going to make them for Tommy).

Prepare grill by adding 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or cooking spray. Use low to medium heat since you want the burger to cook through without burning the top and bottom. Add patties to grill and cook 4-5 minutes on each side, (less time if your burgers are small just keep an eye on them). If using cheese, go ahead and place a slice on top of your burger for the last few minutes of cooking time and cover with the lid of a pan so it melts nicely. Once done remove from heat and let burgers cool slightly. 

Cut lime in half and drizzle with fresh lime juice. 

Serve on an open faced bun, slide into some lettuce for wraps, or serve as is with a veggie on the side for the kiddos.

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