Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Black Bean Burgers - Dinner's Nutritional Powerhouse!

We vegans can't seem to get enough of explaining how we manage to get protein in our diet, as well as the micros like calcium and iron. Just as an FYI, I did an assignment in school where I had to count what I ate in a day and compare with Canada's recommended daily amount. BAM, exceeded my recommended protein (for my weight and activity level) by a few grams!

Another myth: Calcium only found in dairy? Beg to differ. In fact, I'm a believer that the plant-based sources are more beneficial. Yes, there is calcium lurking in many plant based sources. Dark leafy greens (is there anything they DON'T do for us?), almonds, soy products and...BEANS!

Beans are a magical food which nature has blessed with a very high protein and fibre content, low number of calories and fat and a sweet amounts of iron and calcium to boot! Not only are they nutritional powerhouses, they are also a very affordable protein source. I like to buy my beans dry (organic dried beans are very affordable!), and cook a bunch at a time to have in the fridge for the next few days. I used them in salads, wraps, dips, sauces or burgers (just like the recipe ahead). Yes, soaking overnight and cooking them takes more time. But once you start learning to cook them once a week or so, you will fall in love, and leave the cans on the shelf where they belong. I'm kind of a can hater, to be honest. But I do occasionally grab a can of organic beans when in need. Eden Organic canned beans are BPA free.

Lately I've had massive craving for a veggie burger. I wanted to take a wack at making some myself, because everything made with love in your own kitchen is better than anything else. THEY TURNED OUT DELISH! Yay!

Not gonna lie, at first they were not holding together how I liked, so I tweaked my recipe here and there. I assure you, this end result is spectacular. High fibre, folks...you may wanna sit your butt at home after these.

I enjoyed mine on a toasted Ezekiel English muffin with baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, Dijon mustard and lots of Sriracha. Pickles cooled off the heat nicely.

Happy cookin'!

"Where Do You Get Your Protein?" Vegan Bean Burgers: 
-2 1/4 cups cooked beans (divided in half)
-1/4 cup tahini
-1 cup cooked brown rice 
-2 tbsp miso paste
-2 flax/chia eggs
-4 tbsp tamari 
-1 tbsp chili powder
-1 tsp cumin 
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-cayenne pepper to taste
-1/2 cup milled flax seeds

Mix half of beans and all remaining ingredients except milled flax in a food processor until well combined. Transfer to bowl, then add remaining beans and mash (potato masher works well), leaving some chunks. add flax and stir well, until mixture is thick and manageable. Wet your fingers and form into patties of desired size (I got 9 medium burgers out of this) with an equal thickness in each burger. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway. Grill on the BBQ or on a skillet for a few minutes per side before serving, if desired. Serve on your favourite GF or whole grain bun with all the fixings, on a bed of lettuce, or any way you desire!

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