Friday, June 17, 2011

Black Bean and Mushroom Burgers

Healthy eating isn't easy.

Heck, I'm not even sure how "healthy" this recipe is, but it does have black beans, which are a good source of fiber.  And mushrooms do have some health benefits, but not as many as say a nice leafy, green vegetable.  However, this recipe is vegetarian (heck, vegan even if you get the right beans and vegan bread) and if you're looking to cut back on your meat consumption but still enjoy a burger every now and again, this recipe is a very good substitute.

I won't however, replace burgers in my overall diet.  I still like meat.  A lot.  I'm just very careful about the consumption of beef, in particular the serving size.

The original recipe uses a food processor.  I'm here to tell you  it's not necessary, but very helpful.  So if you don't have a food processor within easy reach, just give yourself a little extra time to crumble the bread.

The overall taste is really good - it doesn't taste chalky, it has flavor, and it's way better than any veggie burger you buy frozen and microwave.  It also isn't difficult to make, and when picking black beans, pick a can that has a low amount of sodium - always watch your salt intake!  A huge plus - this "patty" doesn't shrink at all while cooking - yay!

Yes, it remained deliciously large.

Black Bean and Mushroom Burgers, courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker.
Makes 4 burgers.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (I used olive oil) plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, lightly toasted (I used two slices whole grain white bread, plus one double fiber Orowheat English Muffin because I needed to use them up!)
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (always rinse the beans to get them clean)
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • English muffins, pita pockets, or buns, to serve.
  • Salsa, sour cream, other items you like on your "burgers" to serve.
1.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and add the onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes, or until golden.

2.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, cumin and paprika.  Stir and cook until the mushrooms have released their juices, about 6-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3.  ORIGINAL RECIPE DIRECTIONS:  Tear toasted bread and place in food processor.  Process until broken down into crumbs.  Pour the crumbs into a medium sized bowl (mixing bowls are a good idea.)  Add the mushroom mixture and beans to the food processor, pulse until combined but not smooth - leave some chunky bits.  Add to bowl with bread crumbs, add the cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

3a.  MY WAY:  Tear the toasted bread into smaller pieces and continue tearing down until crumb like in a medium sized mixing bowl.  When bread pieces get too small to tear, rub the pieces between your hands to promote crumbling.  Pour black beans into a small bowl, and using a fork, smash the beans.  (You must use a fork.  Do not use a spoon - believe me, they don't smash.)  Add beans to the bread crumbs.  Add the mushroom mixture, cheese, and season with a little salt and pepper.  (If your beans have a lot of sodium, I'd ease up on the salt.)  You might not think the mixture will combine, but it actually comes together very well.  I thought I would need an egg to promote mixing, but it wasn't needed!  It's probably due to the fresh bread - do not take the shortcut of using dried bread crumbs.

4.  Combine the mixture and divide into four portions.  Create four patties with moist hands (or gloves, like me.)  Lightly brush each side with canola oil.  (I wound up greasing the skillet, and then spraying each side with cooking spray.)  

5.  In a skillet over medium heat, cook each patty for 5-6 minutes per side.

My T-Fal skillet is awesome because I found one made in France!

6.  Serve on toasted English muffins, buns, pitas, however you want to eat them (or just eat them as a patty!)  Serve with your favorite burger fixins.

I'll take a side of Kettle Potato Chips.

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