For dinner tonight, I decided to work on my on-going veggie burger recipe. I love the idea of a veggie burger, but I haven’t been able to find a recipe that I like that doesn’t have ingredients that I don’t want (like cheese and bread crumbs). I keep working on it, though, because I’m determined to get it right. Tonight, it all worked. The veggie burgers were tasty, moist, and flavorful. I served them on warm Honey Rosemary Focaccia fresh from the oven, topped with avocado slices and a chipotle aoli for the grownups and homemade mayo for the kiddos (although they would have been just as happy with ketchup!). I only wish our backordered camera was here so I could show you how pretty they were!
Here are the recipes. I’ll also list them individually in the recipes section for future reference. Enjoy!
Spinach and Black Bean Burgers
2 c. black beans, rinsed and dry (this equals 1 15 oz. can), room temperature
2 c. leftover brown rice, room temperature
1/3 c. dried mushroom powder*
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. sea salt
1 egg, beaten
½ c. onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 t. olive oil or butter
2 c. fresh spinach
*Dried mushrooms can be found in most grocery stores (look in the produce section). Simply grind them into a powder using a spice mill, food processor, or blender. Dried baby portabellas are what I used in this recipe. It took three to make 1/3 cup. You may use any kind of dried mushroom you like.
In a small skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil or butter until translucent and fragrant. Snip the spinach into small pieces with a kitchen shears. Toss into the onion mixture and sauté until just wilted. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. Add the cooked brown rice, seasonings, spinach mixture, and beaten egg. Stir until well combined. Using a generous ¼ c. measure, form the mixture into patties and sauté them in a hot, oiled skillet or frying pan, about 4 minutes per side. Be gentle when turning; if the patties begin to separate, simply press them back together as they cook. They will firm up somewhat as they cool. Serve on focaccia squares or buns, with avocado slices and chipotle aoli, or whatever toppings your family enjoys! Makes 10 small burgers. Leftovers freeze beautifully!
Note: You may add up to 1 c. of cheese to this recipe. I chose not to do so because we try to limit the amount of cheese we consume, and I wanted to have a recipe that worked for my dairy-free and gluten-free friends without any adjustments.
Honey and Rosemary Focaccia
1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 ½ c. unbleached white flour
2 T. active dry yeast
½ c. warmed kefir (or water), no hotter than 110 degrees, plus more as needed
2 t. raw honey
3 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh minced rosemary
1 t. salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
In a mixer bowl, add yeast and honey to warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add olive oil. Slowly incorporate flours, salt, and rosemary. If necessary, add a little more water until the dough comes together in a ball. Allow the mixer to need the dough until smooth and elastic (it should spring back when you press it). Allow the dough to rest and rise for about 30 minutes. It does not need to double in size. Once the dough has rested, press into the bottom of an oiled 9×13 pan, dimpling the top with your fingers as you press. Brush with a touch more olive oil, if desired. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sea salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until the edges begin to brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
1 whole canned chipotle pepper in sauce (look for it next to the salsa at your grocery store)
1 garlic clove
1 T. whey (optional; it helps to prolong the life of the product)
½ t. salt
In a blender, combine egg and yolk until creamy. With the blender running on high, slowly stream in the olive oil, being careful not to pour too quickly or the oil and egg won’t emulsify. Once the aoli is creamy, add the whole chipotle pepper, garlic, whey (if desired) and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (more if whey has been added).