As promised in the last post, today I’m sharing a fun way to use up pizza sauce other than just pizza, not that there’s anything wrong with that…
In the extreme heat we’ve been having lately, my appetite has flagged a little bit. Believe me when I tell you that’s not a normal condition around here. (Referring to both the heat and the lack of appetite.) I haven’t wanted anything heavy or hearty and I surely haven’t wanted to stand around a hot stove or boiling pot of whatever or even, unbelievably, a screaming hot grill for more than ten minutes. That has limited our meal repertoire somewhat…
I saw some gorgiferous spicy black bean burgers floating around the internet a couple of weeks ago and knew some version of them had to make it to my table and soon. I’m a sucker for fried legume patties. Veggie burgers are a good bet when it’s steamy hot since they cook up very quickly and the prep work leading up to it is minimal and doesn’t require cooking. The cooking time is mercifully short (four minutes per side) and you don’t have to stand over the pan to baby sit them. Where veggie burgers really shine, though -aside from the eating-, is after you’re done with the meal. You feel satisfied through and through but you don’t feel like you just ate a side of beef.*
*Mainly because you haven’t. Heh. Veggie burger humour; It’s meaty.
Since there are so many veggie burger recipes on the internet, I figured I should explain exactly why I prefer my version.
- I like a burger that holds together well while being fried. I am an impatient human and when things start falling apart on me I’m prone to thinking angry thoughts. Angry thoughts while cooking equal stress and who needs more of that?
- I like the method (introduced to me by Eat, Live, Run) of turning part of the beans into paste and stirring the remaining whole beans in for texture. I like to see the whole beans peeking out at me.
- While I like to see bits and pieces of bright vegetable colour laced throughout my burgers, I am feeding a family that includes some entrenched members of the anti-visible-veg-contingent. Finely mincing the vegetables in the food processor allows me to add the flavour without adding the fight to the meal. Feel free to chop rather than mince, but I’ll tell you that the pickiest eaters in my house didn’t even flinch. These disappeared like shadows at noon.
- I love using egg as a binding agent in my vegetable burgers. I think they hold together wonderfully in the frying pan and the added protein is a bonus.
- I have a liberal hand with the bread crumbs. This is a textural issue for me. I don’t like veggie burgers that are mushy or straight-up wet in the center. And again (although I feel like a broken record saying this) they don’t fall apart when you try to flip them in the frying pan.
A note: I prefer my black beans cooked from dry rather than canned, so I used my own cooked beans. If canned beans are what you have on hand, though, they will work very well.