Cheap and Easy Black Bean Veggie Burgers

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This may have been my breakfast this morning… I served it with guacamole, home grown stripy beets, grilled asparagus and some of my tangy macadamia ricotta.

Scott Marquart from One Week Without is guest posting here today. I was pretty stoked when Scott emailed me, because I love the concept of his blog – every week he goes without something and posts updates about how it’s going and what he’s learning from the experience – something that, contrary to a lot of blogs, is more self aware than self indulgent. It’s an admirable thing to dedicate yourself to and I was even more impressed when I saw that he’d been a week without television. He approached me because he was planning a week without meat and wanted to share part of it with Appetite Affliction’s readers – so here it is!

Until just over a month ago, my life was stale, conventional, and stagnant. Finally, I got fed up and decided to challenge myself to give up one aspect of my routine in order to learn, grow, and keep questioning and improving my habits.

This past week, I decided to go without meat (up until this point, I had been something of a die-hard carnivore) and instead indulge in vegetarian dishes which I had lived my whole life without trying. In the end, I discovered that I could live happier and healthier without having meat as a significant part of my diet.

Still, diving headlong into a vegetarian diet took some adjusting to. At the beginning, the easiest way for me to get my fix of my old diet, without indulging in meat, was through black bean burgers. In fact, I made these several times during the past week and perfected my own spin on the classic bean burger that’s cheap, easy, healthy, and most importantly, tasty.

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Serves 4

2 Cups Cooked/Canned Black Beans, rinsed
1/3 Cup Instant/Quick Oats
1/4 Green Pepper, minced
1/4 Yellow or Sweet Onion, minced
2 TBSP Ketchup
2 TBSP Mustard
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Onion Powder

  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Mash the beans in a large bowl until they reach a smooth consistency.
  • Stir in Ketchup, Mustard, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder.
  • Fold in Oats, Green Pepper, and Onion until mixed evenly.
  • Form into 2 cm thick patties (roughly 10cm in diameter) and place on greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 mins.
  • Take out and turn over patties gently (bean burgers are very fragile).
  • Cook for an additional 8-10 mins, or until crispy on outside.
  • Optionally, sear each side for one minute in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil.
  • Add toppings to taste (I like spinach and mustard on 12 grain bread) and enjoy!

About the Author:
Scott Marquart is a writer and the founder of One Week Without. You can follow his adventures at oneweekwithout.com and on Twitter @scottmarquart. He also has a Facebook page.

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Click to read the blog posts Scott wrote about his experience (1, 2 & 3). If you’re vegan you may feel uncomfortable reading some of it, but please don’t judge – I have nothing but encouragement and support for anyone who tries to better themselves and this world, regardless of the perceived significance.

Thank you, Scott, for sharing your experience and a tasty veggie burger recipe! I tried it out myself and the only thing I’d do differently next time would be lightly sautéing the onion & capsicum before adding it to the burger mix to help it stick together – and maybe a bit of salt. These were otherwise a winner and I can’t wait for Mr. AA to try them out.

*Photos taken by Nat/Appetite Affliction.

Jerry’s Vegifix

Mr. AA & I spent our 6 year anniversary weekend away at Chopped Rod & Custom festival – it’s a weekend of camping, old cars and music. It’s not a food-oriented event by any means, so I was caught off guard (food-wise) and ended up taking some impromptu photos with my phone – which, as you can see, are fairly questionable in quality.

Chopped Rod & Custom 2012

For the first time ever (we’ve been a few times!), Chopped had some vegan food on offer: Jerry’s Vegi Burgers.

Veg food @ Chopped Rod & Custom 2012

I was excited and impressed – I’d prepared enough food to get me through the weekend (including a raw lemon cheesecake!), but to show my support for a veg-friendly caterer and encourage the organisers to make this option available again, I bought dinner at this stall on Saturday. I’d heard from a very reliable source that the crispy noodle salad on offer was pretty good – better than the veggie burgers – so I placed my order. Continue reading

Las Vegan Bakery/Café

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne

Las Vegan Bakery/Café
22 Smith St
Collingwood
VIC 3066
AUSTRALIA
Ph: (03) 9415 9001

Upon entering Las Vegan, it was apparent to me that my anxiety levels were quickly rising, so Mr. AA & I opted for a table outside, even though the weather was a little questionable. The space is small and cramped with badly arranged furniture that makes you feel like an intrusion. I didn’t take any photos inside because it felt too awkward, but there’s potential for the space to feel a lot more comfortable, it just needs some attention. Thankfully, our waiter was kind and relaxed, and after looking at the menu, I could see these guys had a sense of humour. Continue reading

Book Review: The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for my absence this past week – I’ve been on a serious veggie burger bender, cooking up a storm from a new book called “The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet”.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger & Chipotle Dipping Sauce
These burgers are seriously wicked! They were the first ones I tried and it honestly made me feel like the rest of the book had a lot to live up to.

They firmed up with cooking and held together impressively. They were better baked rather than pan fried. I tried both; the fried ones are pictured above. The recipe makes 8 decent sized patties that contain both gluten and soy. You could easily use gf flour, but you may need to be a little more creative with substituting the tofu if you’re allergic to soy. On the upside, if your aversion to tofu is purely aesthetic, you can’t even tell there’s any in there.

Chipotle (smoked jalapenos) aren’t common in Australia – it was great to be eating something unusual, but keep in mind that if you’re in Australia the ingredients won’t be easy to find. I had to order canned chipotles in adobo sauce from USA Foods.

I’ll definitely be making these again but may halve or omit the sugar altogether next time. This is solely a cultural preference; I know ‘mericans love to pair up sweet potatoes with sugar but Aussies generally find them sweet enough on their own.

Other than that, my only real issue was that these take hours to make and there’s no time indication with the recipe. The sweet potato took an hour to bake. After assembling the mixture quickly I had to refrigerate for 10-20 mins, bake 20 mins on one side, then flip and bake a further 20 mins. Not ideal for a quick week night meal (unless you have some already made and frozen), but definitely worth the effort!

Oh! And the dipping sauce is nice and spicy!

Potato Samosa Burger

Potato Samosa Burgers

I was really keen to try these; sadly, they let me down. The recipe is gf but the patties didn’t hold together at all. The instructions said to fry in plenty of oil but it wasn’t working so I tried less oil and still ended up with loose peas all over the frying pan and patties that were falling apart.

Both of my attempts ended up too greasy and the raw onions, which didn’t cook with the burgers, really ruined the flavour and texture. The best part of this meal was my chickpea sakad and mint sauce!

On the whole, the idea for this burger is great but the recipe definitely needs work. I won’t be making these again.

Curried Chickpea & Broccoli Burger

Curried Chickpea & Broccoli Burgers

I thought these were my favourite burgers until I tried the super quinoa burgers (pictured below) – now I can’t decide!

The recipe makes 6 patties and comes together both quickly and easily. There’s more than one option for cooking these – I chose to bake them, then gave them some pretty grill marks in a griddle pan.

The flavour is mild and wholesome. You could add extra Thai curry paste if you wanted a stronger flavour, but it’s not necessary – especially if you dress these with a nice condiment like mint sauce or tomato chutney.

There burgers contain gluten, but you can actually purchase a gluten free gluten substitute made by Orgran.

Super Quinoa Burger

Super Quinoa Burger

I enjoyed the “Super Quinoa Burgers” over a simple bed of shredded lettuce and carrot with some vegan mayo (that somehow squeezed out looking like silly string!). These burgers are quick to throw together, have a lot of flavour and are a little crispy/crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. These ones are a serious winner; I’ll definitely be making them again!

On the whole, this book is awesome. I love the concept and the way it’s divided into areas of the world. Good veggie burger recipes are hard to come by and are a good thing for every vegan to have up their sleeve. Having scored three great burgers out of four means the book has already earned every cent that I spent on it.

There’s mention of which recipes are gf and/or soy free which I find handy – although if you have the smarts, you can generally get around these obstacles. A lot of the recipes contain wheat gluten (or as Americans call it, “vital wheat gluten”), and TVP. I avoided the TVP ones like the plague (and there are many), because I generally find the stuff too chewy and uncomfortable in my mouth. Something about it is just… wrong. That being said though, it’s good that the book includes these recipes, because it means that it appeals to all sorts of vegan palettes.

At the back of the book, there’s a token dessert section which has some tasty looking stuff in it, but it feels REALLY out of place. I think the author could have skipped the desserts altogether, or created dessert burgers, in an effort to stick with the theme. Other than that, the only thing I would change is to add suggested prep/cooking times to the recipes.

This book is an excellent buy and I highly recommend it!