Quick and Healthy Veggie Burgers

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Ok, I know for a lot of people you can’t have a “burger” if there is no meat involved, but for those nights when you’re looking for a meat alternative, homemade veggie burgers are the way to go for a quick and healthy dinner.  I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my day, and unfortunately most restaurants still serve the frozen kind.  But those have nothing on this recipe, which is flavorful and healthful all at the same time.  Dain even liked them.  Of course he likes everything (except for melon) and he probably wouldn’t tell his pregnant wife that he didn’t like what she just made, but he was happy to eat them so that’s got to count for something.

There are tons of variations of veggie burger recipes, and I fully admit that I am not yet very advanced in my cooking skills when it comes to these.  So I definitely chose a simple and quick version.  I looked at a bunch of recipes online and in a few cookbooks that I had, and then I combined a few to make one that sounded good and worked the best with what we already had on hand.

I settled on these ingredients (for four burgers):

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Lime zest
  • Olive oil (for cooking)

I started by peeling the garlic and chopping the pepper and onion into big chunks.

Then I ran those through our mini food processor.

After I rinsed and drained the black beans really well, I added them to a bowl and mashed them with a fork.

After I drained the pepper/onion/garlic mixture (since it was pretty watery), I added it to the beans.

In a separate bowl, I combined the egg and all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, and oregano).

Then I added the egg mixture to the bean mixture before adding the bread crumbs and some fresh lime zest.

All that was left to do was to form them into patties, which held up pretty nicely.

Then my favorite assistant Dain manned the stove where we cooked them in olive oil for about three minutes on each side.

We added swiss cheese once the burgers were cooked along with arugula and avocado for toppers.  Plop it all on a whole wheat bun and add a side of berries, and you have one fresh and colorful meal.

I enjoyed mine with our organic ketchup (from Trader Joe’s which I love), and Dain did his up with barbecue sauce.  And they were pretty fabulous.  Dain even had one the next day for lunch, which he reports was “delicious.”  Lucky for me, Dain is willing to eat vegetarian with me when we’re cooking at home.  Have you ever tried your hand at healthier burgers without the meat or are you a die hard meat lover?

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