Black Bean Burger + Sweet Fries
Updated: Jan 23
It’s a new week, and I have another great exciting, tasty recipe I am over the moon to share with you all! It’s been an exciting but busy week and I am currently writing to you on the road, on my way to the grand old city of Boston. It's exciting and a nice change of scenery after all this time cooped up indoors. The yummy matcha tea made the 3 AM worth it.
Hmmm...It was tasty :)
But on to the recipe friends!
This week we are getting up close and personal with a classic meal that is loved by many.
Burgers and Fries, but with a vegan twist! Or as I like to think of it, a tasty, sustainable substitution to perhaps your usual meat patty on a bun, that has a ton of health benefits packed into every single bite and doesn't involve a single cow 🐄 This recipe was born right just as I was beginning to transition to a plant-based lifestyle and has been the biggest example I have used with family and friends on why making the transition to eating whole, plant-based food is such a positive direction to go for your mind body and soul.
Before I began this beautiful plant-filled journey, for years beef burgers were a favorite meal in my house and I admit as a kid, I was all for burger night. I loved burgers! It was a favorite meal for me and my family but none of us knew the real toll that this type of meat consumption, along with all other meat consumption we had regularly, was taking on our bodies. Looking back on that period of time, I always had severe joint pain on a daily basis, I was tired all the time and had a bad relationship with being physically active. I thought it all was related to my chronic joint disease, but in reality, a lot of the food in my diet was the underlying culprit. I was also unaware of how longterm consumption of meat and dairy products on a regular basis can put you at risk for big scary diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
One of the biggest catalysts to me fully taking the plunge into the world of plants and veganism was a Ted Talk I stumbled across a couple of years back by Rip Esselstyn, a plant-based firefighter who wrote The Engine 2 Cookbook. Before I watched this seventeen-minute video my knowledge of the harmful effects that meat, as well as dairy consumption can have on our health and well being were slim to none. At the time I was still in the I-am-not-going-to-give-up-chicken-cause-like-protein phase of another crazy diet that wasn't working. I had heard about being vegan but never thought there was any factual reason to cut out to main staples in my diet. I was fed up though as well as exhausted from feeling so utterly crummy day after day and so on this particular day I was just curious enough to click on the video and watch it.
I haven't touched a piece of meat or dairy since.
For anyone that is Vegan or Plant-Based a question that gets asked a lot is how oh how can we go without meat in our diets. It can become a very dramatic ordeal, like oh the horror, no bacon, steak, and burgers? How do we survive?
Well, the human body doesn't just survive when using plants as its main source of nutrition, it begins to thrive and come alive again.
But girl how you going to get that protein for those muscles? Meat is like the only source of that right?
Nope, and guess what? I actually now consume more protein than I ever did before.
And as far as muscle goes, have you seen a gorilla? Yeah, they are massive, three times as big and muscular as the Rock Dwane Johnson. They are herbivores. I rest my case.
There are a ton of amazing protein sources for vegans. Some of the best plant protein sources in a plant-based diet actually come from beans and legumes.
They are also what I use, love, and taste absolutely fantastic in my veggie burger recipe.
Isn't this gorilla the cutest?
But gorilla cuteness aside, the primary beans for my burger base are black beans garbanzo or chickpeas, they are the same thing but call them what you will. And because I adore vegetables, I use a combination of cooked chopped onion, shredded carrot, and zucchini to go along with my bean combination. Because this dish is plant-based, I use flax eggs when making the binder for these burgers. I firmly believe in having some type of binder, especially in plant-based burgers because they will keep them from falling apart in the process of baking and when they are done and out of the oven. Also for anyone that is stuck in a hard place over having to let go of eggs in a recipe or baked good, flax eggs work beautifully as a substitute binder and it is usually one to one in most recipes.
Flax eggs are as simple as they sound. It's a little bit of flaxseed and water mixed together that is equivalent to one egg from the grocery store. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and your binder will form nicely. For one flax egg measurement wise, it's roughly about a tablespoon of flaxseed and three tablespoons of water combined.
In this burger recipe, I use four flax eggs. So simply multiply that one flax egg formula and multiply it by four. Yes, math but I will make it easy on you and tell you that it comes out to be 1/4 cup of flaxseed and around 3/4 cups of water combined. This process doesn't take more than five minutes usually and before you know it you will have a nice gelatinized mixture to go with the beans and veggies. Now let's talk flour. I am gluten-free and one of my favorite flours to use in baked goods and burger recipes is oat flour. It is the most neutral, non-gritty tasting flour I have come by and it gives the burgers a super yummy texture. This is super important as it will thicken up the batter and make the burgers super easy to plop on a sheet pan, spread out, and bake.
My favorite oddball ingredient in this recipe is by far the vegan mayo. I am first of all obsessed with it on its own so I tend to use it in a lot of my recipes. I don't particularly remember how or why vegan mayo ended up being apart of the burger recipe specifically but thank goodness it did. I use only about a 1/4 cup and it makes the burgers so yummy. It is the ingredient that works against any grittiness that could possibly come from the oat flour. It also gives some much need moisture back into the batter before it bakes. Without it, the burgers will dry out too quickly in the oven and won't hold together as nicely as they do with the mayo mixed into the base recipe. The mayo makes them chewy and soft to bite into and that I think is the perfect consistency and texture for a bean burger in my humble opinion.
And, did I mention I love vegan mayo, oh wait yes I did, but I seriously love vegan mayo so much that I just had to make a sauce from it to accompany my burgers and sweet fries. Like any good burger-loving food nut, the sauce with a burger is super important. Go to In & Out, Five Guys and Shake Shack and they will say the same thing. Special sauce, special sauce, special sauce. Your burgers need a special sauce. Mine is super simple. All you need is a little bit of sweetness, the vegan mayo, and of course some spice courtesy of some good organic vegan barbaque sauce of your choice.
Now, I have still been in the habit of using honey as the way to sweeten things I cook or bake, and I use it particularly in this special yum yum sauce recipe. Because of how prone I am to migraines, honey has been the only liquid sweetener that hasn't given me problems. There is a lot of debate over using honey on a plant-based and vegan diet. I am still reading about it in order to figure out if I want to continue using it in my own recipes. I know a lot of people who are vegan and do use it but there are a handful of vegans that do not.
Everyone is different. Everyone has there own reasons for why they may choose to consume it or not consume it. As I am not an advocate for just taking things out of my diet, this is one thing I will continue to research, study, and later perhaps replace entirely. Who knows, it's interesting and I highly encourage you to read about it if you have found your self in the same place I am in. If you don't consume honey I got you covered though. Things like agave, or date nectar are things that act as a good replacement for it in this special sauce recipe in particular. Their things I am unfortunately sensitive to but I know for a fact they both act as a great honey replacement.
Last but not least, let's talk about the fries. Correction, my absolute favorite sweet potato fries! That's right, these are one of my favorite pieces of this entire meal. The burgers are great don't get me wrong but, man, FRIES! Who does just jump for joy when they get fries that come with there to a meal at a restaurant no extra charge or jump at the opportunity to indulge in them from your favorite take out place when the time arises. I know, they are tasty, crispy and greasy heavenly goodness that is just to good to pass on. However, they are your cardiologist's biggest nightmare. Oil is highly refined and is very high in fat. So because of the amount of oil that is commonly used for french fries, oily heavenly french fries, in general, aren't the best for you health-wise but every once and a while, because life is to short to not enjoy heavenly food that brings you joy, fries are something we must indulge in.
But what if I told you there was still a way to indulge in fries, without sacrificing your health?
I am not a big fan of using oil because of all the negative health effects associated with it. This was another thing I learned about only after using it for years so now I really try to cut out the harmful toxins that come with cooking with excess oil by not using it. I use coconut oil occasionally in baked goods because of its few good health benefits for the brain, and will also use organic canola oil when it really comes down to needing it in a recipe but I usually try to avoid it if at all possible. So my fries get some serious five-star treatment and get to enjoy a nice ice bath before getting dried off and popped in the oven for thirty minutes or so with some garlic salt and pepper. I had read about soaking your fries in ice on several different blogs. At first, I didn't fully trust this method, really all I need is to give my potatoes a spa treatment before plopping them in the oven on a sheet pan and they will become crispy fried perfection? Well, I don't know about perfection but believe it or not this hack worked beautifully and the fries taste amazing. I don't fully understand how it works but they are crispy, sweet and so so tasty, you can't even tell there is no oil used. Just throw whatever spices you love on your fries after you have dried them and throw them in the oven. I promise you will become obsessed with doing this.
Ohh I am so hungry now! Traveling is so hard because I am separated from my kitchen and getting to cook wonderful meals like this one with the people I love and adore.
More yummy vegan takeout for me I guess?
Overall this is a super easy meal to cook up for a fun burger night with friends and family. I enjoy it, I love to cook it and hope that you will feel the same.
Its that time, to say farewell until next week but if you love these recipes just as much as I do please share some pictures with me on social media by tagging me @photographylifestyleandlove on Instagram and using the hashtag #doublydelicious!
I would love to see the tasty food you create in your kitchen.
Now, what are you waiting for, turn on that music, get your butt in that kitchen and start cooking friends!
Stay hungry, and till next time,
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This is the youtube video that changed my life, it's truly a way to start learning about a wealth of information when it comes to the positive ways a plant-based diet can affect our health and well-being. Watch it!
This is the blog I referenced about the technique for the sweet potato fries. Truly genius. Go check it out :)
And because I plopped that super cute picture of the gorilla into this post, photo credit goes to World Wild Life, you can help this organization geared toward helping protect species of all different kinds and helping animal wildlife by donating or adopting one yourself! That's right, you can adopt a gorilla!
Click to get started and see some very cute animals.
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