The first veggie burgers I ever made were the Black Bean Burgers from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terri Hope Romero's Veganomicon. They have a Mexican flare to them, which I usually heighten by adding chipotles in adobo. Perhaps their flavor profile is why I associate all homemade veggie burgers with Southwestern flavors. Inspired by the article, I set off to create a new veggie burger recipe that strayed from my usual. I incorporated Mediterranean flavors such as olives, sun dried tomatoes, and parsley. I know sweet potatoes aren't exactly the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of the Mediterranean, but I had a surplus so I threw some in too. Also, I honestly can't stop myself from putting avocado on my burgers, unless I'm out of them. After all, they are nature's butter.
You might be asking yourself how these veggie burgers hold together. Well, the magic is in the chia or flax seeds. When combined with moisture they form a gelatinous paste that can be used as a binder in baking or, in this case, in a veggie burger. The burgers in Veganomicon are held together by vital wheat gluten, which you can find in most supermarkets these days, hanging out by the flour. If you'd like to use that instead, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of it instead of the chia or flax seeds.
Now get cooking and embrace veggie burgers!
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
- 1/2 medium sweet potato, baked or steamed, and mashed
- 1 15 oz / 435 g can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (I used the kind packed in oil)
- 1/4 cup olives (I used kalamata)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds or ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (err on the side of caution since the olives will add some extra salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (I used the oil my tomatoes came packed in) or olive oil cooking spray
2. Divide the burger dough into six equal parts, roll each into a ball and flatten into a patty. Place the patties on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of each burger with olive oil or spray them with cooking spray. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, flipping half way, or until the burgers have browned on both sides. For a quicker cooking method, heat the oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat and cook each burger for about 4 minutes on each side or until browned.