While waiting for a promising summer, which will hopefully bring us a bit of blazing sunshine, we did not want to forget a great North American summer classic: the hamburger. You have to spoil yourself a little this summer! Our way, of course, contains added vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, including zeaxanthin. Eric Simard, doctor in biology and researcher (www.esimard.com) with the help of our international chef, Jean-François, wanted to offer you an original way to process legumes.
This is because populations with a high rate of centenarians, such as the population of Okinawa in Japan, usually consume more vegetable protein in the form of legumes than other populations with lowered longevity. The multiple health benefits of legumes come mainly from their composition in protein, fiber, isoflavones and other phenolic compounds.
Therefore, we bring to you a delicious veggie black bean burger. We are aware that this kind of dish has the reputation of being drier, but have no fear, because our version is simply decadent, with a beautiful texture. You will be captivated. Knowingly, we advocate the benefits of plant proteins to promote healthy longevity. This also responds to some requests we have received. This means that our recipe will please those bloggers in particular who were asking for tips to reduce meat consumption. We always try, somehow, to accommodate any special requests from all of you.
As an international chef, I would like to thank you, because your requests help me to meet beautiful challenges. Our very special black bean burger will no longer be the caviar of the southern cowboys, but rather the delight of any good self-respecting carnivore. Lovers of western beef burgers will be confused! This little summer treat will be a great alternative to eating less meat, with maximum pleasure… Yee-Haw!
Tex-Mex Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger
(Makes about 8 patties)
– 2 medium sweet potatoes, halved (lengthwise)
– 1 ½ cups of cooked white quinoa or cooked brown rice (1/2 cup raw)
– 1 can of black beans, well rinsed and drained
– 1 half of a red onion, cut into medium rings
– Lettuce leaves or other, washed
Tex-Mex spice blend:
– 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
– 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
– 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
– 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of sea salt
– 1 teaspoon of onion powder
– 1 teaspoon of chili powder
– ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
– ¼ teaspoon of oregano flakes
– ¼ teaspoon white pepper
– 1 to 2 ripe avocados
– 1 to 2 ½ ounces of fresh lime juice
– Salt, pepper, to taste
– A pinch of ground cumin (optional)
– 1 seeded tomato, medium diced
– The rest of the onion, cut into small pieces
✗ A dark aluminum baking tray
✗ Parchment paper
✗ Masher and fork
✗ Whole wheat hamburger bun with sesame seeds
✗ 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (as needed only)
1 – Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a good kitchen knife, cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise. Once the latter have been cut, you can bake them on a piece of parchment paper for 30-35 minutes. Sweet potatoes will prick easily with the tip of a knife.
2- If you don’t have brown rice or cooked quinoa on hand, now is a great time to cook the required half cup. In a small saucepan, regardless of the grain chosen, you will bring a cup of water to a boil, in which you will pour the rice or quinoa, then you will lower the heat to medium-low during cooking until it has completely evaporated. Cooking your chosen grain can vary between 15 and 25 minutes. Let the rice or quinoa rest uncovered.
3- We now have about ten minutes; just enough time to prepare the quick guacamole and the spice mix. Cut the onion in half; cut one of the halves into small cubes, then the other into medium slices. These rings will be used to garnish your burger; small cubes will go into the guacamole. If you like extra condiments, double or triple the onions and guacamole ingredients as needed. Guacamole is delicious, but tends to oxidize; that’s why we offer a simple recipe. Cut the tomato in half, taking care to remove the soft center, so as to make small cubes with the rest, without any extra liquid. Also, squeeze the limes to collect the juice.
In medium mixing bowl; lay the avocado without skin or pits, then mash it with a fork until creamy with or without chunks; add lime juice, tomato, chopped onion, salt, pepper, pinch of cumin if desired; while gently mixing the ingredients. Chill the quick guacamole to serve later.
4- In a small plastic container, put all the ingredients for the Tex-Mex spice mix; stir the spices in the small container, with the lid closed, for a few seconds to mix everything well.
5- Now is the time to shape these delicious patties. We’ll preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit again, or even the grill; this will be provided you have a well-oiled pan or a specialized baking sheet for indirect cooking. These patties could take at most 15 minutes on the barbecue, while they require twenty minutes on each side to cook in the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, gently mash the black beans; you will have some whole beans left over, this is completely normal. Subsequently, you will add the sweet potato flesh removed from its skin to the beans, while continuing to pound until you obtain a nice thick puree. Add the quinoa or cooked brown rice, not to mention the Tex-Mex spice mix. Mix everything carefully using a cake spatula or wooden spoon. Take a small amount of the mixture in your fingers to see if it holds together and doesn’t stick too much. If the mixture is too sticky, almost non-malleable, that’s where the extra spoonsful(s) of flaxseed come to the rescue!
6- Your oven will call you shortly, or your barbecue for those who wish to use it. Regardless of your choice, you will first need to form uniform patties, about 1/3 cup each. For the oven, use a dark aluminum baking tray covered with parchment paper, on which we place the patties. Cook them for twenty minutes on one side, turning them gently, so as to continue cooking for the same duration on the other side. For the barbecue, you will use a well-oiled suitable griddle or even a specialized non-oiled baking sheet; it is estimated to take 15 minutes, without necessarily having to turn them over.
7- While waiting for your patties to be cooked, you will decide whether to heat your buns; a few minutes on the grill or in the oven will be sufficient. Take your quick guacamole out of the fridge, not forgetting the red rings of onion, with the washed lettuce leaves. For the assembly of your burgers, we have a suggestion, but at this point, your know-how could very well complete the whole thing!
Open your bread in half; lay out pieces of lettuce, topped with a layer of guacamole, which will be followed by the black bean patty. On top of the star protein, you’ll spread another layer of quick guacamole, topped with red rings of onion, so a few extra pieces of lettuce would be appreciated, before closing the burger.
Invite all the serious carnivores you know, to see how they will be amazed by this vegetarian delight. A good dose of crispy fries with a good blonde beer of your own would be the perfect allies to this treat.
Wishing you all a happy summer!
Other suggested readings:
- Bouchenak M, Lamri-Senhadji M. Nutritional quality of legumes, and their role in cardiometabolic risk prevention: a review. J Med Food. 2013 Mar;16(3):185-98. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.0238. Epub 2013 Feb 11. PMID: 23398387.
- Domínguez-López I, Yago-Aragón M, Salas-Huetos A, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Hurtado-Barroso S. Effects of Dietary Phytoestrogens on Hormones throughout a Human Lifespan: A Review. 2020 Aug 15;12(8):2456. doi: 10.3390/nu12082456. PMID: 32824177; PMCID: PMC7468963.
- Willcox DC, Scapagnini G, Willcox BJ. Healthy aging diets other than the Mediterranean: a focus on the Okinawan diet. Mech Ageing Dev. 2014 Mar-Apr;136-137:148-62. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Jan 21. PMID: 24462788; PMCID: PMC5403516.