Black Beans

Black Bean Veggie Burger with Guac on a Pretzel Bun

Now this is the way to kick off the Vegan MOFO! I’ve been on a quest to perfect the veggie burger since I went veg. It needed to be hearty, not crumble everywhere and taste delicious. I loved the Black Bean Veggie Burger at Smashburger, until I found out that neither the burger nor the bun were vegan and the calorie count was 670 stinking calories and 36 fat grams, -without sides! Blast!

Black Bean Veggie Burger

Adapted, veganized and healthified from this awesome recipe. 

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C. chopped cilantro
  • 2 t. hot sauce (I like sriracha)
  • 1/2 C. grated pepper-jack cashew cheez or other vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 C. finely minced red onion
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten or 2 T. ground flax seed (binders, gluten works best for a non-crumbly burger, but if you’re gluten free, flax is a decent sub)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1/3 C. masa harina (finely ground corn flour, the kind used for making tamales)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 minced jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed for less heat if desired
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 t. spike seasoning
  • 2 T. Water

It really needed a vegan makeover….

Method: In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher, leaving some beans whole. Add in all other ingredients and mix with your hands until all combined. Refrigerate burger mixture for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove from fridge, divide into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and smash into a thin 3-4 inch round patty with the palm of your hand. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange patties on tray, spray tops of patties lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, turning once.

Serve up with some of these home baked oven fries (1 potato/sweet potato per person, cut into fries, toss all in a large bowl with a small amount of olive or coconut oil, seasonings/salt/pepper to taste bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy) and this cucumber salad. Top with guac, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if you like it like that), sliced pepper jack cashew cheez (not pictured, used up the last of it in the burgers), organic ketchup or bbq sauce and of course, dijon mustard. Best served on a whole grain pretzel bun… Recipe for the pretzel bun coming tomorrow!

The Ultimate Ratbag

First I want to thank you all for the overwhelming response for this new blog! 

Now, let’s get a little more acquainted.

My name is Somer, and I am a Ratbag.

I started blogging earlier in the year at Good Clean Food and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my three friends there: Amanda, Erika and Carolyn. They gave me my blogging wings and helped me stand firm when the transition to a plant-based diet was toughest.

In an act of penance for leaving them and going solo on this site, here are 3 fabulous recipes in photo form, one of my favorites from each lovely lady.

Amanda’s African-Inspired Peanut and Vegetable Stew

recipe here

This beauty of a dish is a one pot meal. You can cook it on the stove-top like in Amanda’s directions, but it’s also fabulous simmered in a slow cooker all day. It’s autumn comfort food meets creamy, spicy and peanut buttery goodness.

Guess what else? There’s a whole head of kale in it (shhh!) and your kids will eat it AND lick their bowls.

Erika’s Happiness in a Cookie Bite

recipe here

When Erika named these cookie dough bites, she wasn’t messing around. She brought them to a lunch we had at my house and we were all very happy to eat every last one.

They made us so happy we couldn’t stop. Delicious, meet nutritious!

Carolyn’s Sourdough Quinoa and Black Bean Bread

recipe here

I’ll admit when Carolyn first posted this recipe I was too afraid to try it. Quinoa and black beans in sourdough bread? Um, weird! Then, once I made it, I couldn’t figure out why I waited so long. It’s unique and amazing!

Here’s a little hint: don’t go searching high and low for the black bean flour. Grind your own flour from bagged, dried black beans in your high powered blender or coffee grinder. If you’re trying to cut back on oils and sugars like I am, just replace them with an equal amount of almond milk in the recipe.

If you don’t all ready have a sourdough start, there are also lots of recipes on-line for getting your own start going. Carolyn gave me some of her ancient sourdough starter with this warning: if it turns orange, it means DEATH! Chuck it out! Thanks girl, it still hasn’t turned orange!

Much love and thanks, Somer

p.s. I’m finally on Facebook and Pinterest. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing in either forum yet, but you’re welcome to come hang out with me in either place.

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