I’ve been grieving this week. Please prepare yourself for a very dramatic reason as to why I’m grieving… Ahem… I’ve started looking for preschools to put my baby in this fall. My heart is completely broken, shattered, and torn into a million pieces. (Dramatic, I know.) HOW is it possible that it’s time to put my (our) baby in school? I’m not mentally prepared to send her off everyday. I’ve cried all week thinking about it. So, I’m stuffing my face with these burgers. From time to time I’ve been known to emotionally eat. But with time, I’ve also changed the way I emotionally eat. Burgers are typically a comfort food we all love… especially with a big ole plate of french fries! Since I’ve been off meat for the last 4 – 5 months, my binging and emotional eating habits have changed — for the better!
What better way to veg out than with a VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE burger that’s healthy?! I even found healthy buns without dairy, gluten, and soy and they actually tasted really good! It was a win-win!! The perfect comfort food for my grieving heart. <3
Let’s put my dramatic self to the side and talk about these burgers. First of all, they’re super easy to make. They’re full of delicious Mexican flavors. They’re NOT your typical dried out veggie burger that you have to pour a ton of condiments on just to be able to eat it. And to top it off, my favorite thing about them: My hubs loved them! He went back for seconds, y’all!! You know that if he goes back for more, he’s happy and full! This picture below is how my burgers looked before cooking them. I wanted to show a good picture of how big I made them. Clearly, you can make them as big or small as you want. These were the perfect size for my buns, hun! 😉
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for cooking
- 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 tbsp each of chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp each of kosher salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 2 – 15 oz cans black beans, washed, rinsed, and drained
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (you can use gluten free bread crumbs also)
- 3 – 4 tbsp vegan BBQ Sauce (homemade or store bought)
- If your rice isn’t cooked yet, start with cooking your rice. If you’re making your BBQ Sauce, get that going, too.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the walnuts and let them toast for 5 – 7 minutes. Careful not to burn them! Shake the pan frequently. Let them cool completely.
- In the meantime, (you can use the same skillet you just used for the walnuts) heat the skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the 1/2 tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper and saute for 4 – 5 minutes, or until translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Back to the walnuts! Add the walnuts, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and sugar to the blender/food processor and blend until a fine meal is achieved. Set aside. Then puree the onions, garlic, and bell pepper up for just a few seconds. Set aside for a few.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the black beans and mash with a fork or potato masher. Next, add the cooked rice, walnut mixture, sauteed onion and bell pepper, bread crumbs, and BBQ sauce.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. If your mixture is too dry, add a little more BBQ sauce. If it’s too wet, add more bread crumbs. Season with a little more S&P. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Preheat the oven to 350 and have a baking sheet ready.
- Now, start forming your patties. I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup lined with plastic wrap. Fill the measuring cup completely full and use the plastic wrap to pull the pattie out. Lay the pattie on a sheet pan or plate and gently press it down to flatten it out some. (See my “uncooked patties” picture above.) Continue repeating until all of the veggie burger mixture is gone.
- Heat up a large saute pan or skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add your burgers to the pan and brown each side of the burger for 3 – 4 minutes or until golden brown. Place the burgers in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes. (I only do this to make sure the middle is completely hot.)
- Remove the burgers from the oven and begin building your burger with your favorite veggies and condiments!
- Leftovers will keep for 2 – 3 days. Because this recipe made so many patties, I froze half of mine. I lined each (uncooked) burger with a little piece of parchment paper, froze the burgers on a small sheet pan. Once frozen, I put them in a Ziplock bag for a quick and easy supper later on when I don’t feel like cooking!