Confession time: I’ve never been a fan of veggie burgers. Especially grain or bean-based burgers.
When I first went vegetarian 15 years ago, vegetarian burgers weren’t anything like they are today. Having to eat them at every school function or barbecue got a bit tiring, and I never found a very satisfying recipe for veggie burgers. Then the Beyond and Impossible burgers came on the scene, and since then I’ve pretty much just eaten those whenever I have a burger craving.
But, I love to eat whole food plant based (aka unprocessed food) most of the time. So I decided to try coming up with my own recipe that would be good and unique enough that it could have its own role at the table, besides just trying to replace a burger.
I went with a Caribbean vibe, and was inspired by empanadas since black bean & plantain are a match made in heaven when used in empanadas… so why not burgers? I also made an avocado lime spread for it, and the combo is so good that I actually enjoy just having the patty + spread at times, without a bun or anything.
Makes 4-6 patties
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 ripe plantain, sliced
- 6 tbsp corn grits (or cornmeal)
- 6 heaping tbsp whole cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Sauté plantain and red onion together over medium-low heat until plantain turns golden brown and onion begins to turn translucent.
- In a food processor, add all the ingredients and process until the mixture still has some small pieces remaining, but holds together well. If it is too dry to stick together easily (if you’re using more absorbent cornmeal, for instance), add a tbsp of water at a time until it sticks together.
- Form mixture into 4-6 patties about 1” thick. Sauté over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes per side, until they are lightly browned. Alternatively, you can put them in the oven at 375 degrees: bake 10 mins, then flip, then bake another 10 minutes, or until both sides are crispy.
- Top with avocado lime spread and your favorite burger toppings, and enjoy!
Avocado lime spread:
- 1 avocado
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp dried chipotle powder
- 1/8 tsp salt