Trevor and I have been seriously rethinking our protein-game recently. It started with a road trip- as most of our life-changing decisions seem to be made these days. We challenged each other to go without pork or beef for one year.
For the most part, we eat a fairly veggie-centric diet and usually incorporate meat into it 1-2 times/week. Somewhere over the summer though, we seemed to slip. This challenge was our way to bring back the veggies and try to think more consciously about the animal meat we do reach for when our body craves it. We try to ask ourselves questions like: where does it come from? Is it a local source? Were the animals raised humanely? What were they fed? How were they killed? Is this a fair price to be paying for the farmer? Is it truly worth it for us to get this life-source from them, or could we have gotten the same energy elsewhere? Tough questions, but important ones.
This is one of our absolute favorite veggie meals to make- it’s hands down the best burger we’ve ever had, and we truly never miss the meat! If you have an extra hour on your hands, we highly recommend you try this recipe. It’s a great weekend project too, as they freeze well and can be thawed and thrown on the grill or pan-fried within minutes on a busy weeknight.
The Burger to End All Burgers
Slightly adapted from Hilah Cooking.
- 1.5 cups black beans
- 2-3 tomatoes, sliced thickly and set aside
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- handful of parsley or other herb, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh greens (I used arugula), coarsely chopped
- 2 TBs nuts (I used almonds), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cheese of choice (parmesan!), grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- olive oil to sauté
Assemble your ingredients! Sauté onion, garlic, and pepper on medium-low heat until they begin to brown and crisp (about 5 minutes.)
If you do not have cooked quinoa on hand, cook it now. Add 1 cup to big bowl and throw in all ingredients except for tomatoes. It should look something like this:
Mush everything really well- you want the beans to start breaking down. I like to get in there and use my hands to reallly mush, but a wooden spoon works well too. Judge the consistency- if it’s too wet, add a bit more breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry, add in some olive oil. Shape your patties to your desired size- they should be able to hold their own structure fairly well. Throw ’em on the grill or pan-fry over medium heat and cover, 5 minutes per side.
If they fall apart a bit, it’s all good. Just mush them back together with your hands or a spatula and they should re-stick. If it turns out to be a big disaster, just throw them on some spinach for an impromptu salad!
Assemble your burger- we ate ours with fresh garden sliced tomatoes in lieu of ketchup, slathered on homemade Sriracha mayo, and a liberal side of salt and vinegar chips. Delicious!