As I've gotten further and further into eating less meat, one of the go-to dinners in our house has been lettuce-wrapped black bean burgers with all the fixings. I've realized I much prefer a black bean burger over a veggie burger - I don't need corn in my burger. No, thanks.
I always think the measure of a good meal is how much Jordan likes it/asks for it, and he gobbles this up every single time it's placed in front of him. #winning
Of course, you could just as easily serve this with a bun, but if you choose to go the lettuce route, you'll end up with a sugar-free, dairy-free, and nearly grain-free meal that is still filling (because black beans are so high in protein) and super delicious.
Yields: 2 burgers, but can easily doubled for 4.
1 15 oz can of seasoned black beans
1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs (or homemade bread crumbs)
1/2 T salt
3/4 T pepper
3/4 t chili powder
1 T your favorite hot sauce
1 egg (optional)
Your cheese of choice (optional)
Pastry cutter (or fork if you don't have one)
Cast iron skillet (or any other pan)
1. Pour black beans into a strainer to drain but NOT to rinse. Move your strainer around in a quick, circular motion to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Once they're drained, return them to a medium-sized bowl.
2. With your pastry cutter or fork, mash the beans until they are between halfway and three quarters of the way mashed. You still want to see some whole beans when you're finished.
3. Add your Panko bread crumbs and seasonings and combine using a silicone spatula. This is a recipe that you can edit to your particular taste, since black beans serve as such a blank canvas. So if you're a hot sauce person, add extra hot sauce! Totally customizable.
Note: If you'd like to add an egg, this is the time to do it. Eggs serve as a binder in this recipe and keep the burgers moist. I've found that the egg usually makes things a little too moist, but it's a personal preference!
4. Form a patty using 1/2 the burger mixture in the bowl. In your cast iron skillet, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook your burger over medium heat until it starts to really sizzle, or for about 4 minutes.
5. Using tongs, turn your burger over in the pan. You may have to re-shape the patty just a bit after the turning process. If you'd like to add cheese, do it! I like to melt the cheese by placing another skillet on top of the one I'm already working with, because melted cheese = the best cheese.
And that, my friends, is IT! Now it's time to serve it up however you choose. We usually eat it wrapped in lettuce with condiments on the side. Usually, we have baked French fries sprinkled with sea salt, but those didn't make this post.
What do you think? Healthy and husband-approved. Give it a shot!