By Julia Howard, RHN, MPH
The goal of many new vegans and plant-based eaters is to find and master the perfect bean burger. I had yet to achieve this goal, until recently.
When I saw that America’s Test Kitchen had published their amazing Vegan for Everybody cookbook, I knew they would have a no-fail bean burger in there. And, I was not disappointed! Neither were my friends who tested them…
Enter the Pinto Bean & Beet Burger!
Not only does this burger actually look like beef, it’s one of the most flavourful, perfectly textured bean burgers I’ve tried.
I adapted this burger recipe for gluten-sensitive folks by substituting gluten-free steel cut quick oats for bulgur wheat and gluten-free panko bread crumbs in for standard panko bread crumbs. Luckily, the result is just as tasty and firm. However, I strongly recommend using steel cut quick oats. Neither steel cut oats or quick oats will provide quite the same texture.
One slightly unusual ingredient in this recipe is a jar of carrot baby food! The pureed texture of the baby food helps the stickiness of the burger while the carrot flavour adds subtle sweetness. I used a sturdy collard green for a gluten-free bun alternative and an extra serving of veggies.
For some extra flavour, add a little pub sauce or a garlic aioli. I adapted the pub sauce recipe for this burger (see below) by substituting coconut aminos for soy sauce as a lower sodium, gluten-free alternative.
Wrap these burgers in parchment paper and they’ll store well in the fridge for a few days.
Pinto Bean & Bean Burger Ingredients (Serves 8)
- 2/3 cup gluten-free steel cut quick oats (dry)
- 1 can pinto beans (15.5 ounces)
- 1 large beet, grated
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1 small jar of carrot baby food (4 ounces)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1.5 cups of gluten-free panko bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- collard greens (or another sturdy green) for burger “buns”
- Topping suggestions: pub sauce, a handful of microgreens, and some crunchy pickles
Pinto Bean & Bean Burger Directions
Boil 1.5 cups of water in a pot with 2/3 cup steel cut quick oats and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat, stir the oats and then let the oats sit for 5 mins to allow them to soak up the water. Careful to avoid overcooking the oats as they will stick to the pot and become less workable. Spread cooked oats onto a pan and allow them to cool.
Peel and grate one large beet. Add grated beet to a food processor.
Add 3/4 cup of walnuts, 1/2 cup of fresh basil, and 2 garlic cloves, minced. Pulse in a food processor about 10-15 times.
Add 1 can of pinto beans (drained), 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 1 small jar of carrot baby food, 2 tbsp water, and 1 tsp salt. Pulse to mix.
Transfer mixture to large mixing bowl. Add 1.5 cups of gluten-free panko bread crumbs. Stir in cooked, cooled oats.
Divide the mix into 8 sections with your finger or a spatula. Use hands to form patties of approx. 3.5 inches in diameter.
To cook the burgers, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat on a non-stick skillet. Fry up a few burgers at a time for about 4 mins on each side. Keep warm in a 200-degree F oven until the remaining burgers are cooked through.
Build your burger! Add a sauce (see below) and something crunchy, like some microgreens and pickles.
Pub Sauce Ingredients / Directions
- 3/4 cup vegan mayo
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (for a truly vegan Worcestershire sauce substitute, try this)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp chives or green onions
- Combine ingredients and then whisk to form sauce
If you’re looking for some additional guidance on how to incorporate more plants into your diet, contact me!
Thanks for reading,