I dabbled in vegetarianism a few times when I was in college but I could never go more than a week or two without eating meat. I just didn’t know what to do with all of those vegetables. My roommate was vegetarian I think for religious reasons, so this was pretty much the norm for her. She never tried to convert me but she would always share her vegetarian dishes with me. I found them delicious and they did not weigh me down the way the meat dishes that I ate did, yet they were still very filling. Although I was curious about creating vegetarian meals I was not sure that I could handle this task. I knew all to well how to cook meat, you fry it, grill it or bake it and you are done. I was comfortable with my meat filled life and did not want to learn something new.
It is not until recently that I have discovered that with a little creativity preparing vegetarian meals can be just as easy, as filling and as tasty as the meat meals I normally prepare. Although I am not a vegetarian, I have been seriously thinking about taking the plunge lately. My youngest daughter is allergic to beef and pork, my oldest is allergic to fish and to frank we are all just so damn sick of chicken that I thought it may be a good time to explore and introduce my kids to some vegetarian dishes.
I wanted to start with something simple like veggie burgers. I remember eating and enjoying these thoroughly. Starting with burgers will also be a kind of familiar way to introduce vegetarian food into their lives. They can even smother them with the organic ketchup that they love so much. I will also make some homemade french fries with the veggie burgers to keep everything happy.
I remembered that there were several frozen varieties of veggie burgers in the supermarket. I checked out the ingredient labels on Boca Burgers and some other varieties in the store to see if these would work for the candida diet and for my children’s allergies. I am not sure why I still get hopeful when I am about to read a label, but I do. I hoping that I will stumble across the one frozen product that will not have any preservatives, yeast, corn, soy, wheat or milk in it. I know that I am living in a fairy tale land and of course there were several ingredients in all of the varieties that would not work for us. I immediately thought to myself, “Can I make a veggie burger from scratch?” “Of course I can,” was my next thought, ”I just need to figure out how”.
So yes I have figured out how to make a veggie burger and after all my babbling, I would like to share with you a recipe that I found on All Recipes for a Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burger. I am sure that the recipe is great in its original form but I did have to adjust it order for it to be wheat free and egg free to cater to my children’s’ dietary needs. The altered recipe is candida diet friendly. My substitution of rolled oats for the breadcrumbs may be troublesome to gluten sensitive people as I have read that oats sometimes cause problem for those who are gluten free due to sensitivity or celiac disease. If gluten is an issue for you another substitution may be needed.
- 1 can black beans (approximately 16 oz) – I used Nature’s Promise Organic Black Beans 15.5 oz
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ onion
- 3 cloves garlic – I buy it already peeled to save time. Beware of additives.
- 1 tsp milled flaxseed and ¼ cup water – This was my egg substitute. You can just use 1 egg if you are able to eat eggs.
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 cups rolled oats – This was my bread crumb substitute. Proceed with caution if you are gluten free too.
- Drain and Rinse 1 can of Black Beans
- Tip: Watch for additives when choosing canned beans. I like to use organic varieties such as Nature’s Promise (Stop & Shop) and Trader Joe’s Organic. Ingredients in these varieties include water, sea salt and prepared organic
- black beans.
- Dry beans by placing on a plate with two paper towels in order to absorb excess water. Repeat as necessary to remove excess moisture. We want the beans to be as dry as possible.
- Place bean in medium mixing bowl and mash with a fork until they are very mushy. Put aside.
- Chop green pepper into 2 inch pieces, slice onion in quarters. Combine green pepper, onion and garlic in food processor or blender. Chop until all ingredients are minced. Combine mixture with beans
- Measure ¼ cup water in measuring cup and add one teaspoon milled flaxseed (This is where you could normally use an egg). Mix together water and flaxseed. Add chili powder and cumin and mix thoroughly. Add mixture to the beans.
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Grind approximately 2 cups of rolled oats using a blender or food processor (This is where you should consider substitutes if you are gluten sensitive).
- Stir ground oats into mixture a little at at time. Continue to add and mix until mixture holds together well.
- When mixture is a good consistency shape into 4 patties.
- You can fry it, grill it, or bake it!