Black Bean Burgers and Homemade Hamburger Buns

When I think of summer, I think about backyard barbecues. The weather is usually just right at this time of year. It’s not too hot and humid yet. You can still enjoy the outdoors. Of course the day I pick for BBQ, is the day it pours all day.

When there are barbecues, there are burgers. In the past, I have just grilled some Morningstar Farms Grillers. I get annoyed with the cost, and how they are lacking in flavor. I have played with a variety of homemade veggie burgers. One version that was a success with some of my toughest critics, is a black bean burger.

I normally pair a black bean burger with a simple tortilla  – only because I have always have them around the house. As I was thinking about burgers though, I had juicy burgers on soft buns pictured in my head. As I strolled through my local store though, all I could find were some really pathetic looking, chemical filled, shelf-stable buns. Not what I wanted. As I walked home dejected, it occurred to me – how hard could it be to make my own homemade buns? It’s just a simple enriched dough.

I was right, it was easy – and totally worth the smidgen of effort.

Hamburger Buns (adapted from Taste of Home)

2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp. warm soy milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
3 3/4 cup flour
1 egg for egg wash
sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425.

Dissolve yeast in warm water and milk. Add the sugar.

Let it sit for a few minutes.

Add the oil, egg, salt and half of the flour. Stir until it forms a loose dough

Turn dough on to a floured surface.

Knead more flour in to the dough until the dough becomes elastic. Dough should be smooth and shouldn’t be so sticky.

With a dough cutter, cut dough in to 12 pieces.

Spray 2 baking sheets with oil spray.

Shape each piece of dough in to a ball and place on baking sheets.

Let the dough balls rest for ten minutes – covered with a towel.

Brush the dough with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in the oven for around 10-12 minutes. Remove buns from baking sheet and transfer to cooling rack.


Black Bean Veggie Burgers

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 container of baby bellas, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
2 eggs
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

Place the beans in a large mixing bowl. Mash most of the beans with a potato masher. Keep some of the beans whole.


Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix well.


Form in to patties.

Grill on a barbecue or pan fry in a small amount of oil.


Enjoy with as many or as few fixings as you’d like.


Quinoa Veggie Burgers – Gluten Free

I recently moved my younger daughter over to a gluten free diet. For dinnertime, this means that for the most part, all of us are eating gluten free.  I definitely don’t mind, but it’s sometimes hard to convince the rest of the gang that gluten free could be good. I am also new to the gluten free thing for the most part, and having a hard time coming up with fun and tasty things that the whole family will enjoy. Emphasis on the easy part. 

When discussing gluten free stuff with a friend, she mentioned that there is a lot that can be done with quinoa. I had never really gone past pilafs and salads with the grain. It has also been a Pesach-only food for us. I have always loved quinoa, but the rest of the family haven’t been huge fans. I love that it’s a grain and a protein at the same time.

When I bought the quinoa the other day, I had no intention of turning it in to burgers. The idea came to me when I decided I wanted something french fry like and needed a main dish to go along with. I haven’t had a burger in a long time – veggie or otherwise. I have read about various quinoa and lentil loaves, and decided that this could probably work as a burger. I was right. Tonight’s burgers were a hit. They made everyone happy. Even the little one scarfed down two!

Quinoa Burgers

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 onion
2 carrots
1 small zuchinni
6 mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
Handful of shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup rice flour or corn flake crumbs

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop up the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Switch in the shredding disk and shred the rest of the veggies. Put the veggie mixture in to a mixing bowl and press down on the mixture with your hands and drain the liquid.

Mix the quinoa in to the vegetables. Add the cheese and seasonings.

Mix in the egg and flour.

Form in to patties and fry them on the stove for a few minutes per side.

Move them to a 350 degree oven to finish baking.

Serve them on a bun with all the fixings or in a wrap or however you tend to eat your burgers.


Lentil Burgers

I have been on a vegetarian dinner kick. I am usually an accidental vegetarian, but lately I have intentionally been subjecting the family to vegetarian dinners. I don’t get too many complaints. A recent dinner was lentil burgers. I was inspired by a lonely bag of red lentils sitting in my pantry. They were waiting to be made into some type of dal recipe, but I had some other plans. I had a photo to go with this recipe, but it disappeared in the abyss of my computer. You will have to just trust me that they both tasted yummy and looked yummy.

I served the burgers with sweet potato fries and some brussel sprouts. Yum!

The burgers were served on a bun with lettuce, onion, and a bit of tzatziki. Yum.

The recipe is below.

Lentil Burgers

1 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup flavored bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. oil

Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils. Cook covered on low. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Let the lentils cool.

Once cool, add the rest of the ingredients, except for the oil.

Form the burgers into burger size patties. Do not make them too thick. Let the formed patties cool in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.

Oil a fry pan. Cook the patties in the oil, about 5-6 minutes each side, or until lightly browned.

Serve as you would a burgers, as suggested above, or however you feel lentil burgers deserved to be eaten.


Vegetarian Jucy Lucy Hamburger

Growing up in Minnesota, I always heard about this amazing barfood called the Jucy Lucy. I was curious about this delicacy. During my treife (non-kosher) days, I was a vegetarian, so I didn’t have so much interest. Now that I keep kosher, the Jucy Lucy’s at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis are off limits. They still look tempting. Click here for the wikipedia on the infamous Jucy Lucy.

I decided to try to kosherize it. I knew I didn’t want to use soy cheese, since that stuff is pretty crappy. I decided to replace the meat. I was a bit concerned, as soy meat is a completely different consistence than real meat, and it comes very differently. It came out pretty good, I will make some fixes next time. I need to make the patties a bit thinner, and I need to slice the cheese thinner. Otherwise, it was pretty tasty.

Below is my recipe for these tasty treats.

Jucy Lucy – Vegetarian and KosherRecipe made 5 patties

1 package of “ground” veggie meat (I use the Lightlife)
1/2 package of veggie ground sausage (Also used Lightlife)
1 onion, chopped fine
salt and pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 slice of cheese for each patty – American Cheese is the most authentic

Have some toothpicks handy.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except for the cheese.

Form into 10 thin patties.

Place the cheese on top of the patties, fold up the cheese so that there is “meat” space around the cheese. Place another patty on top of the cheese up patty. Crimp the edges.

In a cast iron skillet, on medium heat, put your patties in. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the burgers over, poke a toothpick through to allow for steam to escape, and ensure that the cheese doesn’t make the burger explode before eating. Cook another 6-7 minutes.

Serve on a bun, dress the burger as you like it. Enjoy!

Back in my college days, I remember some Jucy Lucy eating contests. I remember people boasting about how many they could eat. So…how many did you eat? Hope you enjoyed!

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