I’m not a vegetarian. Not even close.
I can’t live without biting into a plump, juicy cheeseburger at least once a month. If I don’t get my perfectly seasoned medium filet mignon when the craving hits, I throw a mini food tantrum. If I can’t have my favorite beef street taco when visiting our favorite Mexican restaurant I’d probably shed a few alligator tears and pout in the corner until one appeared in front of me.
I’m mature like that.
With that said, I do try to limit our meat consumption to only one or so servings a week when it comes to red meat, and instead try to fill our weekly dinner rotation up with plenty of chicken, fish or other seafood items. On occasion when I’m feeling extra rebellious, I’ll challenge myself to creating a protein-packed, delicious meat-less meal which both Kevin and I can enjoy – not an easy feat to accomplish when your meat-loving husband sticks his nose up at just about everything vegetarian.
My Mom actually got me into vegetarian burgers and sausages a few years back. One of our favorite lunch spots has a super hearty, seriously delicious veggie burger she practically forced me to try after she mentioned how good it was over a 100 times; after the 101st declaration, I caved, and yup, it’s pretty much the best vegetarian item I’ve ever tasted. She also got me into those little Morning Star veggie breakfast sausages and black bean burgers, two items sure to be in her freezer at any given time, and two items I cook up when I’m over there regardless of what time of day it is, or how hungry I even am.
Replicating the black bean burger has been on my list of to-dos for quite some time, and right before Kev and I headed out of town to Richmond last week I whipped these Chipotle Black Bean Sliders up for a super quick, healthy dinner the night before we left.
These guys could not be simpler, and couldn’t be more flavorful if they tried. A few years back I couldn’t get enough of the little chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you know the ones that come in a can, and are insanely spicy – in fact, I think the whole world couldn’t get enough of them. But then they kind of fell off the face of the planet, at least for me. I think maybe I just got sick of them?? After a year hiatus, I’m back in full force with the spicy little suckers. (Just wait.)
They’re the main flavor booster in the patties, along with plenty of sautéed onion, garlic and cumin. I used two peppers, which was the perfect amount of spice for us, but you can also use one if you’re a wimp when it comes to spice, or even use three if you have a super high tolerance for heat.
I used quite a few short cuts here; first, with canned black beans. You could absolutely be more ambitious and use dried black beans, but that does require you to soak them overnight, and then cook them, which isn’t exactly hard, just time consuming, but whatever floats your boat. The (canned) beans are rinsed and drained, then mashed up with a fork until about half to three-quarters of the beans are puréed. I like them to have extra texture, so I leave them half and half, but it really just depends on your taste.
The second and third shortcuts are using frozen yellow corn, and jarred pimentos. Again, you could roast your peppers and corn, but if speed if a priority, why not take the help?
Once the beans are mashed up, the chipotle peppers, onions, garlic, spices, corn and pimento are mixed in, one egg is added to bind everything together, and then a good handful of breadcrumbs are sprinkled in to hold the patties together. I really didn’t want to use breadcrumbs at all, since I’m trying to watch the carbs in preparation for my upcoming Vegas trip, but the patties really need a little bit to hold their shape throughout the cooking process.
You could top the burgers with whatever you want; a chipotle ketchup would be great, or a citrus-y aioli, but I love the way Greek yogurt compliments the flavor in the burgers and cools off the spice a little bit. I just threw a little bit of lime zest, lime juice, salt and garlic with some non-fat plain Greek yogurt, gave it a stir and it was ready to go.
Totally optional, but I also topped the sliders with some baked sweet potato fries I had leftover in the freezer from a previous meal, which for me, was the perfect amount of crunch and texture I needed to complete the ensemble.
Even my sticks-his-nose-up-thinks-he-doesn’t-like-meatless-foods husband LOVED these. I just stared in awe as he scarfed down once slider after other after the other, and didn’t complain once over the lack of meat – that my friends, is a win.
- 2 14 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2 ounces chopped pimentos
- 1 green onion, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1½ tablespoons lime juice
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups frozen sweet potato fries, cooking according to package directions
- 8 slider buns
- Add black beans to a large bowl. Using a fork, mash up about half of the beans. Set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over a medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute until softened, about five minutes. Set aside.
- Add onion mixture, cumin, salt, peppers, corn, pimentos, green onion, egg and bread crumbs to beans. Mix to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
- Form into 8 slider patties.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet to a medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Cook patties until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Combine all ingredients
- Place patties on slide bun, top with lime greek yogurt and a handful of fries. Garnish with sliced green onion.