I agree that a hamburger is virtually an American staple. However, the growing number of responsible, sustainable ranchers who produce high quality beef, the stability and safety of beef is often brought into question when lower quality products are introduced into the markets or sold to restaurants or franchise restaurants. Pregnancy is not the time in a woman’s life to experiment with meat from unknown sources or made by restaurants or franchises who may be less meticulous about their sources of beef.
A classic burger has unique taste that people crave, and pregnant women are no different. I advise them to continue to eat burgers, or beef, if it comes from a restaurant, store, or butcher that they are familiar with and have been eating at regularly. No one needs to abandon their local pub, bar and grill, or burger place just because they’re pregnant!
However, I caution women repeatedly that, while pregnant, they want to be careful where their beef comes from and not to try a new store or buy cheaper cuts in bulk that are stored or frozen improperly in their home refrigerators or freezers. To take away any doubt, I recommend women and their families take a totally different approach and go the vegetarian route with a delicious black bean burger.
While black bean burgers are different from beef burgers, they are a delicious alternative. They are super easy to make, healthy, and full of flavor. This recipe keeps the burger juicy and not pasty. Unlike frozen black bean burgers, my recipe stays together nicely and can be grilled, baked or browned easily. Plus, there is no risk of contaminants from poor quality beef, fillers, or by products.
You can modify this recipe to add even more flavor to the burger, and eat it as a simple lunch or an easy dinner. The spices and seasonings can be adjusted to make it more mild or more spicy and the recipe can be doubled or tripled to make burgers that can be easily frozen and thawed when needed. You can serve the burgers with salads, fresh vegetables, or simple side dishes. They can also be crumbled and added to sauces, pastas, or as a protein source in salads–the possibilities are endless!
Black Bean Burgers
- 2 14-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup fresh or dried bread crumbs, oat meal or oat flour
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup, steak sauce, mayo or barbeque sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: ½ to 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spread beans on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 15 minutes until slightly dry.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee onions and garlic until softened and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine sautéed onions and garlic and add all ingredients except the black beans. Stir to combine.
- Add in the beans and stir to combine.
- With a fork or a masher, crush some of the beans so the mixture becomes slightly dense. Do not mash all the beans- leave some whole.
- Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop out some of the bean mix. Form into a round patty. Repeat until all the bean mix is used.
Grill: Over low flame or on a piece of greased foil, grill black bean burger patties 6 to 8 minutes per side until browned and cooked through
Bake: Preheat the oven to 375F. Place black bean burger patties on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with vegetable spray. Bake 10 minutes per side until slightly browned and cooked through
Serve on top of a salad, broccoli slaw, lettuce leaves, tomato and avocado slices, sliced cucumbers or a cucumber salad
Top with Pesto (see my recipe for Perfect Pesto!) or on a multigrain roll.