Black Bean Burger With Bacon & Avocado Fries

By Jaime Hall
September 8, 2015

If you're looking for a burger that's full of zesty flavor, forget the beef. This black bean burger provides a new and improved overhaul for that same old beef hamburger you've been eating for decades.

Easily satisfying the heartiest of appetites, veggie burgers provide a spin on this American classic. Many veggie burger combinations exist and while I've tried several varieties, this black bean burger is at the top of my list for numerous reasons.

Pairing it with with a chiltepin mayo and bacon really takes this full size meal to the next level. Bacon, you might ask? "Mmm, bacon" seems to be every defensive meat eater's favorite comeback when confronted with the cruelty involved in pig farming or the health risks involved, but when we have so many plant based options surrounding us every week at our local farmers market, it can be exciting to create something like bacon with vegetables.

And yes, we've done exactly that, created an incredible tasting faux bacon made from thin slices of marinated eggplant. The same technique is commonly used with zucchini, as well. Get all the smoky, salty, crispy, and ever so slight hint of maple flavors with this veggie style bacon.

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If making homemade burgers are only an occasional holiday effort, veggie burgers can be found throughout Tucson at your most casual of spots to the most upscale. The key to knowing where to go depends on your preference. Lovin' Spoonfuls has several vegan burger options, but most include soy. Veg in a Box has three vegan burger options and the entire restaurant boasts of being soy-free and non-GMO.

Then, we have local, non-vegan restaurants that specialize in burgers like Diablo Burger and Graze. Both are known to source local, organic, sustainable ingredients and offer one veggie burger on their menu. Diablo's burger is considered vegetarian due to eggs being used and Graze uses local tepary beans as their veggie burger base. So many great options in Tucson to choose from.

Many thanks to our favorite local farms, Sleeping Frog Farm, Garden's Best Tomatoes and High Energy Agriculture for providing all of our fresh ingredients for this weeks meal!

Black Bean Pattie

  • 2 cups black beans, cooked*
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground*
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked*
  • 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped*
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped*
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped*
  • 1 flax egg*
  • 3 garlic cloved, minced*
  • 1 tbsp cilantro*
  • 1 tbsp green chili*
  • 1 tsp cumin*
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika*
  • 1 tsp avocado oil*
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Saute vegetables 5 minutes or until tender. Add all ingredients and mix well, mashing beans. Mold into patties and cook in lightly oiled skillet, 10 minutes on each side. Serve with tomato, pickle, lettuce, and grilled onions on your favorite bun or green wrap.

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Eggplant Bacon

  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced*
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced*
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil*
  • 2 tbsp aminos*
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar*
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke*
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper*
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Place sliced eggplant in a glass bowl. Mix all marinade ingredients, well. Pour over sliced eggplant, cover and refrigerate anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. The longer you allow the eggplant to marinate, the more flavor. Lay eggplant slices on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours. Turn after 1.5 hours and coat with marinade.

Avocado Fries

  • 2 firm, but ripe avocados, pits removed
  • 3 flax meal eggs*
  • 1 cup flour of choice*
  • 1 cup bread crumbs*
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil*
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder*
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Slice avocado in sections. Heat oil in skillet. Add seasoning to flour and mix. Coat slices of avocado in flour, dip in flax egg and then cover well with bread crumbs. Place coated avocado in skillet and brown 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towel, allow to cool and serve warm with burger and dipping sauce.

Chiltepin Mayo

  • 1 cup soaked cashews*
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice or 1 large lemon*
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar*
  • 2 tbsp hemp oil or your choice of a mild, cold pressed oil*
  • 2-4 chiltipin chiles*
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard*
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients. Serve and bottle up remaining mayo and refrigerate.

*Indicates organically grown

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