Vegan Easy Black Bean Burgers

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While it isn’t officially summer just yet, it’s summer in my book. Summer starts for me the moment we here in Phoenix hit the 100-degree mark. From that day forward, until we start to dip back below that temperature, it’s full swing summer, baby! I’m talking about the flip-flop wearin’, pool dippin’, family and friend gatherin’ kind of summer that causes time to slow way down. #AhhYeahh

Food is a big part of summer for most of us and there’s one meal in particular that is the poster child for all summer food -the humble hamburger. Of course, being vegan, you know that my burger recipe is going to be a little less… shall we say, barbaric? Made of mostly black beans and quinoa, it’s a nutritious and delicious cruelty-free alternative to the traditional non-vegan burger found on grills across America.

Just how delicious are my burgers? They’re so delicious that my non-vegan, meat loving brother actually prefers them over burgers made from animal protein. He asked me for the recipe shortly after he took his first bite and then proceeded to discuss the recipe with me for 2 days afterwards until he made them in his own home for his roommates (none of whom are vegan) and himself. #BestEndorsementEver

Now while most black bean burger recipes out there get a little crazy with the add-in’s and flavor combinations, I wanted to keep mine super simple. I did this so that you could go all out with your favorite burger toppings and not have too many competing flavors in your mouth. #YoureWelcome

This insanely easy recipe begins with you whipping out your food processor -I used a mini one and I found it to be the perfect size for this recipe. In said food processor, you’re going to dump in the black beans, quinoa, onion, flax meal, water, and hamburger seasoning (store bought), then pulse to combine. You’re looking for the mixture to have a little texture still but for the most part be nicely blended together.

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Once you have the burger mixture all made up then it’s time to actually make up the burgers. Carefully remove the blades from your food processor then, using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop out a slightly mounded amount of mixture and plop it down onto a parchment lined sheet pan. You should have enough mixture to scoop out 4 burgers. Divide any remaining mixture evenly among the 4 burgers. Make sure to leave some space between each burger because in a moment we’ll be flattening them out.

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To get the burgers flat, I like to grab another sheet of parchment paper, lay it over the mounds of mixture, then gently press each out until they reach the desired level of thickness -about 1/3-1/2 of an inch thick.

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Pop your burgers into a preheated oven to bake for 35 minutes, flipping each over at the halfway point. When they’re done, serve ’em on hamburger buns with all of your favorite burger toppings and enjoy! (I told you this recipe was insanely easy!)

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Vegan Easy Black Bean Burgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) can of black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked plain quinoa (I like to use the quinoa from the freezer section that gets cooked in it’s bag in the microwave then, once it’s cooked, I just scoop out the 1/2 cup I need for this recipe.)
  • 1/3 of an onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 tablespoon hamburger seasoning (I like Emeril’s because it has salt and pepper already in it but if yours doesn’t have those included then you’ll need to add salt and pepper to taste.)
  • Hamburger buns
  • Hamburger toppings

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. In a food processor toss in the first 6 ingredients and pulse to combine. You’re looking for mixture to be smoothed out a little but still have some texture to it.
  2. Remove the blades from the food processor then, using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop out a slightly rounded mound of mixture and plop onto the prepared sheet pan. Repeat to create 4 mounds being sure to leave some space between each for when they get pressed out. Divide any remaining mixture up evenly among the 4 mounds. Lay another sheet of parchment over the mounds then gently press each flat to reach desired level of thickness -about 1/3-1/2 of an inch thick.
  3. Place burgers into preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, flipping each over at the halfway point. When done, serve on hamburger buns with your favorite burger toppings. Cooked burgers will keep in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days but are best when eaten right away.

 

Vegan “Cheesy” Black Bean Tofu Scramble

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I’M BACK!!!

(Cue the hysterical screaming!)

I have had quite the little break. If you recall, this whole time away thing started because my doctor put me on a really strict diet for weight loss in an attempt to get my chronic illnesses (mostly female-related issues) under control. Well, as it turned out, that really strict diet was basically controlled starvation and, just so we’re clear, my doctor told me upfront that it would be a challenging diet for a vegan to follow but asked me to give it a try -and try I did. I gave it almost 2 weeks of honest effort but, at that point, I just couldn’t keep up with it any longer so I made an appointment with a vegan nutritionist to remedy the diet to better suit a vegan. Ever since then, I’ve been able to maintain my diet, without starving, and have lost nearly 10 lbs., 4 inches off my hips, and 5 inches off my waistline! And now I’m back in the hot seat and ready to share some new recipes with y’all!

This weeks recipe is a classic vegan breakfast (tofu scramble) made “cheesy.” And black bean-y. (But mostly “cheesy.”) You can find basic tofu scramble recipes all over teh interwebs, and loads of recipes which jazz up said basic recipe too, but I hadn’t come across any like this so I think I’m actually filling 2 voids with this recipe -the 1st void being your empty stomach. #YoureWelcome

It all starts with the star of the show: tofu (although some might argue that the “cheese” is the true star but play along with me here). When it comes to making almost anything with tofu, you must drain and press out as much water from the tofu as you can. Why? Because if you don’t then whatever flavors you’re adding to your tofu won’t really get into the tofu. When people tell me that they didn’t enjoy tofu, I ask if they drained it and pressed out the water before they used it. Their answer 9 times out of 10 is, “No… is that something you’re supposed to do?” Yes, people, this is something that you’re supposed to do if you want your food to come out tasty and also not watery.

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Once you’ve drained and pressed your tofu, it’s time to get cookin’. In a pan over low-med. heat, with a little oil in it to help prevent sticking, you’re going to combine your tofu with the seasonings and the vegetable broth. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10 minutes.

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After 10 minutes has passed, it’s time to add it the black beans (a whole can of ’em) and a little onion. Give that a good stir to combine then continue to cook the mixture for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If your tofu is sticking a little feel free to add a little more oil to the pan.

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Now would be a good time to prep the spinach which will be added in a moment. All you need to do is wash it and then tear the pieces into smaller pieces making sure to toss any bothersome stems. I used baby spinach because that’s what was in my fridge but if you have… grownup? Adult? Big spinach? Whatever. You can use that. Or kale would work too. And fresh either way -frozen just can’t compare in this particular dish.

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When your timer dings, it’s spinach time. Add those little pieces of green goodness right on in there and then get excited because it’s time to get your “cheese” on!

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Top the spinach off with about a generous cup of your favorite vegan “cheddar cheese” shreds along with a splash of water. Pop a lid on your pan and cook for just 5 minutes more or until spinach is wilted and the “cheese” is gooey.

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Serve with a side of fresh fruit, potatoes, or toast, or stuff the mixture into a burrito with a little hot sauce or salsa for breakfast to-go! Either way, enjoy the “cheesy” goodness!

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Vegan 'Cheesy' Black Bean Tofu Scramble

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons oil + more if needed to prevent sticking as tofu cooks
  • 1 (14 ounce) package of firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove excess water
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 of an onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 cups of fresh spinach, torn into smaller pieces and stems removed
  • 1 generous cup of your favorite vegan “cheddar cheese” shreds
  • water

Directions

  1. In a pan over low-med. heat combine oil, drained and pressed tofu, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder together. Stir and then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, add in the drained and rinsed black beans and the finely diced onion. Stir to combine then cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more oil as needed should your tofu be sticking.
  3. Prep spinach if you haven’t done so already then add it and the “cheese” to the mixture along with just a splash of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and “cheese” is gooey. Stir before serving. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up 4 days.

Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins

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Coffeehouses across the nation serve up a multitude of muffins each day and, while they are all damn tasty, one muffin reins supreme in my mind -the double chocolate muffin. This chocolatey delight is pretty much a chocolate cupcake left naked. In other words, it’s a socially acceptable way to eat a cupcake for breakfast. (Should you need that kind of approval.) But alas, I just can’t find these beauties (made vegan) anywhere near me so I’ve had to resort to making my own.

My super easy version of this coffeehouse classic includes 2 very special ingredients: black beans and instant espresso.

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Stay with me now. I swear, on the life of my stand mixer, that you can’t tell there are black beans in these muffins. So why even put them in there? Because they add a bunch of good stuff like iron, fiber, and protein, among other things. What about the espresso, why add that? The espresso amplifies the chocolate flavor, helps perk you up just a little, and adds a nice amount of bitterness to balance out the sweetness. These 2 ingredients make this recipe.

Whether for breakfast or for a snack, these deliciously decadent muffins are sure to satisfy your craving for chocolate while being a healthier alternative to traditional double chocolate muffins. And ladies, these are the best thing when you’re dealing with “girl flu.” #ChocolateAndIronForTheWinBitches

To begin with, I get the espresso powder doing its thing by mixing it with a some hot water. Then I set it aside until I’m ready for it.

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Next, I whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then set that aside until I need it. Be sure to whisk like you mean it and break down any clumps of cocoa powder you may have, otherwise your muffins won’t come together as nicely in the end.

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Now it’s time to get the wet ingredients, including the black beans and the espresso mixture, combined. For this I like to use my blender to get them all nice and smooth. Blending will especially be useful in helping to break down the black beans so that they become “hidden” in your muffins. If you don’t have a blender you could try using an immersion blender (aka stick blender), if you have one of those, otherwise perhaps plan to borrow someones blender and in return give them some of your muffins. (There’s enough to share and sharing is caring after all.)

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Once you’ve achieved liquidy goodness with the wet ingredients, you’re going to add them into the dry ingredients and stir just a little to start combining the two parts. Then, toss in the chocolate chips and fold everything together until fully combined.

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When fully combined, the batter will look heavenly. Seriously, if I could fill a bathtub with this mixture I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s so fluffy and luscious. I simply can’t stop looking at it. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?

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After you’ve regained your composure, you can scoop the batter into your lined muffin pan. Be generous in filing the cups up -I fill them 3/4 of the way up, sometimes just a smidge more than that. The muffins will rise but up, not out, so don’t worry about them expanding onto the top of the pan and getting stuck or burning.

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Bake ’em for 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are matte and firm to the touch. When they’re done, be sure to let them cool a little before serving.

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Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins

  • Servings: about 16 muffins
  • Time: 35 minutes (55 minutes if you have to bake them in 2 batches)
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Substitute for 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • About 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a muffin pan by lining the cups.
  2. In a small bowl, combine espresso powder with hot water. Stir to combine then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour with cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk vigorously until no clumps remain then set aside.
  4. In a blender, combine espresso mixture with the black beans, almond milk, sugar, oil, egg substitute, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Once smooth, add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just a little to start combining them together. Add in the chocolate chips then fold everything together until completely combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes. When done, muffin tops will be matte and firm. Transfer muffins to cooling rack and let cool slightly before serving. Muffins will keep fresh on the counter in an airtight container for 2-3 days.