Bayou Bean Burgers

1 cup onion, finely diced
1 T. safflower oil
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
2 T. garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
2 - 15 oz. cans red beans, rinsed, and drained
3 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 T. ketchup
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
safflower oil, for oiling skillet
8 hamburger buns or large rolls, split (or slices of whole grain bread)
lettuce leaves, onion and tomato slices, or other toppings of choice
condiments of choice

In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in the safflower oil for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the celery, red pepper, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper, and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, place the red beans, and using a potato masher or spoon, roughly mash the beans. Add the tamari, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Add the sauteed vegetables, fold them into the bean mixture, then add the oats, and stir thoroughly to combine. Wipe out the non-stick skillet with a clean, lint-free towel, and reuse the skillet for cooking the burgers.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a plastic 1/2 cup measuring cup, portion out 8 burgers on to the parchment paper, and press the burgers with a burger press (or your hands) to flatten them slightly. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator and chill the burgers for 30 minutes. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) the non-stick skillet. In batches, cook the burgers until well-browned on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan, if needed, to prevent the burgers from sticking. Serve on hamburger buns or large rolls (or slices of whole grain bread) with your choice of toppings and condiments.

*Note: you can make these burgers in larger batches, pre-cook them, and freeze them for later use. Then simply reheat them in the oven or in a nonstick skillet until heated through.

Yield: 8 burgers


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