Summer time is the best time for burgers! Ok, all the time is the best time, but there is something about a burger, in the summer, that just seems right. Grilled, fried, or baked a burger is made perfect by three things, first the sauce you choose to put on it, second the bun (Who knew?), and last the toppings. There are a million different ways that you can arrange the same patty and come up with a different, glorious outcome. And the best part is the burger doesn’t always need to be meat, you can get all the same satisfying yummy feelings with the right meatless burger and your body will thank you for it. 😉
We all know that the sauce is what makes the flavors of a burger whether it is made from meat, or is meatless. As a kid I was just a plain ketchup person. The thought of mustard was horrible, and if it was on my burger, well a small crisis ensued. As I got older I discovered fry sauce. And for anyone who knows what that is, ketchup and mayo, you know that it literally can go on ANYTHING! And as good as it tastes it is so bad for you. Then mustard came back into the picture for me because I’ve been doing my best to keep my sugar low and we all know that even the reduced sugar ketchup is still overloaded. Since I’ve stopped eating animal products I have desperately missed mayo, but figured it was just one more thing I’d have to say goodbye to until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give a whim a whirl in the blender and now I’m a “mayo” addict once again!
There are a couple of things, aside from the amazing taste, that set this “mayo” apart from the others, and make it healthier. It is oil free, egg free, and made with firm, silken organic non gmo tofu. Before you run away screaming I can tell you that as much as I love tofu I was a little bit skeptical about eating it cold, or blended. The thought actually almost turned my stomach. (I usually bake it or cook it on the stove) Once I made it though I will never turn back. It is amazing! Nothing weird, or “tofu-y” about it. And listen to this! Just 1 Tablespoon of mayo with olive oil packs a whopping 90 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 0 protein. This “mayo” has only 33 calories per about 2 tablespoons, has 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein, AND 1 gram of fiber. You really can’t beat that!
Now let’s move on to the bun. I always admired the beautiful buns used in restaurants, but at home always just grabbed a package of wheat buns from the bakery and called it good. When I got ready to make these burgers I did just that. The buns tasted great, but looking at the assembled burger just made me sad. It didn’t call my name, it didn’t make my mouth water, it just made me feel bad for the lonely little guy. (I know that sounds crazy.) Now think about it, when you order a burger are you really looking at the burger or are you looking at the glorious bun dome holding in all the amazing sauces and toppings? That’s what I thought! I did some serious bun research for about 2 days. I had no idea that this was such an issue with styling burgers, so I guess my buntastrophy wasn’t mine alone. People were probably looking at me like I was a little crazy so carefully looking over bags and bags of buns and being extremely careful not to crush any of them. (Yes, I had to make a second trip to the store when the first bag of buns fell flat for burger superiority.)
So, now that we have the understanding that sauce, buns, and toppings make, or break, a burger of any kind you can make a seriously mouthwatering burger ANY TIME. I chose to top this baby with lettuce, purple onions, and jalapeños to bring together the red pepper flakes in the patty and the jalapeños in the sauce. If you are a person who doesn’t like spicy (even though I find this sauce incredibly mild) you can absolutely leave the peppers out. No worries! And for those who have been taught to fear soy there is no need as long as you buy ORGANIC NON GMO. (In moderation it actually has some amazing health benefits.) Generally, bean burgers are made with black beans, I decided to go the kidney bean route to make it look more authentic for our carnivorous friends. (Pintos also work, but you need to cook them 10 minutes longer.) So, make your Meatless Monday a slam dunk for everyone and you can sit back, relax, and enjoy!
PS These may sound, or look, complicated, but they are the easiest bean burger you will ever make!
What are your favorite burger toppings?
Am I the only one crazy about the bun issue?
Sweet & Spicy Jalapeño Mayo Topped KB Burgers
By Angie Gouchenour
4-6 burgers (Depending on the size)
Sauce (Because it’s the star of the show)
½ block Silken, Firm, Organic, non gmo Tofu
1 Tablespoon Sugar 2.0
2 Tablespoons Spicy Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chopped jarred jalepenos
2 cups kidney beans (I boil mine from dry)
½ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup water
In a small blender combine all ingredients EXCEPT peppers
Blend until smooth
Stir in chopped peppers
Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days
Preheat oven to 375’
Heat the beans for 2 minutes in the microwave (You can also use a stove top)
Mash the beans with a potato masher, pastry cutter, or fork (Leaving a few whole beans is fine, but too many will cause the burger to fall apart.)
Combine the beans with the bread crumbs, salt, and red pepper flakes
Cream mixture with water
For small buns using the largest cookie scoop you have (Approx ¼) for larger buns use 1 ½ scoops (These burgers don’t shrink)
Place scoops of the mixture on a parchment covered cookie sheet and gently press the scoops into the shape of burger patties
Place in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the patties to a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy
NOTE: These burgers reheat well and freeze and reheat without getting crumbly. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for 2 months.