Easy-Peasy Bean Burger

I have a pretty serious hoarding problem. It’s present in pretty much every room of my house.

The good thing is that my obsession has to do with recipes. Not yarn balls, old comic books, plastic flower arrangements or kittens.

I scour newspapers, magazines, my favorite food blogs (TheKitchen and 101Cookbooks are two fantastic ones!) and Pinterest for recipe ideas. A file folder in my kitchen is overflowing with recipes that I’ve collected for several years now. There is a stack of cookbooks next to the bed that I like to leaf through for inspiration before going to bed. (Yes, I read cookbooks at night while other people read Danielle Steele). And, my desk always has a pile of freshly printed recipes waiting just to be whisked off into the kitchen.

While I love “recipe hunting,” it’s always a special treat when someone passes a tried and true recipe on to me. It’s the recipes you pick up along the way from family, friends and acquaintances you meet at pot luck dinners that always have special memories attached to them – who they came from, how we came about them, and why we’re so fond of them. And, when we make these recipes it’s impossible to not remember the person who shared it with us.

Making and eating food together is such a powerful way of connecting across generations, continents, coasts and cultures.

This week I want to share a recipe from my dear friend Gordon in San Francisco. Gordon and I completed our therapeutic nutrition certifications together and when I’m in his neighborhood he always invites me over for tea. We spend an hour or two catching up, discussing our latest nutrition discoveries and he ALWAYS shares one of his latest recipes with me. I saw him late April and he told me about a new bean burger recipe he had perfected that his clients were going totally crazy over. I thought, “yeah, yeah, I’ve seen a million bean burger recipes. They are messy and always fall apart.” I was skeptical but I promised to try the recipe when I got home.

Turns out, Gordon shared the ultimate secret to making a fool-proof bean burger with me! Chill it!

When Gordon walked me through the recipe he made a pretty big deal about needing to chill the burgers first. I’m not a fan of following directions very closely but I also didn’t want to mess up his recipe. I put my ego aside and followed his instructions. They turned out great! (Note to self….follow directions!)

I took the liberty of making a few little tweaks to his recipe and want to share it with you today. And, when you make these burgers think of me and my friend Gordon in San Francisco!

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In the comments below tell me what treasured recipe you’ve received that has some wonderful memories attached to it.

Easy-Peasy Spiced Bean Burger
Serves 4-5

1 can black beans (kidney beans work as well), drained and rinsed with hot water. The hot water helps to remove the metallic taste from the can. (Eden Organic brand recommended)
½ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
½ cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon Tamari (San-J brand preferred)
2 tablespoons tomato paste or salsa
1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, smoked paprika (you can use your own mix of preferred spices)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon coconut or olive oil


  1. Place rinsed beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher. An immersion blender is great for this process. Adding a splash of hot water can help break up the beans
  2. Stir in the rice, oats, tamari, tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. If the mixture is a bit wet you can add a bit more oats. If it’s too dry add a splash of water.
  3. You can divide the mixture into 4 large balls or 5 medium sized ones. Shape into 1 inch patties and place them on a plate and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. This is a crucial step as it will help keep the burgers together!
  4. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Grill the patties until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Carefully flip the burgers so they don’t fall apart.

You can serve this alongside a shredded cabbage slaw, potato salad or with a fried egg on top for breakfast.

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One Response to Easy-Peasy Bean Burger

  1. Bernie August 22, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Being a red meat and potatoes kind of guy, I absolutely loved these! Add some guacamole on top instead of your typical condiments for some great flavor. These bean burgers are going to be added to the “normal dinner rotation” in our household. Thank you for sharing and thank you Gordon!

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