Meatless Monday: Veggie Burgers

By: Lauren Miyashiro
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Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Vegetarian burgers have a bad rep, but can actually be quite delicious. You just need the right recipe, and these really simple black bean burgers are it. Mashed black beans help bind the patties while the whole beans bring a hearty texture. Give your burgers a Cajun spin or stick to the classic seasonings. This recipe is a great starting point for a number of fun variations. All you need to know is that it's easy and tastes good, too.

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black, white, or pinto beans or black-eyed peas

1 cup dried breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 good-quality hamburger buns

Drain 1 can of beans, reserving the liquid, and mash the beans in a medium bowl. Drain the second can, add to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir in Extra Flavorings if using. If necessary, add a little of the bean liquid until the mixture holds together but is not wet. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into 4-inch patties.

Warm the buns in a 300 degree F oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat % cup olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. If you've chosen a burger that gets topped with cheese, add it now. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low, and let the burgers continue to cook until the cheese melts. Top the burgers as desired.

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