March 13, 2012

Tex-Mex veggie burgers




Lately, I've been addicted to the Homesick Texan blog which I found from Rabbit Food Rocks, which I found from Herbivoracious. That is what I call blog shopping. So many cooks, so little time.

I spent an entire afternoon carefully gleaning what I wanted to cook from the Homesick Texan blog. Because I'm resourceful and a planner, I brought ancho chili powder back with me from my US visit.  Planner: bring back hard-to-find ingredients; resourceful: I came up with these Tex-Mex veggie burgers.

Oats make an excellent binder in veggie burgers. I think these could easily do without the eggs. Plan to use cooked rice and cooked beans (or canned beans) in the burgers. It saves time.

Tex-Mex veggie burgers
Recipe inspired from various postings on the Homesick Texan blog
Yield: 8 patties; use 1/2 cup measurement to shape and mold. 

2 cups of cooked beans (I used a mixture of pinto and red kidney 3:1)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, shredded or minced fine
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup mixed chopped parsley and cilantro
1 cup cooked long-grain rice (approx.)
3/4 cup oats, can use up to 1 cup, or a bit more
2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs, or homemade ones
2 eggs
SECRET (not-so-secret anymore!) ingredient: about 2 tbsp canned jalapeno chunks and a bit of their juices

Ancho chili powder
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1/3 tsp cayenne chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp dried basil or oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika (such as Spanish or Hungarian hot paprika)
pinch cinnamon

To prepare the ancho chili powder, mix everything together in a small bowl and set aside. You'll use up all of it in the burger recipe.

Note: Things that make this dish go faster: 1. have all the beans cooked before you begin. 2. have rice cooked. If you don't have cooked rice to start, begin by cooking 1 cup of long-grain rice (in a medium sized sauce pan add 1 cup of long grain rice and 2 and 1/4 cups water. Heat up over high heat, stirring the rice about two times, until the rice looks porous. Once it looks porous and filled with wholes and is bubbling like crazy but you don't think the water will cook off. Cover the rice with a lid, turn the heat off and let it sit there until ready to use (or let it sit there for at least 15 minutes, don't touch it). 

Alright have you located your beans and rice? Good.

Take cooked beans and place them in a large mixing bowl. To this bowl add chopped canned jalapeno chunks along with some of the canned juices. Add in herbs and mix together. Remove about 1 cup of the mixture and set this aside, then smash (with a potato masher) the remaining beans in the big bowl together.

Next, heat up 1 tbsp of peanut oil in a cast-iron pan over medium heat. Saute the onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. When the mushrooms begin to brown at the edges, toss in the garlic and stir around until just fragrant. Is there anything better than the smell of sauteing garlic? For real.

Now back to the mashed beans. When the sauteed veggies are cool enough to handle add them to the bowl along with the chili powder. Using your hands or a big spoon mix everything together. Add in 1/2 cup of the oats and 1/2 cup of the rice. Start mixing everything together. You want everything to stick together without falling apart. Add the eggs and work it in little by little with the remaining rice and oats, and breadcrumbs. Using your hands is the best way to tell if everything is sticking together.

Place the bowl in the fridge and allow it to set for 30 minutes or longer. This does two things, it allows the oats to expand a bit, and it makes the mixture stick together. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup as a mold, spoon the mixture and tamp it down with a spoon (or your hand). Carefully, remove it; give it a few smacks against a cutting board and shape it into a patty.

Fry them 4 at a time in a cast-iron pan about 4-5 minutes each side before flipping. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber slices, pickled jalapenos, and anything else.


  1. Nice! I make my veggie burgers with kidney beans, broccoli and potatoes but these look good too. I'll have to try it out when I get back to the states next week.


  2. Jai! OMG! I love your quiz on the blog, what a creative idea. Welcome back to the blogosphere, you were missed!

  3. i generally find that i don't like rice in my veggie burgers. at least from the commercially available ones, the rice always seems like a tasteless filler... how did you feel about it in these? have you ever added water chestnuts? it makes for an interesting crunchy texture.

    i'm still a sucker for a black bean burger...

    1. Black beans would be a totally acceptable substitute here (cannot find them at the time at two of my usual stockup places); omit the rice if you don't like, maybe add more beans, and try with water chestnuts? I was so happy with the way these turned out, but I still remember your leek and lentil ones. Send the recipe and I'll post it (I already searched through my emails and can't find it. Mmmm Carolina Brewery burger. Mmmmm

  4. So we had people over for burger night today.. and of course some vegetarian guests as well.. I made a batch of these... and they were a hit! ... annddd... we still have some left over for our lunch tomorrow! Can't wait to get to work!

    That is a lie.

    But still. Can't wait for lunch :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Thanks Nico - I love the feedback! Glad they turned out so well. i need to make a batch of these again too! Just curious, did you pair them with a beer when served?