Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean VeganQuinoa and black beans are two proteins that are just meant to be together. The original recipe for the burgers is from Vegetarian Times, but I made a few alterations. I also added a slice of Daiya cheese (Havarti style wedge) and I made some guac to top it off. The recipe also calls for steak seasoning, and as a vegan, I don’t typically stock up on that stuff, so I went with a blend of Old Bay and a Garlic and Wine seasoning. And don’t expect a dry consistency with these burgers—they’re crispy on the outside and soft and moist inside. These can be made ahead, and even frozen, so they make a great lunch as well when you don’t have a lot of time.

 

INGREDIENTS:
Burgers:
1/2 C quinoa (I used a blend of red, wheat, and black quinoa which I found in the bulk section of the store)
1 C onion, chopped fine
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped fine
1 15-oz can black beans, drained, rinsed, and divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Garlic & Wine seasoning
1/4 C flax seed
5-6 hamburger buns
Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1/2 C diced tomatoes
2 Tbs red onion, diced
1 Tbs lime juice
1/4 C cilantro, optional
2 tsp Mt. Elbert All Purpose Seasoning from  Savory

 

DIRECTIONS:
In a small saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups of water with the quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, combine the onion and sun-dried tomatoes. The oil left on the tomatoes will be plenty of oil for sauteeing. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add 3/4 cup of the black beans, garlic, seasoning, and 1-1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor, along with 3/4 cup of the quinoa and process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the black beans and quinoa. I also added some flax seed to the mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan(Yes, I know, it looks really unappetizing right now…)

I made these earlier in the day, so I covered the mixture and let it cool in the fridge for about an hour. When you’re ready to make the patties, preheat the oven to 350. Spray a pan with cooking spray and set aside. Make 5-8 patties (depending on how large you make them) and place onto the pan.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean VeganBake for 20-22 minutes, then flip and bake another 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the guac, mash the avocados with a pastry blender. Add the other ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

If using Daiya cheese, throw a slice or two onto the burgers during the last minute of baking—it’ll melt quickly.

Enjoy!

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

Guac & Bean Tacos

Guac & Bean Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

If you need a fast and fresh dinner (or lunch) these are ideal. I really like La Tortilla Factory’s homemade style tortillas for these. They’re a cross between a corn and flour tortilla and are the perfect size.

INGREDIENTS:

4 avocados
1/2 C diced white or red onion
1/2 to 1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp lime juice
1 can black beans, undrained
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tomato diced
Tortillas
Lettuce, diced (optional)

Guac & Bean Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the avocados and add the onion, lime juice, and garlic salt.

Guac & Bean Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

In a small sauce pan, heat the beans, stirring often, until heated through. Get ready to assemble . . .

Guac & Bean Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Layer on some avocado mixture, cilantro, beans, and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Tortilla Lasagna

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganThis was a smash hit with the family. The original recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of Vegetarian Times, but I made a few changes and added some ingredients, such as green onion, cilantro, and black olives. Personally, if those three ingredients aren’t in a Mexican dish like this, don’t bother. Just saying . . . I really liked using flour tortillas, but feel free to use the corn variety, especially if you’d like to make a gluten-free version.

INGREDIENTS:
6, 8-inch flour tortillas
1 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 Tbs chili powder (I used 1 Tbs ground cumin)
2 tsp ancho chile powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C strained tomatoes, divided (I used a can of crushed tomatoes)
1, 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 med chayote, peeled and diced or 2 med zucchinis, diced (I went with the zucchinis)
1/2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels
1-1/2 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Daiya cheeses)
Optional ingredients: (totally worth it)
black olives, green onion, guacamole, Tofutti sour cream, salsa

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/2 cups of the tomatoes, black beans, zucchini, corn, and 1/2 cup of water.  Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Meanwhile, place the tortillas on a large baking sheet and toast them for 5 minutes, turning once. Then, coat a 2″ deep by 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup of the tomatoes on the bottom and spread around. Lay one tortilla on the bottom; top with about 3/4 cup of the bean mixture and some cheese.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Repeat four more times, then top with last tortilla.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top and sprinkle on the last of cheese. If using, top with green onion and black olives.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Top with some diced avocados or guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

8-Layer Dip

8-Layer Dip -- Epicurean VeganWho needs 7 layers when you can have 8? This is also much like my Soyrizo Layer Dip, but with minor changes. Always a crowd-pleaser, this dip is not difficult to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:
1 16-oz can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 C Tofutti sour cream
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 C salsa
1 large tomato, diced
3 green onion (white and green parts), sliced thin
1/2 to 1 C vegan cheddar, shredded
1 3.8-oz can sliced black olives
1 tsp garlic salt
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium-sized bowl, smash up the avocado. Sprinkle with garlic salt, cilantro, and lime juice; thoroughly combine.  On a 8-9″ plate, layer on beans, sour cream, avocado mixture, and salsa. Next, layer on the cheese, tomato, green onions, and olives. This is would be a good time to admire the beauty of it, because it’s gonna be gone as soon as the guests get one taste! Serve with corn tortilla chips (pita crisps would be good, too) and enjoy!