I'm not a big fan of "veggie burgers" although I'll eat them. Most are pretty expensive too. But this one is every bit as delicious as a meat hamburger, cheap, and full of vitamins and other nutrients plus fiber and stick-to-your-ribs protein. Serve topped with your favorite salsa (tomato or avocado), chili sauce, ketchup or sour cream (full fat or reduced). Or pop it into a burger bun with a slice of non-fat cheese, a thick slice of tomato and a wad of lettuce, and it will take several bites before they figure out it's not a high-cholesterol treat. If any cooked bean burgers are left over, crumble and heat briefly in the microwave the next day to use in tacos, burritos or pita pockets, along with whatever else your family likes to have in them.
1 16-oz or 15-oz can black beans (unseasoned) (Note
Place the beans with their juices in a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until at least half the beans are well mashed (don't mash completely, however, nor use a food processor).
Add the egg, bread crumbs, flax or wheat germ, seasonings and vinegar and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to chill and set up.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the finely chopped onion and bell peppers and sauté, stirring frequently, until they start to brown. If using jalapeno or other hot pepper, add it now and sauté another minute. Add the white wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced to nothing.
Add the sautéed veggies to the seasoned black bean mix, stir to combine, and chill another ten to fifteen minutes.
When ready to serve, heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray well with cooking spray. Take a spoonful of bean mix about the size of a golf ball and drop into the corn meal. Turn gently to coat, then press to flatten slightly. Turn over and flatten some more. Pick it out of the corn meal and finish flattening to hamburger shape. Place in skillet. Cook until burgers are starting to set; spray tops with cooking spray and flip over. Cook until they start to brown. Spray tops lightly and turn again and cook until that side starts to brown. Serve promptly while hot.
Note #1: Depending on the brand of beans you use, you may find that the mixture is too loose or too dry. Next time, you can either increase or reduce the bread crumbs. The chilled mixture should be like VERY soft biscuit dough, almost too soft to handle.
Note #2: If cholesterol is of special concern, use two egg whites instead of a whole egg.
Note #3: A teaspoon of olive oil or cooking spray can be substituted on low heat if low fat is high priority.
Note #4: These burgers are fine without any hot pepper. Don't go there unless you are accustomed to the heat.
Note #5: If you don't use wine in cooking, add water, tomato juice or chicken broth.