Tag Archives: burger

The absolute best black bean burgers

If you can’t tell from my website — or more so, my Instagram — I went through a rather, shall we say, unfortunate phase recently. See, I got these colourful backdrops from DeSerres and thought I’d try photographing everything against super-bright, vibrant blues, greens and purples. In fact, it was when I posted the recipe for my almond-crusted tofu and my balsamic brussels and berries that I realized what a bad choice that was. Such delicious, vibrant food all washed out and drowned by an unflattering, glorified construction paper.

Anyway, I was still in that phase when I photographed this burger. Now, don’t let the yucky background fool you, this burger is the best recipe I’ve made in a long time. I actually had a few photos of it with a nicer setup, but the problem was I covered it in so many toppings! Sorry, I’m just always a sucker for the right amount of pickles and avocado.


Pad Thai burgers

One thing I would love to talk about more on this blog about — if given the chance — is the evolution of how I went from an extremely picky eater to a decidedly unadventurous eater and then finally a total food daredevil.

Here’s a short version: Growing up, I had a lot of weird taste and texture sensitivities to food that would seemingly develop overnight, and I’d go from totally loving a food one day to having a terrible aversion to it. The fear, anxiety and embarrassment only made things worse, and I’d be too afraid to even take a bite of something. It certainly made things difficult for my parents for a long time. In high school, I started to outgrow the full-blown aversions, but I definitely didn’t branch out and try a lot of new things. The main reason for this was that I simply hadn’t been exposed to a lot of foods beyond a typical meat and potatoes diet. My town was very French-Canadian and, well, super white. The most diverse food we had was grocery store sushi.


“Gimme a Beet!” burgers

I was originally going to call these my “Red Rody” burgers. For those of you who don’t know, my biological grandfather’s real name was Aneas, but he had a nice head of strawberry blonde hair (he was Irish) and his friends all called him Red Rody. My Grandpa Bill is my mother’s stepdad, and he’s the sweetest, kindest man I know, but I’ve always been curious about my biological grandfather. I’ve heard he was a great dancer and a real funny man.

But naming a burger after your long-passed grandfather seems kinda dark.

So now let me awkwardly segue into how I’ve been in a huge Janet Jackson phase as of late — late 80’s Janet all the way to current Janet. I think Janet is the most talented, beautiful tropical fish. And one of my favourite songs by her is “Nasty,” which of course is defined by its spunky opening like, “Gimme a beat!” Thus, “Gimme a Beet” burgers, far less weird than naming a burger after a person.

Oh my gosh, can you tell this is my most scattered intro ever? What can I say, I’ve been a bit scattered this week (I’m actually in Santa Monica, CA, as you’re reading this — probably running between keynotes and desperately re-applying my sunscreen).

Now, if you recall, I’m not too hip on beets. I’ve been trying to get myself used to the taste because they seem to be the root veggie du jour and, you know, I wanna be a cool kid. Also, they’re good for you and whatnot. Plus, my partner loves them, and food is best enjoyed together, you know?

So here’s the “Gimme a Beet!” burgers, yummy enough to leave your stomach full and your teeth pink. My partner loved the taste and texture of the walnuts, and the unique flavouring from the thyme!

“Gimme a Beet!” burgers, makes 6 jumbo patties or 10 sliders


  • One 19-oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (toasted, if desired)
  • 1 cup rolled oats, processed into a flour
  • 1 cup sprouted grain breadcrumbs (well, any breadcrumb, really. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life).
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cups grated beets
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots (you can mess around with the balance of carrots and beets)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce (Wizard Brand makes a GF version if you need it). If you can’t find vegan Worcester, balsamic vinegar makes a decent sub
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos (use CA for a gluten-free alternative, or find a gluten-free tamari if you need)
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped (about one ounce)
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A liberal sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)
  • One triple flax egg: 3 tbsp ground flax seed meal and 1/4 cup lukewarm water, thickened for about 5 minutes


  1. Preheat the oven to 35 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Drain and rinse your beans and pour into a large bowl. Mash them up, leaving a few chunks for texture (you can use a masher, or, if you’re gross like me, wash your hands first and just get in there and squeeze ’em).
  3. Add in your onions, beets, garlic and carrots. Work those in.
  4. Work in the liquid ingredients now (Worcester, tamari and oil) and the flax egg.
  5. Now fold in the oat flour, bread crumbs, thyme, spices and nooch (if using).
  6. Shape into six jumbo patties (or 10 sliders) and space out on the parchment.
  7. Cook for about 15 minutes on each side, until the burgers are crispy on each side maintaining enough integrity to not crumble on your flipper).

As you can see, I topped mine with some veggies and Toffuti slices on a thin bun, but I’m not here to tell you how to enjoy your burger. Now, beet it! My Irish ass is getting a tan (or burnt, probably. Yeah, burnt).

“Green P” Veggie Burger


In Toronto, we call municipal pay parking lots “Green P.” So naturally I wanted to name this a “Parking Lot Burger.” But I think that’s the part of my sense of humour that gets a little too subversive, a little too, “Yeah, people will get this, right? They’ll think it’s quirky?”

Not so much.

So I’ve settled on “Green P” Burger. Because it’s green, and it’s made of peas.

Yes, peas. I’ve always thought peas were dreadfully boring. It’s one of the few foods I didn’t hate as a child, which is probably why I think they’re boring. I had such a tame pallet as a child. Anyway, I was actually going for a varied, veganized version of A Beautiful Mess’s Spicy Edamame Burger. And then, tragedy struck (read: Bree did something stupid).

I bought a bag of frozen green peas instead of frozen edamame.

The horror! You can’t make peas into a damn burger. What is this, Bizzarro World?

We decided against going out again and toughed it out — we made burgers out of peas.

I varied on A Beautiful Mess’s recipe quite a bit to make it not only vegan but gluten-free, so this is a great burger for all sorts of dietary restrictions (of course, I didn’t have it on a GF bun, because I’ve been good about gluten lately and rewarded myself with a big, giant hunk o’ bread). Terroni peppers, by the way, are these Italian hot peppers sold in jars in an Italian restaurant in Midtown Toronto. You can use any hot pepper your little heart desires but make sure that they are 1) cut into chunks and 2) softened in some way, like soaked in an oil, brine, or maybe even roasted.


  • 500 grams frozen green peas, cooked
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup (certified gluten-free for y’all celiac friends) rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor to a coarse flour
  • 1 Tbsp Terroni peppers or other finely diced, soft hot pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • One flax egg (1 tbsp flax/3 tbsp lukewarm water, mixed and sat for no more than 30 seconds)


  1. Cook the peas according to the package instructions. Drain thoroughly;
  2. Grind up the rolled oats;
  3. Put about half of the coarse oat flour and 2/3 of the peas into a food processor together. Grind until a mushy paste forms. You may have to do a bit of scraping off the sides and re-pulsing (it’s repulsive!) Set aside in a bowl;
  4. Process the garlic, onion and cilantro;
  5. Place everything into a large bowl, including the Terroni peppers, the unprocessed peas and remaining oat flour. Mix thoroughly with your hands;
  6. Add the flax egg (it’s imperative that you don’t let this plump up like you would for baking. If you do, it will be jelly-like and not spread out into the mixture as easily);
  7. Shape into about five burgers;
  8. Brush with a small amount of oil (I liked this effect more than the flour) and cook either in a stovetop skillet or a countertop grill (which we did)!

Well, that’s my last food post of 2014. I’ll be following up immediately with a “Things I’m Loving” post. Happy 2014, WordPress. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know so many of you. Happy New Year — be safe, do not drink and drive (or get high and drive), do not call or text your ex, do not over-drink, and always help those in need!