Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chorizo Spiced Pinto Bean and Millet Burgers

I considered making seitan chorizo today but then decided I have made too many seitan sausages recently so I opted for burgers for variation. Today’s entire menu is Mexican inspired. I made these burgers, cumin cole slaw and Mexican spiced roasted tomatoes. I will post the other recipes a little later today.

This recipe makes a lot of burgers. When I make veggie burgers I intentionally make many leftovers so that I can freeze them for quick lunches. Veggie burgers freeze and reheat well so they are the perfect make ahead product.

This burger recipe follows my standard method, which is beans, grain or rice, seasonings and vital wheat gluten. Beans form the bulk of the burger and make a nice glue to hold things together. Millet provides a little textural variation and helps to absorb and excess liquid. Vital Wheat Gluten is included to give the burgers a little chew and add additional protein to the burger. I find that burgers made without gluten tend to be too soft for my taste.

Chorizo Spiced Pinto Bean and Millet Burgers
Makes 22 burgers


3 cups pinto beans, sorted, picked through and rinsed
8 cups water to cook pinto beans
3 bay leaves
2 cups of millet
5 cups of water to cook millet
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons oregano, dried
3 tablespoons hot crushed peppers (aka wet hots)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 cup of vital wheat gluten


Cook the pinto beans with the bay leaves until tender. The amount of time the beans take to cook will depend of how long you soaked them, and the age of the dried beans. When the beans are cooled drain them and place in a food processor and process like you are making hummus. If the mixture is dry add some of the bean cooking water so that the mixture texture is similar to mashed potatoes. Move the mashed beans to a large bowl to finish the bean burger mix.

Combine the millet and water in a saucepan with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow to stand 10 minutes before uncovering. Add the millet to the bean mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment or silpat and set aside.

Add the spices to the bean mixture and knead to thoroughly combine. Taste for seasoning before you begin adding the wheat gluten. When you are happy with the flavor add the vital wheat gluten 4 tablespoons at a time and knead into the bean mixture. The reason to add the vital wheat gluten slowly is that it is easier to evenly combine into the dough.

Using a ½ cup measure begin to form the patties. The formed patties should be approximately 5 inches across and about ½ inch thick. Place the patties on the half sheet pans and continue forming until all the bean mixture has been used. I got 22 one half cup burgers out of my mixture.

Spray the top of the burgers with canola oil or pan spray and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes check to see if the burgers are beginning to brown. If they are flip the burgers and spray the other side and cook for another 20 minutes or until the second side is brown.

The burgers can be served right away or wrapped in plastic cling film and frozen until needed.

Nutritional Information (per burger):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 190.66
Calories From Fat (7%) - 13.05

Total Fat - 1.53g
Saturated Fat - 0.26g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 526.9mg
Potassium - 460.79mg
Total Carbohydrates - 32.28g
Fiber - 6.43g
Sugar - 0.9g
Protein - 12.35g


These burgers are somewhat soft, but still hold together like a burger. I don’t know how well these would work on the grill but they work great in the oven. You could also cook them in a cast iron pan with a little oil.

If you choose to freeze these I would suggest defrosting them in the microwave on 30 % power and then crisping them in a cast iron pan coated with a little oil. That is how I reheat mine and it always works fine.

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