2 cans (16 oz) black beans
2 whole carrots, shredded
1/2 apple, finely chopped (I used a Braeburn for its firmness and sweet/tart flavor
3/4 cup salsa -or- 2 green onions, 1 Roma tomato, 1/4 green pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper, all finely chopped + 3 tablespoon tomato paste
2 to 3 cups oats
1/4 cup wheat germ (or wheat bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons oregano or Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 to 4 cloves minced garlic (or 1 to 2 tablespoon of the canned stuff)
1 cup reconstituted textured soy protein or couscous
Drain beans. In a large mixing bowl, mash them with a fork, potato masher, or your hands.
Boil just over a cup of water and reconstitute your textured soy protein or couscous now, if you haven't already done so.
Shred carrots and chop veggies if you're using those instead of the salsa. Combine those and all other ingredients with the smashed beans. Start by adding just 2 cups of oats.
The mixture should be sticky, not too dry, but definitely not gooey. Just think of the consistency of raw ground beef (if that doesn't gross you out). The next step will determine if you need to make it wetter or dryer.
Start warming your skillet on the stove about now. Keep it on med-low to warm it, in case the next step takes longer than expected.
Non-stick coat your hands with either a bit of olive oil or flour. Scoop about 3/4 cup of mixture into your hands, roll around, and press into a patty.
You should be able to do this fairly easily, without the mixture crumbling up or being a non-manageable handful of goo.
If mixture is too dry, add salsa. If mixture is too wet, add oats.
Coat your skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and slap down the patty. If you can help it, place the freshly-formed patty right from your hand, rather than laying it down somewhere and trying to pick it back up...it's not too easy.
Wait until the first side is at least somewhat browned before flipping the patty over. I also recommend having a spatula that is at least as big as, or close to, the size of the patty. These two steps will make it easier to fry up the patty without it falling apart.
Serve on your favorite crusty vegan bread or wheat bun. Top with your favorite burger toppings, such as mustard, sliced tomato, and crisp bib lettuce or spinach.
This recipe yielded 16 patties for me, but this may vary depending on the size you prefer. Since this makes quite a lot of burgers, I recommend freezing at least half of this mixture in a well-sealed container.
This recipe is also super-sweet because of the variety of protein sources, its high-fiber and low-fat content, and flexibility--you can always add more or less seasoning depending on your taste.