Cauliflower and Black Bean Burgers

Another cauliflower post, I know. I apologize…it’s just that after so many years of hating cauliflower, I have somehow fallen fast and hard for it (I attribute to better cooking methods). Alas, my cauliflower kick lives on; this time in the form of a “burger.” Something else you should know about me – specifically my cooking – is that my inspiration comes from my fridge. I take inventory over its contents (I HATE wasting food) and think of how I can prepare the almost-bad veggies in the drawer or re-purpose my leftovers into something new and delicious.

So, when I saw a head of cauliflower in my fridge alongside a big container of black beans I had just cooked up, I figured I should combine them. And whenever I have random ingredients that I want to meld into one dish, I generally start to think of a burger/fritter concoction. It is one of the easiest ways to incorporate lots of different foods (and sneak in veggies) into something delicious that can be served on a bun, over a salad, with a side of veggies or just on its own.

Quick tangent: I have found a revolutionary way of cooking beans, thanks to the Paupered Chef blog. I kid you not, they have discovered a method for cooking beans that requires no pre-soaking and takes 90 minutes start to finish. 90 minutes!! I used to think two hours was good (not including the overnight soaking). Check out the Pauperd Chef’s extreme ingeniousness here.

If using canned beans for this recipe, just make sure you rinse them well to remove all the slimy stuff they’re canned in (or if cooking dried beans yourself, be sure to rinse them when they’re done). That “slimy stuff” contains raffinose and stachyose, two complex carbohydrates that are difficult to digest, and thus cause gas. Rinsing the beans not only makes them less gas-inducing, but also removes about 1/3 of the salt from the beans. And we all could use less salt in our diets.

Cauliflower_Burger_with_Ketchup

Yes, that’s ketchup on top. And yes, I still love ketchup like a 5 year old.

Cauliflower and Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated cauliflower (about 1/2 head) – I used a box grater for this
  • 3/4 cups cooked or canned black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (for cooking)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients through chili powder in bowl and mix until clumpy (mixture will still be somewhat loose, but will still stick together). Heat olive oil in large pan. Form cauliflower mixture into patties and transfer to pan (again, they will fall apart a little but you can re-shape them into patties once they’re in the pan). Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, or until browned.

Pictured above with a kale salad with mustard vinaigrette and topped with…ketchup. Don’t judge. I just love ketchup.

Would also be good with salsa and avocado, or even crumbled into a taco.

 

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cauliflower Pizza “Crust”

I will admit to being a total girl and getting the idea for a cauliflower-based pizza crust from Pinterest. I mean, let’s be honest though, Pinterest is amazing! What else would I spend my time on? Something meaningful and productive? I think not.

I had recently seen lots of pins about a cauliflower pizza crust and/or cauliflower “bread sticks.” After making Tandoori Cauliflower a couple weeks ago, I became cauliflower’s biggest fan (never really liked it before). I knew I had to test out the crust idea. Plus, at least half of my coworkers are allergic to either gluten and/or dairy. So I am always looking for recipes that they can also enjoy.

Most of the recipes I found on Pinterest contained mozzarella cheese, so I adjusted to my needs (dairy-free, gluten-free). I was skeptical as to whether this would taste great or gross, and must say that my expectations were blown out of the water! This was absolutely delicious. My only problem was that I didn’t make enough of it. I can’t wait to try it with different toppings and maybe a little cheese (I don’t have an intolerance, so why punish myself — cheese is delicious).

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower_Pizza_Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head raw cauliflower, riced (using potato ricer) or grated (should look like little cheese-like crumbles)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in pan for 1 minute. Add minced onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread cauliflower mixture onto parchment. Shape into 8″-9″ circle. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until top is browned and crust is crisp.

Top with your favorite pizza ingredients. I spread mine with tomato paste, sweet pepper jam, crunchy kale and kalamata and green olives and baked an additional 7 minutes. With the pepper jelly and an extra sprinkling of chili pepper flakes, it was the perfect sweet/spicy combo!

*Since the original recipes I saw called for 1 cup shredded mozzarella, I replaced with 1/2 cup nutritional yeast to give a cheesy taste without actual cheese. If you’ve never used nutritional yeast, it has a cheesy taste, is vegan and gluten-free and contains protein (6 g per 1/4 cup), phosphorous (supports bone health) and potassium (helps regulate blood pressure among other things). Not to mention that 1/2 cup (the amount used in the entire recipe) contains only 90 calories (plus 12 grams protein). You can find nutritional yeast at Whole Foods and/or at your local health food store.