Island Bean Burgers with Caribbean-Style Creole Sauce

One of my favorite go-to cookbooks is Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano. It’s filled with delicious recipes that are healthy, inexpensive and easy to make. When I saw that she had a new cookbook out, The Tropical Vegan Kitchen, I immediately checked it out from the library.
Last night I tried my first recipe from it – Island Bean Burgers with Caribbean-Style Creole Sauce. Although I have tried many bean burger recipes before, and liked them, I never thought I’d classify one as an “Oh, my God!” recipe. But that is exactly what I exclaimed when I took my first bite of this. The burgers themselves were very good, but the sauce just took them over to fantastic! Seriously. I’m already looking forward to making them again.
I had them with roasted sweet potato wedges… which I dipped into the extra sauce, of course! Yum!

Island Bean Burgers with Caribbean-Style Creole Sauce
The Tropical Vegan Kitchen, Donna Klein

For a spicier burger, add a dash of hot pepper sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the bean mixture before cooking.

1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1 cup cooked brown rice, preferably warm
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil (I used canola)
4 hamburger buns, preferably whole wheat
Caribbean-Style Creole Sauce (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, mix together the beans, rice, onion, ketchup, chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined. Mash well with a potato masher. Divide mixture into 4 balls. With wet hands, form each ball into an even patty.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place each patty inside a hamburger bun and serve at once, passing the Creole sauce separately.

4 servings

Caribbean-Style Creole Sauce

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 teaspoon molasses
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or more to taste (I used sriracha – Thai hot chili sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the parsley and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup, water, vinegar, lime juice, molasses, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remover from heat and let cool to room temperature. Mixture can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Makes about 1 cup
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