MOUTHWATERING RECIPE: Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers


With their many health and environmental benefits, vegetarian and vegan diets are gaining popularity all over the world. Experts recommend that 70% of the foods we consume should come from plants, and studies show that vegetarian diets help reduce weight and even lower the risk of diseases.

But the biggest challenge is finding meat-less foods that taste great and satisfy our cravings.

This summer, try some savory and nutritious Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers created by the ladies at Spork Foods. Paired with whole-wheat buns, these hearty burgers are a great source of vitamins, protein, and fiber.

The sandwiches are also tasty, making them great for a family meal or a pool-side party with friends!

Spork Foods is a gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live vegan organic cooking classes in Los Angeles at Spork Foods. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently in stores, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel. Heather and Jenny are Chef Ambassadors for two major corporations, GO Veggie! Foods and Setton Farms. They teach all over the country and the world reaching about 10,000 people a year.

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon neutral tasting high-heat oil, plus
  • 12 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 12 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 12 large red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Dash sea salt, plus 12 teaspoon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 34 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or 2 slices spelt bread
  • Whole grain mini burger buns
  • Optional: ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, tomato and lettuce

How to Make It

  1. Preheat large (6-quart) pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add corn, bell pepper, dash of sea salt and black pepper. Cook until mixture is slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes, and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, combine black beans, chipotle powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and agave. Pulse it all together for 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add oats and bread crumbs or spelt bread. Pulse until uniform, scraping down sides to further incorporate into food processor.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl.
  7. Add cooked onion and pepper mixture to bowl and fold into veggie burger mixture.
  8. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add remaining oil.
  9. With damp hands, form burgers into patties and place in heated pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned.
  10. Serve on a toasted mini bun with cashew cheese (if using) and desired toppings!