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beanburgerThe Fourth of July is coming up—one of my favorite holidays.  Every year, I look forward to the fireworks and the barbecues, but I’ve gotten a little tired of the usual burgers I’ve been serving since 1776…okay, maybe it just seems that long!  While there are plenty of delicious and healthy veggie burgers on the market, this year I’m going to make my own.

Veggie burgers are easy to make, and the possibilities are endless.  Using canned beans as a base (rinse, drain, blot with a paper towel and mash), mix in your favorite cut-up fresh, frozen or canned veggies, and whole grain Panko or cooked quinoa.  Add a beaten egg and your choice of seasonings, and you’re ready to grill!  If you don’t like pieces of vegetables in your burger, you can throw all the ingredients in a food processor, but the chopped vegetables add color and texture.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. Your kids can practice their cooking skills by helping prepare the beans, beating the egg, and mixing the ingredients—which, of course, they can vote on!  I plan to serve them with a green salad, grilled corn on the cob, and watermelon and blueberries in honor of the day!

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers


  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed and blotted with a paper towel
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat Panko


  1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill on high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 °F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. Finely chop the bell pepper, onion, and garlic.  (You can use a food processor if you’d like).  Stir into the mashed beans.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in the Panko until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  6. If grilling, place patties on foil so that they don’t fall through the grates, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, onion and guacamole if desired.

Recipe adapted from

For more veggie burger ideas, visit:

Happy Fourth—and Happy Grilling!

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