Red Beans + Rice Burgers

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Living on the east side of Houston has connected me to some fun friends from Louisiana. To a person, everyone I’ve met from that state has been warm and friendly and genuinely nice. I’m a fan.

And one of my favorite road trips is to New Orleans. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m due for one of those soon. That city feeds my soul and has the best quirky and inviting vibe of any city I’ve ever visited. So with Mardi Gras approaching, I started getting in the mood last week and came up with this simple tasty recipe.

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There really are only a few ingredients for this baby. Rice. Beans. Onions. Something to bind it all together. And a little dash of creole magic. Super simple but yummy enough to serve to friends. Maybe a Mardi Gras party!?!

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To combine the bean and rice mixture, I used the Neat Egg, egg substitute, for the first time. It’s made from chia seeds and garbanzo bean flour. I picked it up at Whole Foods and I really like it a lot. You could substitute ground flax seeds mixed with water and have the same results.

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For the recipe, I cooked Jasmine rice according to the package directions. I like this rice because it cooks in about 12 minutes (not 50, which I never seem to have time for). Then I mixed the rice with small red beans, but you could use kidney beans too. I mashed the beans and rice together with a potato masher, added the neat egg, onions, seasoning and shaped to mixture into patties.

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I cooked the burgers on a cast iron griddle until browned. To serve, I topped them with green zebra tomatoes from the farmers market, sliced onion and a smoky pimenton mayo (my new favorite spice!). Ya Ya Yum! My whole family loved it. Simple. Flavorful. Festive.

Red Beans + Rice Burgers

Makes about 6

1/2 cup jasmine rice

15oz small red beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped white onion

1 Tbsp Neat Egg, egg substitute or ground flax seed

3 Tbsp water

2 tsp Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning or other creole/cajun spice blend

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Smoky mayo (recipe follows)

Tomatoes, sliced

Prepare rice according to package directions (can substitute vegetable broth for the water to add more flavor to the rice). Transfer 1 cup of rice to a large bowl (save any leftover rice for another use). Add drained red beans. Mash beans and rice together using a potato masher, leaving some beans whole.

Mix egg substitute with water. Add neat egg mixture to beans and rice and stir to combine. Add chopped onion and creole seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Form mixture into patties and cook on heated griddle or large sauté pan set over medium high heat until browned on both sides.

Serve topped with sliced tomatoes, onions and smoky mayo.

Smoky Mayo

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

2 tsp smoky pimenton (spanish paprika) or to taste

Whisk together mayo and pimenton until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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