Black Bean Mushroom Burgers with Cilantro Aioli

My kids fought over who got the last burger. THAT is a good sign. This was an attempt on my part to create a gluten-free burger that was satisfying, full of flavor, and a great source of fiber/protein.  Cost effective, and easy to prepare, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ingredients (yield: 6 burgers)


2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup diced leeks

1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 Tbsp. flax meal

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder


3 Tbsp. ancient grains GF flour

1 Tbsp. organic cornmeal

1 tsp. sea salt

Cilantro Aioli:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 clove of garlic

4 Tbsp. mayo substitute (Just Mayo)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. jalapeno pepper hot sauce


Burgers: In olive oil, sauté leeks, mushrooms, and garlic for 7-10 minutes. Add pumpkin seeds, and cooked black beans, sauté for 5 more minutes. Add flax meal, cumin, paprika, sea salt, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Saute for 5 more minutes.  While still warm, mash well with a potato masher, then set aside while preparing breading and aioli.

Breading: Combine ancient grains, cornmeal, and sea salt onto a platter.  Mix well.  Form burgers mixture into circular patties (about 2 inch L x 2 inch W x 1/2 H) Bread each side of burger with the platter mixture.  Lay on parchment and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours+ prior to grilling.

Cilantro Aioli: This is not a traditional aioli. There are no eggs in this combination.  To prepare this mixture, you can place all the ingredients into a bowl and emulsify until pureed.

To Grill Burgers: When you’re ready to grill the burgers, heat olive oil in a pan and carefully grill on each side until darkened.  They are gluten-free, so handle with care. I served mine with avocado, butter lettuce, grilled pineapple, grilled red bell peppers/red onions, and cilantro aioli on a sourdough baguette. Sourdough, from research, is better for digestion. Some gluten-free folks believe it is okay to consume because of the fermentation that occurs when preparing. If you are incredibly gluten-free sensitive, and prefer not to take a chance, I know Udi’s make’s decent burger buns.







GF Black Bean and Vegetable Empenadas

Empenadas; little pockets of goodness!  Having originated from Spain, these pastries are extremely popular throughout Latin and South America, and are often compared to the “hot pocket” of America.  Traditionally, they are often filled with meat, raisins, and olives. However sweet ones do exist , and are often made with guava and cream cheese, or fruit filled. Normally, they are fried.  I like to oven bake mine to make a healthier version. I chose to fill mine with black beans and a medley of diced vegetables.  They are so versatile, you can use the dough and fill them as you like. They are normally fried, but I like to bake mine to make them healthier.



Yield: 12 empenadas



2 1/4  + 1/3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill all purpose GF flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup of Spectrum organic shortening

1  cup of water

2 Tbsp. of egg replacer from EnerG

* Parchment Paper and a sheet pan for baking.


1. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cup flour, egg replacer, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Use a fork to stir in water a few Tbsp. at a time, until the mixture forms a ball. Add the remaining 1/3 flour to make certain the texture is correct. Pat into a ball, and flatten slightly.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Make filling while dough is refrigerating.





2 Tbsp. of olive oil + 1/4 cup (set aside 1/4 cup for brushing onto finished pockets)

1 small vidalia onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups of precooked black beans

1/4 cup yellow squash, chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup organic raisins

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1/8 cup of fresh chopped cilantro


1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender.  Add the squash, black beans, garlic, paprika, cumin, and black pepper. Cook. Stir frequently.  Add raisins, lime juice, and cilantro. Adjust salt as needed.

3. Take the dough from the refrigerator.  Form the dough into 2 inch balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball out into a thin circle. Spoon some of the filling onto the center. Fold into half moon shapes.  Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers or by using a pastry crimper.  Lay finished stuffed and folded pockets onto parchment paper.

4. Brush with additional 1/4 cup olive oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.