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The Vegan’s Athlete Cookbook recipe 3# – black bean burger with guacamole

Anita Bean’s new book The Vegan Athlete’s Cookbook offers nutritious meals to help you perform at your best. Courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing, Anita introduces her recipe for a black bean burger below


Black bean burger (c) Claire Winfield

‘So, what do you eat at a BBQ then?’ is a question I get asked at every BBQ party. In reply, I point them to this scrumptious recipe, which is guaranteed to satisfy the most sceptical non-vegan.

Made with black beans and walnuts, these easy burgers are full of amazing flavour and a brilliant source of plant protein, fibre, folate, magnesium and iron. Serve on a bun with all the trimmings or with grilled slices of courgettes and aubergines, and toasted flatbread.


Recipe – makes four large or eight small burgers

50g wholegrain bread
75g walnuts
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots or ½ red onion, finely chopped
1 small aubergine, cut into 1cm dice
1 small carrot, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
Seeded wholemeal buns
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the guacamole

1 large ripe avocado
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
¼ red onion, finely chopped
½ garlic clove, crushed
1 tomato, skinned* and chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

How to make it

To make the burgers, tear the bread into large pieces, add to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. Add the walnuts to the food processor, pulse until crumbly (but not too fine), then tip into the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the shallots or red onion, aubergine and grated carrot for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 further minute.

Tip the mixture into the bowl of the food processor with the beans, spices, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper; process for about 30 seconds or until you have a coarse purée. It should not be totally smooth – you still want some whole beans in there for texture. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and walnuts and mix in the coriander.

Use a large spoon to scoop out 4 or 8 patties and flatten them into round shapes. Transfer to a large plate and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Brush the patties with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill on a BBQ or fry in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until golden. Alternatively bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 for 25 minutes.

For the guacamole, halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with the lemon or lime juice. Stir through the onion, garlic, tomato, coriander and seasoning.

Serve the burgers on wholemeal seeded buns with a spoonful of guacamole and tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and pickles, if you like.

*To skin the tomato, make a cross in the skin at the base, plunge into a bowl of just boiled water for 30–60 seconds. Remove the tomato from the water and peel with a sharp knife. The skin should come away easily.

Nutrition per large burger

310 calories
10g protein
19g fat (2g saturates)
20g carbs (4g total sugars)
8g fibre

Including one wholemeal bun and one tablespoon guacamole:

593 calories
20g protein
33g fat (5g saturates)
45g carbs (7g total sugars)
16g fibre

More recipes

Check out recipes for Anita’s chickpea omelette and seed bars below:

Buy The Vegan Athlete’s Cookbook

Recipes are from new book The Vegan Athlete’s Cookbook by Anita Bean (Bloomsbury, £16.99). Available to buy now here.