Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Servings: 4

2 Tablespoons flax meal + 5 tablespoons water
Coconut or olive oil for cooking
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped (opt)
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup packed spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cup (or 1 can) cooked black beans, rinsed & drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 cup oat flour (ground-up rolled oats)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl; set aside in the fridge.
2. To cook quinoa, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Rinse quinoa in a small mesh strainer. Once oil is hot, add quinoa to the saucepan and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Add 1 cup water; turn the heat to high. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 13-15 minutes.
3. *Meanwhile, cook chopped onions with some water in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often. Add bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), and garlic; cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir immediately, letting it wilt slightly. Turn the heat off.
4. In a large bowl, add black beans; mash with a fork, leaving some texture. Add cooked quinoa, sautéed vegetables, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, cayenne, and reserved flax eggs. Mix until combined, then add oat flour. Stir.
5. Form 10-12 patties depending on desired size (see notes for a cool little trick!). Place on baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes, flip, then bake for 25-30 more minutes, until browned and crispy.
6. Serve on a whole-wheat hamburger bun with guacamole, barbecue sauce, and other desired toppings, or on top of a salad.

You don’t have to sauté the vegetables, but I think it really brings out the flavors better. If not sautéing, simply mash them directly in the bowl with the black beans and other ingredients. To get evenly shaped burgers, line the lid of a jar (I use a peanut butter jar lid) with wax paper or foil. Stuff the lid with the burger mixture, then flip it over onto the baking sheet and remove the wax paper.