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RECIPE: A Vegan Burger Meat Lovers Will Envy

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Ah, summer time. It may not be here *quite* yet, but the past few days of thirty degree weather certainly had my mind on the months ahead and all that this season has to offer.

I spent the better part of last weekend tidying up my 17th floor balcony, readying it for its duty as an extension to my home, an extra room that I tend to spend the majority of my time during the months of June, July and August.

This is where I enjoy many a morning meal, indulge in plenty of afternoon lounging with a good book, and entertain in the evening; meals served al fresco almost seven days a week.

And here in Canada, no outdoor space is complete without a BBQ. Yes, grilling is part of our DNA I'd say, and even though I do not eat meat, there will still be plenty of burgers flipped on my mini-Coleman. I decided it high time that I develop a new vegan burger recipe that I can enjoy, but that also caters to those with grain-free and nut-free lifestyles, but is still tasty, filling, and sturdy!

And this challenge was met with great success, as the following patty product stood up solidly to the char, and was divine with a side of grilled peppers and local asparagus and topped with avocado salsa!

Black Bean Burgers

Makes 8 patties

1 can black beans
1 large clove garlic
2 T tahini
Juice of 1 lime
1.5 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
1 t chili powder
1 t curry
1 t sea salt
½ C ground flax seed, plus 1 C

½ cup diced red onion
¼ cup grated carrot
¼ cup diced yellow or orange pepper
¼ cup salsa (I used an organic bottled version)

1. In food processor, blend first 9 ingredients with ½ cup flax until combined.
2. Add in the onion, carrot, pepper, and salsa and continue to process until combined, but still a little chunky. The mixture will be quite moist at this point.
3. Remove mixture to large bowl and stir in remaining 1 cup of ground flax until well combined. The liquid in the mix should absorb the flax and it will become more dough like.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour
5. Once the dough is well cooled, it will be easier to handle. Shape into 8 patties, and either grill straight away, or freeze individually on a baking sheet, transferring to Ziploc bag or glass freezer container to store.