Before I give you the recipe I want to talk a moment about the importance of consuming adequate protein. This is an issue that many vegetarians side-step, much to their detriment. Vegetarians must combine legumes with grains in order to consume sufficient protein. Why is protein so important? Protein is responsible for cell growth. Every part of our body is made of cells. When we don’t consume enough protein, the body will actually consume our muscles and organs to get the protein it needs. Mental stability is reliant on sufficient stores of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and without these we can’t produce serotonin adequately. Many vegetarians are over-reliant on carbohydrate foods to keep their energy and mood elevated: quick sugar-producing refined flour foods and caffeine, which wear off quickly and destabilize blood sugar. Eating meals with a sufficient ratio of protein to carbohydrate (especially in the form of vegetables with some whole grains,) and healthy fats (especially the omega-3 kinds found in flax, walnuts and fish) provides stable energy throughout the day and is protective of diabetes.
To Infinity and Beyond Hemp Seed Burgers (yields 6)
2 c (1 15-oz can) cooked black beans 1 c cooked brown rice
½ c live or GF bread crumbs ½ c shelled hemp seed
¼ c rolled oats 2 Tbs cashew butter or tahini
1 small onion, chopped 1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp parsley ¼ tsp rosemary
¼ tsp thyme ¼ tsp dill
1 generous pinch of cayenne extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
Combine beans, rice, bread crumbs, hempseed, oats & cashew butter in a large bowl. Place 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet; add onion and sauté over medium heat. When onion begins to sizzle, stir in herbs, salt & spice and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add to bean mixture and mix well. With moist hands, form into patties. Heat a generous amount of oil in skillet. Fry burgers until golden and crisp on the outside, and browned evenly.