Jason Wrobel's Black Bean Veggie Burgers from his new cookbook

- Celebrity gourmet chef and wellness expert Jason Wrobel is back in town for the launching of his new cookbook at a charity event with fellow vegan-NBA Champ John Salley. The event benefits the rescued animals of Sashafarm in Manchester, Mich. His book, "EATERNITY: 150 Easy Vegan Recipes" drops next week. You can get more information at www.jasonwrobel.com/eaternity.

He joined us on The Nine to tell us more about the book and to prepare one of the recipes from his book. You can get his recipe for black bean veggie burgers and watermelon agua fresca below.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Serves 8
Crafting the perfect veggie burger is an art in itself. This bastion of health food has endured many iterations and variations over the years, and yet, I always go back to a familiar combination: black beans, quinoa, potato, corn, and carrot. These badass burgers are full of complete protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, and dietary fiber-all of which are essential for muscle growth and nutrient absorption. Not to mention, their dense, meaty texture and hearty flavor will have burger aficionados giving you serious props on these patties.

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 small potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked
2-inch piece leek, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 gluten-free hamburger buns
1 tomato, sliced into rounds, reserved for plating
1/2 red onion, sliced into rounds, reserved for plating
2 cups romaine lettuce, torn by hand, reserved for plating
1/2 cup ketchup, reserved for plating
1/4 cup yellow mustard, reserved for plating
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise, reserved for plating
1/2 cup pickle slices, reserved for plating

Transfer about a third of the black beans to a large bowl and lightly mash with a fork. Add the quinoa, carrot, potatoes, corn, leek, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, sea salt, and black pepper, and mix well. The bean mixture should be somewhat sticky. Divide the bean mixture into 8 pieces, roll into balls, and flatten to make patties.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Fry the patties, flipping occasionally, until cooked through with a nice brown coloring on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Serve patties on burger buns topped with tomato, onion, romaine lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and pickles.

Jason's Tip: Top with sliced avocado for some healthy fats, or give your burger an extra kick with some pickled jalapeno peppers!

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Serves 4 to 6
Agua fresca is a traditional Mexican beverage made with fresh fruit. With the inclusion of watermelon as the star, you have an ultra-hydrating drink that is perfect for maintaining deliciously dewy skin year-round. Research shows that watermelon cuts the risk of sun-related skin damage by 40 percent. That's because watermelon is nature's richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling. Lycopene may also help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. With a tangy undertone of flavor from fresh lime and camu camu, this fantastic fresca will be your go-to bevvy during the dog days of summer. (FYI-you'll look especially badass while sipping this drink poolside.)

4 cups fresh watermelon
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tablespoon coconut nectar
Pinch sea salt
1 cup ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender for 30 seconds until smooth. Serve.   
 


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