Vegan Cajun Black + Bleu Burger w/ Dairyfree Bleu Cheese Sauce + Shiitake Bacon

Vegan Cajun Black + Bleu Burger w/ Dairyfree Bleu Cheese Sauce + Shiitake Bacon

Difficulty: 2/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 2/3 (3 being spiciest)

Realistic (no lies) Prep & Cook Time: 50-60 minutes
Servings: 4 Burgers

The Challenge: Cajun Burgers, Blue Cheese, and Bacon

Black + Bleu burger is something I’ve seen on 100s of menus. Since I haven’t eaten meat in 2 decades, I’ve never had one but always wondered what is that?!

Well, its pretty simple - blackened burger + blue cheese. I wanted to create a vegan version of this dish, but I couldn’t stop there. I also have been wanting to make a dank as heck cajun-style black bean + rice burger. So, here you have my version of the Cajun Black + Bleu - a shoutout to the Creole food with no harm to the animal kingdom.

The veggie burger, like always, has a full no crumble guarantee and won’t be too sticky that it will stick to the pan when you grill it. The key to a great vegan burger to me is a perfect combination of what and dry. I call it the hand test. If the patty really sticks to your hand as your form it, way too wet - add flour, breadcrumbs, or other dry ingredients. If the patty doesn’t stick at all, its too dry - add broth, water, or other wet ingredients.

We blend in a pretty typical black bean burger with an awesome cajun spice blend that takes this normal black bean + rice burger to the bayou and back. Its delightful. One of my favorite parts of this burger is we used vegan mayo in the burger. It gives it a great tang and fattiness that a lot of vegan burgers lack.

From there, we top it with two amazing accents - an out of this world vegan bleu cheese sauce that is really great. We use small tofu crumbles to achieve that crumbly bleu cheese texture. And, we also add some bacon - shiitake mushroom bacon. I’m known for rice paper bacon, but I like a number of different kinds. Shiitake bacon is going to be smaller and a little less crispy. Its perfect for this burger!

Okay….

Let's get into it!


Cajun Burgers

  • 1/4 cup dry brown rice + 1/2 cup vegan broth or water

  • 1.5 tbl olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into long strips

  • Cajun Spice Blend: 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 2 - 14oz cans of black beans, drained

  • 1 cup organic panko bread crumbs (or 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup tapioca flour)

  • 1 tbl nutritional yeast

  • 1 tbl liquid aminos (sub soy sauce)

  • 2 chia eggs (2 tbl chia meal + 5 tbl water)

  • 3 tbl vegan mayo

Bleu Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

  • 3/4 tbl apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tbl miso paste

  • Spices: 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp dill, pinch of salt + pepper

  • 1/8 block firm tofu, crumbled

Shiitake Bacon

  • 8oz shiitake mushroom caps, slice into thin pieces across width of cap

  • 1.5 tbl olive oil

  • Spices: 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tbl maple syrup

  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Other

  • large hamburger buns

  • romaine lettuce, 8-10 pieces

  • avocado slices from 1 large avocado

 


Equipment You'll Need:

Cutting Board . Sharp Cutting Knife . Measuring Cups . Measuring Spoons . Food Processor . Frying Pan . Whisk . Mixing Bowls . Baking Sheet . Parchment Paper or Silpat . Oven


Before You Cook:

  • Mix flaxmeal + water. Set aside for 10 minutes to form flax egg

  • Bring broth + rice to a boil on high heat, reduce to low and cover, stir infrequently

  • Preheat oven to 400F

  • Cut + wash fresh ingredients

1. After rice is brought to a boil, reduce to low simmer, cover, and let sit for 25-30 minutes. I want it to be a bit chewy still.

1. After rice is brought to a boil, reduce to low simmer, cover, and let sit for 25-30 minutes. I want it to be a bit chewy still.

2. While the rice cooks, stir together your cajun spice blend in a small bowl.

2. While the rice cooks, stir together your cajun spice blend in a small bowl.

3. Next, add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the cajun spice blend + orange peppers. Cook another 3-4 minutes.

3. Next, add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the cajun spice blend + orange peppers. Cook another 3-4 minutes.

4. While the rice steams and peppers cook, mix the shiitake mushroom pieces with all the ingredients for the bacon and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes until nice and crispy.

4. While the rice steams and peppers cook, mix the shiitake mushroom pieces with all the ingredients for the bacon and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes until nice and crispy.

5. While the bacon cooks and waiting on the rice, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. For the tofu, you want to crumble it with your fingers to get some smaller, medium, and large crumbles.

5. While the bacon cooks and waiting on the rice, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. For the tofu, you want to crumble it with your fingers to get some smaller, medium, and large crumbles.

6. Once the rice is done, add the rice, black beans (reserve 1/2 cup from the cans), breadcrumbs, pepper/onion mixture, mayo, flax egg, and all other patty ingredients to a food processor (you can also mix in a bowl by hand or with spoon). Pulse 10-12 times to mix. I like to leave it chunky. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup of black beans and mix in with a spoon.

6. Once the rice is done, add the rice, black beans (reserve 1/2 cup from the cans), breadcrumbs, pepper/onion mixture, mayo, flax egg, and all other patty ingredients to a food processor (you can also mix in a bowl by hand or with spoon). Pulse 10-12 times to mix. I like to leave it chunky. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup of black beans and mix in with a spoon.

7. Form the mixture into large patties - about 5. use your hands to scoop out 1/5 of the mixture. I like to add a bit of extra breadcrumbs to the top and bottom of the patty as I am forming it to help it stick together even better.

7. Form the mixture into large patties - about 5. use your hands to scoop out 1/5 of the mixture. I like to add a bit of extra breadcrumbs to the top and bottom of the patty as I am forming it to help it stick together even better.

8. Using a large frying pan, add a bit of vegan butter or olive oil to coat the bottoom of the pan. In 2 batches, cook the patties. I like to cook them at just over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and browning.

8. Using a large frying pan, add a bit of vegan butter or olive oil to coat the bottoom of the pan. In 2 batches, cook the patties. I like to cook them at just over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and browning.

9. To put it all together, serve a toasted bun, with a layer of romaine, then the patty, add avocado slices, pour on the blue cheese sauce, and top with shiitake bacon. Serve!

9. To put it all together, serve a toasted bun, with a layer of romaine, then the patty, add avocado slices, pour on the blue cheese sauce, and top with shiitake bacon. Serve!

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