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Mexican Veggie Burgers with Grilled Pineapple, Avocado and Jalapeno Ketchup

Far from "impossible" and "beyond" scrumptious, this homemade veggie burger is the real deal.

Mexican Veggie Burgers with Grilled Pineapple, Avocado and Jalapeno Ketchup

Making your own taco seasoning for Mexican-inspired dishes such as this healthy south-of-the-border vegetarian burger is within reach. The best part: you can make it your own! This veggie burger is easy and satisfying with black beans and kidney beans as the base, specked with colorful sautéed vegetables. Grilled pineapple, cilantro, and sliced avocado are fun alternatives to the standard tomato/lettuce/pickle burger topping trio. A simple jalapeño ketchup finishes the dish for that extra Mexican touch.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; large mixing bowl; fork, sauté or grill pan; small saucepan; wooden spoon; small sauté pan, offset spatula

Veggie Burger Ingredients: 1, 16-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 1, 16-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 carrots, finely diced 1 large onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels 2 tablespoons taco seasoning* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking

Garnish Ingredients: 8 round pineapple slices, 1/8 -inch thick 1 avocado, thinly sliced cilantro leaves 8 whole grain hamburger buns, toasted

½ cup jalapeno ketchup (recipe below)

Jalapeño Ketchup Ingredients: 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced 1, 8-oz. can tomato sauce 1, 6-oz. can tomato paste 1/3 cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup cider vinegar

*To make homemade taco seasoning, combine 1 tablespoon chili powder with 1½ teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon oregano.

1. To make the veggie burgers, mash the black beans and kidney beans together in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the carrots, onions, and peppers in the olive oil for about 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Add the corn and sauté for one more minute.

3. Add the vegetables to the mashed beans, along with the cilantro and taco seasoning. Mix well, then add the beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Stir well to incorporate and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into patties. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the grilled pineapple and jalapeno ketchup. Grill the pineapple slices on a hot grill or grill pan for 1 minute per side, until grill marks appear. Set aside.

6. To make the ketchup, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and jalapeno. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the jalapenos have softened. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until thickened and reduced to ½ cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat; remove the veggie burgers from the refrigerator. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pan and cook 4 of the veggie burgers for 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining 4 burgers.

8. Serve the burgers on toasted buns with the grilled pineapple, sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, and jalapeno ketchup.

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