Black Bean Portobello Quinoa Burger, Caramelized Onions & Rosemary Cashew Cheese

It was a cold winter Friday afternoon and I was HUNGRY! I wanted to do something that I haven't done in awhile and the idea of having a burger was comforting and appetizing to make me forget about this cold weather we are facing here in New York City and something about eating with my hands was pleasing to my mind and my stomach!

I asked my followers and friends to vote between a Black Bean Quinoa Burger or Baked Mac N Cheese and the votes were very close -only two votes separated each other. I was surprised at how close the voting was and in the end the burger pulled ahead for the win.  I had some people respond with - a black bean burger with mac n cheese on the top of it! Oh, would that be a great idea! Maybe another day?! I promise!

Okay, let's get right into it - I hope you enjoy this as much I did and more - I'll warn you before that the burger was a bit sloppy and bits fell apart after taking big bites - using your hands to pick up what falls on your plate is totally fine! Enjoy!

Yields: 6 burger patties



  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup quinoa 
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 large portobello mushroom (sautéed)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp jalapeno (chopped)
  • black pepper
  • pink himalayan sea salt
  • EVOO
  • water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • bread crumbs

Rosemary Cashew Cheese (on the spot)

  • 1 cup cashew (soaked; one hour)
  • Rosemary sprig
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • black pepper (for seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • splash of almond milk

Caramelized Onions

  • one yellow onion
  • one red onion
  • agave (optional)
  • salt
  • evoo
  • sesame oil 


Steam your quinoa with two garlic cloves. Sauté the portobello mushroom with balsamic vinegar. Drain your black beans and add these three components into a blender.  You will mix for about 20 seconds on a low speed.  I did it longer and it wasn't good, so less time mixing I think will be better for these burgers.  Remove from blender and bring to a mixing bowl - add in your oats, chopped jalapeño and flax meal and all spices to the bowl.  Mix thoroughly - with the flax meal - before you mix everything together - 1 tbsp of flax meal and 2 1/2 tbsp of water mix in a bowl for 20 seconds - let it sit for 5 minutes and now you have your flax egg - this will bind everything together.

 On a baking sheet- sprinkle a bit of bread crumbs to the sheet and with your hands scoop out a handful of the burger mix and form into a burger shape - this may be a little messy, so what I did was also form it once I placed it on the baking sheet and added a bit of the bread crumbs to the tops of the burger.  Once you've placed all the burger patties to the baking sheet - place in the fridge for 20 minutes.  Once you are waiting for those you can start making the rosemary cheese. After 20 minutes, flip burger patties over and let it settle for another 20 minutes.

The ROSEMARY CHEESE is my all time favorite now! Soaking your cashews as little as one hour - remove from water and place in a blender or food processor - removing the stem from one rosemary sprig drop all needles of the rosemary in the blender with the soaked cashews.  Splash a bit of almond milk- less is more at this point- if you want more come back to it later.  Add your nutritional yeast, miso and black pepper and give it a good mix up to 3 minutes.  Once it is creamy, and smooth you are ready to go! Bring contents to a pot and bring to a low heat - adding your cornstarch and begin to mix with a spoon- allowing the cornstarch to work in with the cheese and cook throughout. Allow that to cook for 5-10 minutes and remove from heat.  While you wait for your burgers you can keep it out or place in the fridge.

The caramelized onions are quick and easy too - cut your onions long and thin- on a medium-low heat, drizzle your EVOO and place your onions in the pan.  Sprinkle a bit of salt and let your onions sweat.  This will take some time - at some point drizzle 1 tsp of agave - I don't think this made a big impact to the flavor and might have been cooked through, but I gave it a try - it's all about trail and error.  The last 5 minutes I added my sesame oil to the onions.  When they become translucent and look like the caramelized onions that you want - turn heat off- you are ready - we are almost there! 

I'm getting hungry now!

Your burgers are ready! It's been about 40-45 minutes that they been cooling and solidifying in the fridge- place then on a pan and cook them- flip every 3 minutes on a medium- high heat - until you have a bit of a crispy top layer. The burgers were a bit sloppy when I took my first bite, but it was fun to pick up with my fingers and eat with my hands all the way through.  No paper towels necessary - lick those fingers! ZERO WASTE COOKING AT ITS FINEST!

Spread your ROSEMARY CASHEW CHEESE on one side or both sides of the bun- go wild! and place your CARAMELIZED ONIONS on top of your burger! Add some lettuce, tomato and maybe an avocado!  ENJOY! I hope this burger brings you a lot of joy in making it and brings happiness to your tastebuds and stomach! If you do make this burger - please let me know - tag me and let me know how much fun you had making this burger!