What I Did When I Found Out My Dad Was in the ER + Plant Based 3-Ingredient Black Bean Burgers

Where have you been my whole life?

I hung up the phone last week and had to smile.

Congestive heart failure was the news that prompted my telephone to ring at 5:30am on December 6th 2013.

My mom’s voice sounded shaky and drained, like she was just one wrong look away from her poker face shattering and her fear announcing itself, making a visible appearance.

I shot out of bed, booked the first ticket that I could find, called my sisters, stuffed some clothes in a bag and called a cab.

Eight hours later, I was in intensive care with my arms wrapped tightly around my dad.

I didn’t want to let go. In that moment, I realized that life as I knew it would have been completely foreign to me had my dad arrived to the ER just 10 minutes later than he did.

It’s been six months since my dad’s heart failed on him. No salt, no meat, no dairy, no processed foods, quitting his job, daily swimming and a whole lot of love. That’s what got him through his recovery. From a 13% ejection fraction to a healthy 70%. And of course, the 25 pounds that he lost in water weight.

So, when I got off the phone with him last week and he told me “Molly, anyone who likes regular burgers and is trying to eat better should try these whole food plant based black bean burgers. They’re delicious. Please share this recipe with whoever you share recipes with on your computer”

I knew that I had to share them. They’re dad tested and approved.

Here they are, a whole food plant based black bean burger recipe from me, to you. With love.

Whole Food Plant Based 3-Ingredient Black Bean Burgers

Author: Molly Patrick


For the beans

  • 1 cup dried black beans 180g, soaked overnight in enough water to cover them be several inches.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 10g
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder 2g
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder 2g
  • 2 teaspoons oregano 2g
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder 2g

For the burgers

  • 1 cup grated carrot 110g
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 150g
  • All of the beans that you cooked in the pressure cooker about 2 cups / 465g
  • 1 teaspoon salt 6g


Make the beans

  • After the beans have soaked overnight, drain the water and rinse them.
  • Heat up your pressure cooker and add the beans and the spices.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 5 cups of water (1.2 liters) and lock the lid into place.
  • Bring beans to pressure and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Once the pressure has gone down, drain the water from the beans and set aside for now.

Make the burgers

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place the carrots, quinoa, beans and salt in the food processor and blend until everything is mixed up.
  • Place the mixture in a large bowl and make 6 equal sized patties.
  • Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes on one side, flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve on lettuce leaves with onions, tomatoes, pickles, avocado, sprouts and some yummy cashew cheese (or however else you want to serve it!)


Use canned beans if you don’t want to make you own. If you use canned, add all of the spices to your food processor from above in the bean recipe. Whatever type of beans you use, make sure you don’t add any liquid along with them. You want them to be as dry as possible so that the patties can form easily. If for some reason the patties are too wet, add a little rice flour and stir.
black bean burger

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. D on June 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    that’s a lot more than 3 ingredients

    • Molly Patrick on June 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      I will rephrase – Three Ingredients and a handful of spices 🙂

  2. Penny on June 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Loved the story! I’m so happy for your dad, and for you to have your dad back!

    Can’t wait to try these! I’ll let you know what my family thinks (mainly 4 and 2 year olds 😉 )!

    • Molly Patrick on June 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      thank you for your kind words and yes, please keep me posted!

  3. JustinTyme 2011911 on July 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hi, I don’t have a pressure cooker – what should I do?

    • Molly Patrick on July 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Justin. You have two choices.
      1) Buy canned black beans.
      This is the easiest method, and canned beans work well in this recipe. If you buy canned beans, look for “Eden” brand because they don’t use BPA in the lining of their cans.

      2) Make your own beans on the stovetop in a regular pot.
      To do this, soak your beans overnight in water, with some salt. The next day, drain and rinse them, and then place them in a pot with water enough to cover them by several inches. Bring them to a boil, turn them down so that they reach is a simmer and simmer them until they are soft. It will take about an hour to an hour and half.

      Let me know which you decide!

      • Susanne on June 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

        Hi Molly, I’m in the midst of making this recipe and I put it through the food processor and dumped it out into a bowl, and it’s very sticky. So now I’m wondering whether I should’ve cooked one cup of quinoa and put the entire result in the recipe, or if I should only put in one cup of cooked quinoa?

        • Molly Patrick on June 9, 2018 at 5:33 pm

          Hi Susanne,
          1 cup of cooked quinoa is correct. If they are sticky that is good, they will hold together better that way 😉
          You got this!

  4. Christine on January 30, 2020 at 7:26 am

    I have the canned beans to use for this recipe. One cup of dry beans cooks up to be 2 cups? The recipe doesn’t give a volume for cooked beans if you are using canned..

    Thank you for all these yummy vegan recipes!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 30, 2020 at 7:33 am

      Hi Christine, Thanks for stopping by! 1 cup of dried beans makes ~2.5 cups cooked. So, given that a standard 15 oz can of beans is 1.5 cups, you’ll need a bit less than two cans of beans. ~Karen

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