Better-For-You BBQ

August 30, 2023

Oh, August. For the past few months, we’ve enjoyed the warm sunshine, the outdoor activities, and the happy-go-lucky lightness that summer days bring. But ready or not – Labor Day is right around the corner and we have one last summery hurrah! It’s time to soak up those gorgeous golden hours, sneak in some pre-season football, and enjoy end-of-summer barbecues. 

But dining al fresco doesn’t have to be dangerous to your waistline or cholesterol count. Here at LCB Senior Living, our Restaurant Operations Team is always looking for new and exciting ways to make delicious food even more nutritious. Mouth-watering meals are our specialty, and better-for-you BBQ options are a way of life. 

Seth Gooby, LCB Senior Living’s Regional Director of Restaurant Operations and founder of The Sterling Chefs, is sharing his healthy alternative to a traditional hamburger. Give this legume-laden a try at your own Labor Day barbecue – or any time of year! 

The Mean Gene Black Bean Burger (Makes 6 “burgers”) 


2 cans of black beans drained

1.5 cups rolled oats

Olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro

1/4 cup of dried porcini

1/2 cup of water

1 egg

2 Tablespoon of cumin

2 Tablespoons of Braggs liquid amino

1 Tablespoon of smoked paprika

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees (F).
  2. Place drained beans on a baking sheet, and dry in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Boil 1/2 cup of water and soak porcinis for 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms and chop. Save soaking liquid.
  4. Lightly cover a large pan bottom with olive oil, turn to medium-high heat, and cook peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic until onions get translucent. Turn to medium heat and add oats to toast with vegetables. 
  5. Remove beans from the oven and add to the pan. Add cilantro, spices, soy, and remaining mushroom liquid.
  6. Cook together for 5 minutes until the liquid is dissolved
  7. Remove from heat. Pulse the bean mixture in a food processor until a chunky paste forms. Let cool.
  8. Beat 1 egg and add to the cooled mixture. Mix together. 
  9. Form patties and let chill for 2 hours.
  10. Lightly coat a pan in oil. Heat and brown the burgers on both sides. Finish in the oven at 375 degrees (F) for 15 minutes.

And if you’re wondering about how the “Mean Gene Black Bean Burger” got its name… it was named by Seth as a tribute to Mean Gene Okerlund, a professional wrestling announcer from days gone by. What’s the connection? It rhymes, and while not necessarily your classic BBQ staple, this black bean burger can certainly satisfy the hungriest opponent! 

Tasty and clever… what’s not to enjoy? Happy Labor Day, Everyone!