Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bring on Summer - Black Bean Burgers

These dishes can definitely be enjoyed all year, but when I think of them, I think of summer....and about pairing them with a nice cold beverage and a side of fruit!

I have gotten a bit adventurous, leaving my comfort zone of chicken, to make these meals. I've looked up countless recipes, and really like playing with ingredients. I'm not going to lie, I usually tweak a recipe because I have to make substitutions with things I already have in my kitchen, as I hate to make a trip to the store for just one or two things with a toddler in tow! So here's what I've come up with from throwing together several recipe ideas.

Hint: Make these ahead of time! Prepare the mix and cook them, then tightly wrap in plastic and freeze, or store (cooked or uncooked) in a baggie for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove at meal time.

Black Bean Burgers
What you need:
3/4 cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
pinch of kosher salt
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs cilantro, finely chopped
2 eggs
1/4 tsp curry powder (or cumin if you prefer that spice, either works!)
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 cans black beans, drained (no need to rinse, as you rinse some of the good stuff off!)
Fixins of your choice- whole wheat buns, lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard, cheese....

What to do:
1.  Heat about 1 Tbs oil in a pan over medium heat and sautee red onion until soft. Add panko bread crumbs with salt and pepper until toasted. Set aside in a bowl to cool and add cilantro.
2. Whisk together 1 Tbsp oil, 2 eggs, curry and chili powders. Set aside.
3. Mash black beans with a potato masher or fork (or process in a food processor) until mostly smooth.
4. Combine bread crumb mixture with beans, and gradually mix in egg mixture.
5. Form patties, one-inch thick, the diameter of your buns. (Should yield about 4 burgers depending on bun size)
6. Heat about 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet and place patties on medium heat. You don't want to go higher than medium heat because the outside will burn before the patties are heated through the middle.  Cook until outsides brown, covering on low for the last 2-5 minutes to make sure to heat the patties through.
7. Serve warm on toasted whole wheat buns with your choice of burger fixins! Or store in the refrigerator or freezer as above.

I'm planning to serve with some yummy sweet potato fries, followed by a trip out for some frozen yogurt!

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