This morning I was in the kitchen making my healthy black bean burgers, enjoying the company of my son Gabriel, and reflecting on how different things will be once he goes into the Coast Guard. As a student, he was able to come home during summer and over the winter holiday break. I’m afraid that being in the service will make it more difficult for him to get home. At least I can enjoy his presence until March… and there is always Skype. What a great invention!
It’s been a big week for us, and my healthy black bean burger was just a small part of it. My brother, sister-in-law Mary, and nephew Brandon came out from California to see their daughter and sister, Miley, graduate from the Phoenix Fire Academy and officially join the ranks of the Scottsdale Fire Department. This is no small feat, especially considering that Miley just turned 20-years old in October, and she and 9 males were chosen from the 1400 who applied. You can imagine how happy we all are for her. She is focused and determined and she earned her place.
So what did I make for dinner graduation night? Black Bean Burgers? No. It was jambalaya—a great party food because it’s simple to make and it everyone loves it. Black bean burgers are easy too, but you would probably want to make them ahead of time and then just re-heat the patties. But I did enjoy a burger for lunch this afternoon. It is vegan and has no saturated fat like beef burgers do. For a heart healthy meal omit the salt. There is still plenty of great flavor.
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, plus extra as needed
- 1 cup fresh corn (or frozen and thawed)
- 3 cups ( or 2 14-ounce cans) cooked black beans, drained
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- Olive oil for cooking
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add then add the onions and sauté until they start to look translucent. Add the garlic, the red bell peppers and the chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender.
- Place the beans in a large bowl and add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, bread crumbs and stir well. Add the bread crumbs, the corn, and the onion mixture and combine well.
- Process half of the mixture in the food processor, or mix with your hands squeezing the mixture tightly to break up the beans so the ingredients make a paste, and then place it back in the bowl with the add the whole beans. Stir again.
- Pack the black bean mix into a ½-cup measure and then shape into flat burger patties. Dip each side of the patty into corn meal.
- Heat a skillet on medium high with 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot lower the flame to medium and cook the burgers, tuning when the first side is golden, to finish cooking on the other side.
- Serve with your favorite burger fixings. Here are some suggestions: lettuce or sprouts, sliced tomato, sliced red onion, pickles, mustard, and your favorite type mayo.