Cool Beans

I’m 27.

These things shouldn’t happen.

I’m college educated.

I work in a professional setting.

I pay my bills on time.

There’s just no reason for this.

There’s no reason that a mature, responsible adult should be singing

“Beans, beans, the magical fruit…”

every time there is a legume within a 50 foot radius.

But that’s exactly what I do.

Sometimes I sing it in my head so no one can hear me.

Sometimes I hum it.

Sometimes, I whistle the little tune while I’m whipping up a batch of homemade black bean burgers.

If you were contemplating joining the whole “meatless Mondays” trend, this is a great recipe to start with.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s a delicious way to sneak some extra protein and fiber into your diet.

I found a quick and dirty recipe here.

I decided to amp up the flavor with some minced onions, mushrooms, and Worcestershire sauce.

Place the beans in a bowl and smoosh (the technical term) against the sides with a fork.

Add whole wheat flour, onions, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce,  salt and pepper.

Form into patties

Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat.

Add burgers when pan is sizzling hot.

Tidbit: Instead of trying to transfer the pre-cooked burgers from platter to skillet, form each burger into a ball, place it on the hot pan and flatten it into a patty with your hands.

Cook 4-6 minutes on each side.

For the love of God, don’t touch it before it’s ready to flip. Don’t be all chef-y and trying to sneak a pick by using the spatula to lift up an edge and see if it’s crispy. You’ll get the best crust on the outside if you just let the heat do it’s thing.  Check your e-mail. Read a book. Stop neglecting your kids. Whatever. Just find something to do for four minutes.

I served the burgers with roasted zucchini sticks.

Trim the ends of the zucchini and slice lengthwise into quarters.

Give the sticks a light coat of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

 Roast them in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Throw your hamburger buns in for the last eight minutes to get them toasty for their magical bean experience.

Tidbit: Prep your zucchini and get it in the oven first, then work on the black bean burgers while the veggies are caramelizing in the oven.

Serve the burgers with your favorite traditional fixin’s

or try it with some jalapeno jam for an extra kick.

The outside of the burgers will get crusty while the insides remain slightly soft. The toasted bun adds a satisfying crunch.

Black Bean Burgers

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup minced mushrooms

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon Worcesteshire sauce

salt and pepper to taste.

Mash black beans in a bowl with a fork.  Add mushrooms, onion, flour, Worcesteshire sauce, and seasoning, mixing thoroughly.

Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat. When pan is hot, roll half of bean mixture into a ball and set on pan. Use your hand to flatten into a patty. Cook on each side for 4-6 minutes or until crispy.

Makes 2 large burgers

Roasted Zucchini Sticks

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice four medium zucchini lengthwise and cut each half lengthwise again to make quarters. Lightly coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown.

If toasting buns, spritz with non-stick cooking spray and place in the oven with the zucchini for the last 8-10 minutes of cooking time.

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