Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meatless Mondays: Black Bean Burgers

Several times over the last few months I have been questioned about lower carbon footprint diets, recipes for garden goodies, and supporting local. The delicious result is a new weekly Meatless Monday post.

Why meatless?
No matter how you dice it, meat is naturally a high carbon item. Even the pasture-fed beef bought from Farmer Joe down the road has a higher carbon footprint than plant produce. Simply put, they are higher on the food chain and it takes many more gallons of water, pounds of feed, etc to "grow" the animal and then takes more energy and resources to "harvest" them.

The other great thing about meatless (besides the hip new recipes) is the high protein and fiber content but typically much lower price tag.

Case in point, our first honorary recipe: Black Bean Burgers; a frugal feast for the family that can hold their own in the taste category compared to the little cakes in small plate dining.

Serving 6, this is a template for the produce already in your pantry. 
*Don't forget to dig out the crock pot for Monday's bean cooking.

2 slices worth of crusty bread
2 large eggs
3 tbs oil
3 cups cooked black beans
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper (or 1/2 cup pepper, 1/2 cup corn)
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup minced onion (green onion, leek, shallot)
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mash 2 1/2 cups cooked beans in bowl til smooth.

Mix in eggs, 1 tbs oil and spices.

Crumb bread by hand or Cuisinart. Add to mix.

Fold in remaining beans and veggies (don't over mix)

Divide mixture into equal portions-a heaping 1/2 cup and shape into 1" thick burger.

Heat 1 tbs oil in skillet and cook burgers until brown, typically 4-5 minutes per side.

Serve on a bun, garnishing with sliced onion, tomatoe, avodado, lettuce, condiments. Use your imagination!


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