It is meatless Monday again! Tonight was tough. I have some leftover chicken in the fridge and it would have been so much easier to do something quick with that since I had to pick both boys up on my way home from work and I had a committee meeting at 6:30 at my son’s school for the agricultural program we are developing. But I am committed to having meatless Mondays and making some new and interesting meals so despite getting home at 5:30, I was going to cook dinner and not just reheat.
Ok, so this one isn’t new for me but it is very good. I’ve adapted this recipe from the Liana Krissoff’s recipe in Whole Grains for a New Generation. The recipe as written in the book is excellent but I didn’t have any bulgur so I substituted millet. I have a lot of millet since that is one of the grains I was able to eat on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset. On a side note, I still haven’t finished my write up on the third week of the reset and I promise to do that soon. I also did something different with the breadcrumbs, which I will explain later.
1 can (or 1.5 cups) black beans
1 carrot grated
¼ C chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ lime
4 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp smoked paprika
1.5 C cooked bulgar (or brown rice, millet, etc)
2/3 C fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
I had planned on making the black bean burgers for dinner tonight so I made some millet yesterday so I’d have some already cooked and cooled when I got home from work. While the boys had a snack and then chased each other around the house, I grated the carrot in the food processor, changed the blade, threw the black beans in, added the spices, oil, lime and breadcrumbs and mixed until thoroughly combined. This was quick and easy!
I made some other modifications to the recipe besides substituting the millet. I did not have fresh cilantro but I did have some that I had dried from my garden. I cut the amount down to about 1 Tbs of dried cilantro. I also used smoky seasoned salt that I get from Penzeys and used regular paprika. My cayenne was getting really old and didn’t have much flavor anymore so I had tossed it. I used a little of Penzey’s Arizona dreaming instead – this is a mix of ancho chili pepper, black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, spices, cumin, citric acid, Mexican oregano, cilantro, lemon peel, chipotle pepper, red pepper, jalapeño, cocoa, natural smoke flavoring.
I mentioned this before, but it is worth talking about again. I make my own breadcrumbs. They are healthier, taste so much better and cheaper! As you know by now, I have 2 young boys and most of the time I have to cut the crust off their bread. So I simply cut the crusts off before making the sandwich and put them in a freezer bag and toss them in the freezer. I don’t really care for the ends of a loaf of bread so I tend to throw them in the bag too. When I have enough I toast them in the over with some Italian seasoning and just a bit of olive oil. Then I grind them in a food processor. There you have it --super simple breadcrumbs.
The original recipe calls for shaping the mixture into 6 patties and dusting the patties with the breadcrumb mixture. I didn’t find this added anything to the recipe so I just mixed the breadcrumbs into the burger. I thought this worked fine and it wasn’t dry.
I cooked the burgers on a griddle (I don’t have a sauté pan large enough for 6 patties) for about 2 minutes on each side. You want them brown and form a little crust on each side. The burgers remain a little soft so they don’t have the same texture as a frozen veggie burger. But you can add whatever fixins you like and that can help add some crunch.
Today, I served the boy’s burgers on whole wheat English Muffins with some heirloom lettuce and smashed avocado. Tomatoes and or red onion slices would have been really nice but I didn’t have any. I actually opted to have my burger on a bed of lettuce and skipped the bread. We had some broccoli and strawberries on the side and it was a tasty and satisfying meal!
My youngest son, although at first said he would not eat it, ended up eating half of his burger and off course finished all of his broccoli and strawberries. My oldest had 2 burgers and he even asked for avocado for the second burger.
I am enjoying this adventure in healthy eating. I hope you give Meatless Mondays a try. If you have any questions about what to try, let me know. I can come up with suggestions or you can opt for one of the selections I’ve made for my family.