Thanks to my Aunt Marie’s irresistible cooking, I fell off my meatless mission last weekend. How could I pass up her homemade Korean spare ribs? Her baked pork fried rice knocked my socks off during my last visit and since I only see her once a year (she’ll tell you I need to visit more, which is not untrue), I can’t possibly sit there and eat a plate of roasted vegetables, however excellent, feeling like I was missing out on something extraordinary.
But I got right back on track with continuing to eat meatless for the rest of the month and even though my lunch on Monday was a shameful carb fest, we’ve not been without a bounty of ideas for healthy vegetarian meals. These black bean burgers was one such meal and it was really something special. I seriously had these burgers on the menu for weeks before I made them and when I finally got Kyle to agree to eat them, he was just as blown away as I was. In fact, after I broke up a couple of the burgers during the week and stuffed them inside baked potatoes for lunches, we fought over the last burger. Full of protein and set atop of some fresh baby spinach on a whole wheat bun, this black bean burger is a meal in itself but I think they would also be spectacular with some oven fries, zucchini fries, or a toss salad on the side.
And since January is slowly dwindling to an end the operative question becomes, what will be my first “official” non-meatless meal in February?
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium bowl with a fork until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated. Add the breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally at first then more frequently as they begin to brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Add 2 ½ cups of the black beans to a large bowl and lightly mash them with a fork or potato masher until they are almost smooth. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper together. Stir the egg mixture, bread crumbs, remaining beans, red peppers, cilantro, and shallots into the mashed beans until well-combined. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, shape the mixture into 6 patties (about ½ cup each). (At this point the patties can be refrigerated on a plate covered tightly with plastic wrap for 24 hours.) Chill the shaped patties until you’re ready to cook them.
- Wipe out the original skillet, add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil and heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Working in two batches, carefully transfer 3 of the patties to the skillet. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, very carefully flipping halfway through (they will be slightly fragile), until both sides of the burgers are nicely browned. Repeat with the second batch of patties. Serve hot.