Monday, July 19, 2010
Stephanie, your courage and kindness are inspiring. I am sending you many healing thoughts.
In my early twenties, I worked in a restaurant that, while sporting a fair share of meat and seafood dishes on the menu, was staffed by a pack of vegetarians. Not that they actually travel in packs, but they all seemed to congregate in this restaurant. I was one of the lone meat eaters and felt like a mink-wearing socialite at a PETA meeting. Aside from the typical array of salads, the only vegetarian option on the menu was the veggie burger. My experience, to that point, with veggie burgers was one unfortunate meeting with the dense, chewy frisbees of flavorless protein that were first introduced into the mainstream market. After much coercion by my plant-eating friends, I bit the proverbial bullet and ordered the restaurant’s veggie burgers. Black beans, rice, herbs, and spices had me hooked. While I may not have revoked my meat-lovers’ membership, I can say that I am content to work at least one vegetarian meal onto our menu each week. I’ve come a long way, baby.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 4 slices stale or toasted whole wheat sandwich bread to form breadcrumbs. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add 1 medium onion, chopped, and sauté until soft. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper (membranes and seeds removed – unless you like more heat), and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Saute for additional 2 minutes.
Scrape the mixture into the food processor. Add 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed, 1 ¼ cups cooked brown rice, 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until the beans are chopped, but not pureed.
Scrape the black bean mixture into a large bowl. Add ½ of the breadcrumbs and ¼ cup chopped cilantro. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until combined.
Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties. If the mixture is too moist to form patties, add more breadcrumbs. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and cover with additional plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet (preferably not nonstick, so a good crust can form) set over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for 4 minutes per side.
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.
Lightly toast 4 whole wheat buns. Spread 2 tablespoons cilantro-lime mayo on each bun, and top each with a black bean patty, 2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese (found in most supermarkets), 1 slice large tomato, and 3 slices avocado. Serve.
Printable recipe (the link for the printable recipe is http://sites.google.com/site/cookincanucksprintablerecipes/black-bean-burgers-with-lime-cilantro-mayo)
Dara can be found cooking up an array of meat and vegetarian dishes at Cookin’ Canuck.