I try to limit trips to the grocery store to about once a week. Even though I can walk the 10 blocks easily, lugging back bags of food isn't appealing to me. Plus, it's a tiny store and doesn't always have what I need which then results in me having to take the car to Wally World aka "giant headache".
As a result, I have to get creative in my cooking. I don't always have everything a recipe calls for and have to substitute. Today the DB (dearest boyfriend) requested Spam and rice for dinner. I used to scorn Spam until I tried it. Alas, no rice to be found. Okay then, he wanted beenies and weenies (hot dogs and baked beans). Oh wait, no hot dogs. (And hello sodium overload! I prefer something a bit more well rounded)
After flinging the cupboard doors open repeatedly, hoping something new would appear, I remembered a recipe I saw a few days ago. Spicy black bean burgers. Hmmm. Healthy and flavorful served on a bun. But could I convince the DB that bean burgers are just as good as a hunk of meat? Worth a shot.
This recipe was discovered on Iowa Girl Eats, who got the original recipe from Eat Live Run. My adapted version is below.
3 cups cooked black beans (I had no canned so I prepared from dry using the recipe on the bag)
2 Tbsp chopped dried hot peppers reconstiuted in hot water
2 cloves garlic
2 T tomato sauce
1/2 cup homemade breadcrumbs
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked chipotle paprika seasoning (you could sub chili powder and cayenne)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn
Sunflower oil (for frying burgers)
Grate the garlic cloves into your mixing bowl and add the peppers. Add 1 1/2 cups of the beans and mash with a fork until very smooth. Add the cumin, paprika seasoning, and salt and stir again to combine. Stir in the breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, and corn. Form into patties. I refrigerated mine for a few minutes so they could firm up.
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Fry the patties for about 4 minutes per side, or until they get nice and crusty. Serve on burger buns with chipotle mayo. (mayo and ketchup with chipotle seasoning mixed in. Easy.)
Conclusion? I loved these. They get a really nice crispy crust from cooking that is addictive and reminds me of the fried veggies at the county fair. The beans are really creamy and the peppers and spices give everything a nice kick. 8.5 out of 10.
I was nervous about testing these out of the DB since he's definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy but he devoured 2 burgers and declared that I should make them again. He also gave them a 8.5 out of 10
Now me being the way I am had to avoid the store at all costs so I made homemade burger buns to serve these on. They're quite simple and don't squish down and get soggy like store bought.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
¼ cup water
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3 to 4 1/2 cups Flour
Mix the sugar, yeast, water, milk, oil and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the flour a little bit at a time until a dough forms. Remove from the bowl and knead on the counter until smooth and elastic. (See here how to knead bread dough.) Return to the bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Once the dough has doubled, dump it back out onto the counter and divide into 12 pieces or so. Roll into balls (they are a bit bigger than golf balls) and place on a grease baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until nice and browned.