Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summertime Foods (Part 1): Black Beans

Each day this week, the temperature has increased a few degrees and I'm scrambling to collect recipes that require little to no actual heat. I'm not into the raw food lifestyle, so mostly I am paying attention to dishes that can be grilled or salads hearty enough to be a main dish.

We eat a lot of black beans. In fact, I rarely buy any other variety. Once I have a pressure cooker, I'll be cooking them myself but in the meantime they must be purchased in cans. An absurd thing I noticed one day was the addition of high fructose corn syrup or other additives in canned beans. Why?? Fortunately, the store we shop at has its own organic brand (only a few cents higher in cost), which has only the addition of sea salt and water. Perfect.

An amazing black bean salad recipe can be found at Simply Recipes; we had this a few nights ago (made without any changes to the original recipe) and there were no leftovers to spare. It is delicious, and with the exception of the beans, mostly raw. I served this with grilled sweet potatoes and it was sooooo great on a warm evening.

I'm very excited about my recipe below, but it makes sense on a hot day only if the patties are grilled. I've tried a few burger recipes in the past, and usually they are tasteless with a weird texture. These are fresh tasting and hit the spot:

Black Bean Patties
1 15-oz can black beans (drained & rinsed, mash with a fork)
about 1/2 c shredded carrot
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
small handful of chopped cilantro
3/4 c frozen corn (rinse under cool water to defrost slightly)
1 egg
fresh bread crumbs, as needed (around 1-1/2 c)
few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce (suit to your taste buds)
sea salt & black pepper for seasoning

Combine all ingredients, adding bread crumbs as needed. Season to taste. Form into patties, should make 5-6 depending on the size. If it's hot out: grill 2-3 minutes (or as long as necessary) until nicely browned. If it's cool enough to make them indoors, fry in a skillet with a few tablespoons of veg oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve like a regular burger!

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