Welcome back to Meatless Monday! Here are two great recipes you can make to practice being a part-time vegetarian today.
This meal is seriously delicious and healthy. Guacamole is packed with healthy fats and Vitamin E. (And this recipe makes enough so there are leftovers to eat throughout the week!) Black bean burgers are a meat-free source of fiber and protein, and making them at home is a great way to ensure you’re getting the most nutrition at a very low cost.
Prepare the guacamole ahead of time and allow to chill (for about 30 minutes). Homemade guac is so easy to make and requires no hard-to-find ingredients, and the improvement in taste is so worth it. This recipe, adapted from from Simply Recipes, is pretty impressive.
Two ripe avocados (the softer, the better!)
1/2 c chopped red onion
1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want it)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 ripe tomato, chopped, seeds/pulp removed (optional)
Dash black pepper
Cut open the avocados and scoop out the meat, discarding the pits. If you do not have a food processor, mash the avocado with a fork. Then add remaining ingredients (except the tomato) and continue to mash. Add the chopped tomato right before serving and mix.
If you do have a food processor, put all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
Guacamole tends to brown quickly, so if you are not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap (directly on the dip to allow minimal air to get in).
Creamy and dreamy!
Now onto the black bean burgers! The recipe is adapted from “Recipe of the Week: Burgers” by Sally Sampson [via Washington Post] and serves 4-6. I made it last week (using canned beans after the debacle of trying to soak dried ones) and loved them!
4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (I used two 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons (a small handful) chopped basil or cilantro, or a combination
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 .5 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place 2 cups of the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans, with bread crumbs, eggs, scallions, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined.
Roll the mixture into balls and flatten to form patties. Suggested diameter: 3 inches; otherwise, the patty will be difficult to flip when cooking. [Extra step that’s worth doing: Place patties on a plate or tray and chill for 15 minutes so they can set up.]
When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray.
Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a spatula, turn onto the second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat. Flip carefully…I had to use my fingers to guide them to keep them from breaking apart. (One did, so that crumbly one was mine!)
Serve immediately. I made this for my whole family, and served on wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, homemade guac, salsa, and a large fruit salad. No one in my family would ever choose to eat a black bean burger, but they really liked them! The burgers are decently spicy, with tons of flavor.
I chose to eat mine sans bun with salsa, sliced tomatoes, and Romaine.
For dessert, I made quick and easy brownies via a Hungry Girl recipe. No time to make them from scratch, so I picked up a box of Betty Crocker brownie mix and a can of pumpkin (like you’d get at Thanksgiving time)!
Dump the contents of the brownie mix into a bowl with the canned pumpkin and blend with an electric mixer. Bake per the box’s instructions. Canned pumpkin is high in fiber and vitamins, and you really can’t taste the difference in the brownies. It gives them a little extra punch of nutrition, and since you use it instead of eggs and oil, it knocks out the fat!
No meat and yet a perfectly balanced meal!