Saturday, April 23, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

I made these black bean burgers the other day for lunch and they were a big success. Very tasty, healthy, and is an inexpensive way to serve burgers.


2 cups of cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice (I used cooked quinoa)
1 cup of bread crumbs (I took a piece of sprouted wheat bread and pulse chopped it in my food processor until it was the consistency of bread crumbs)
1 egg (or egg substitute- you could use ground flaxseed- 1 Tb of ground flax to 3 Tb of water mixed well until it is the consistency of an egg)
4 Tb (or so) of mild salsa
A handful of grated cheese (optional)
garlic powder and sea salt to taste

Mix all ingredients well. I put them in my food processor to chop up the beans a bit. Form into patties. Fry over medium heat in a pan with a little olive oil until brown and crispy on both sides.

Serve on buns with all the normal burger toppings. We used lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, ketchup, and red onion.

*This batch will make 10 to 12 burgers depending on the size. It is better to make the burgers smaller and serve each person two or three. The batter seems to hold together better this way then when I tried making larger burgers.

**Beans plus rice equals a complete protein. Quinoa is also a complete protein so even though this is a vegetarian/vegan dish, it is very filling.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

This bread is incredible- easy, healthy, and delicious. The only thing that would make it better is if it was sprouted first (I haven't attempted my own sprouted bread yet)! I also love that it only has 6 ingredients- all of which I usually have in the house. I figured it out and with this recipe it costs about $1.50 for a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread. You can't beat that!


1 Tb of active dry yeast or 1 packet active dry yeast
3/4 c warm water (110 degrees F)
2 c of additional warm water
3 Tb honey
6 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt

Makes 2 loaves.

Stir yeast into 3/4 c of warm water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly. Mix honey into the 2 additional cups of warm water. In a large bowl add the 6 cups of flour mixed with the sea salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly pour the honey water into it. Add the yeast water and stir dough with a wooden spoon. Wet your fingers and hand-mash the dough until it is evenly mixed. The dough should be wet and sticky, but able to hold its shape.

Knead for 20 minutes (I did this in my Kitchenaid. More power to you, if you want to do it by hand. It could count as your exercise for the day!) You'll know when it is done because it will become silky smooth, and when gently pulled apart it will form very thin sheets or strands that do not tear. Place a tsp or so of the olive oil in the bowl and turn the dough to coat all the surfaces. Cover it with a damp towel and let it rise for 2 hours until it doubles in size.

Punch it down in the middle with your fist. Fold edges in toward the center and squeeze all the air out. Here you can add any chunky ingredients you want- raisons, chopped nuts, herbs, cheeses, etc. I didn't add anything.

Divide in half and form into two loaves. Grease two loaf pans with the remaining oil or butter and place the dough into them. You can sprinkle oats, sesame or poppy seeds, chopped nuts, dry flour, etc on the top.

Let it rise again for about an hour.

Bake: Place loaves in a cold oven. Turn the oven on and set to 350 degrees. Mine were done in about 20-25 minutes. You will know if they are done if you dump the loaf out of the pan upside down into your toweled hand and insert a knife through the loaf from the bottom until it almost touches the top crust. It will pull out clean if it is done.

Let it cool thoroughly before storing- preferably on a wire rack. Place in the fridge or freezer as soon as it cools. If you are planning on freezing it, slice it first. You can thaw frozen bread at room temp overnight or bake it at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes wrapped in foil.

(This recipe is courtesy of "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron)