Friday, January 11, 2013

Savory White Bean Burgers

I really love cooking for my friends. I've been having dinner with friends every Friday for three years now- there are normally six of us (three couples), and we each trade off cooking responsibilities in a weekly rotation. Aside from always being awesome to see my friends, this routine has done so much to inspire all of us in the kitchen.

I like to experiment when I don't have friends around, too. One of my best girlfriends who I don't see often enough mentioned on Facebook yesterday that she's about to begin 30-days of plant-based clean eating, so while I was making my lunch, I thought to myself, "what would I make if we were having lunch together right now?" and let that guide me to this new recipe.

Bonus: It's gorgeous outside! And I finally got some Winter sun in my kitchen.

Savory White Bean Burgers

  • 1 lb cannellini beans, cooked and well drained
  • 1 lg carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg*
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
For garnish (optional):
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 red onion rings
  • 4 fresh sweet basil leaves, chopped

In a bowl, mash up your cooked and drained cannellini beans with a fork- not every bean needs to be completely smushed, you just want to create a thick bean paste. Add the remaining ingredients (egg, grated carrot, peanut butter, flax meal, and spices), and stir to combine everything well.

In a skillet over medium-high heat without oil, spoon in four portions of the bean mixture (approx. 4 oz each). They will be a lot like sticky pancakes, and you'll need to shape them with a spatula a bit after they're in the pan. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until the outside of the pancakes begins to blacken.

Garnish (optional): Saute 8 red onion rings over medium-high heat in a tsp of olive oil, until translucent and slightly browned. Chop up one leaf of fresh sweet basil for each burger. Garnish and serve with or without bread.

*Note: If you want a vegan version of this recipe, you can omit the egg, skip the cooking steps altogether, and use it as a protein-rich spread for a sandwich or collard green wrap.

You also don't have to serve this with bread (I had some on hand that needed to be eaten ASAP). The bean burger itself is so rich that it was almost too filling.

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