Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa and Shredded Brussle Sprots

Black bean burgers are very easy to make and taste much better than any kind of frozen fake meat patty from the grocery store. I also wanted to make something that allowed me to play with my new food processor and with bean burgers, you can simply toss all the ingredients in the machine and they form up effortlessly. Beans themselves are a good source of protein, fiber, and calcium. The mango salsa adds a zesty sweetness that balances the spicy jalepano in the burgers, although mangos probably were not the best choice because they don't taste as good this time of year. I think a green apple, pear, or orange would work great during the colder months. Produce always taste better when its in season.
Theres a common misconception about brussel sprouts, a lot of people think they don't like them when the truth is they've just never tasted them prepared properly because, brussel sprouts are delicious. There are several different ways to cook them my favorite is roasted with garlic and lots of salt then sprinkled with parmesan cheese. In this recipe I shredded and stir fried them (so I could use new food processor!) then topped them with a granny smith apple and lemon juice for a fresh taste that would tie in with the lime juice from the salsa. The crunch from the apple also added texture to the dish. Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and are known to have anti-cancer properties, they are also in season this time of year.

Black Bean Burgers
2C black beans (or 1 can)
1-1.5C grain of choice
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1/2 or 1 whole jalepano
A handful of fresh cilantro
salt, peper, cumin, chili powder, paprika to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 and spray a small sheet pan with nonstick spray.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Mashing everything together with a fork works just fine too.
3. Refrigerate while you make the salsa. This isn't necessary but it makes shaping them easier.
4. Form them into 4 burger shapes and bake for about 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
For the grain, you can use whatever you have like oatmeal, breadcrumbs, cooked rice. I used some left over quinoa and oatmeal.
You can also cook these on top of the stove on a skillet over medium-high heat but I in my experience, its a mess trying to flip them.
Usually I add an egg to the mix to hold everything together but this time I forgot and they held together fine and were easier to handle.

Mango Salsa
1 mango, chopped
3/4 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a shallot, chopped
1/2 a jalepano, chopped
A ton of cilantro
The juice of 1 lime (use lemon if your using an apple or pear instead of a mango)
salt to taste

1. Mix everything together in a bowel and pop it in the fridge until ready to use.

Shredded Brussel Sprouts
1 cup of brussel sprouts, stems and outer leaves removed
1/2 a shallot
salt and pepper to taste
1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
juice of 1 lemon

1. Shred the sprouts in a food processor
2. Heat about 1T of oil in a skillet over medium high heat, add the shallot and cook until its tender.
3. Add the brussel sprouts, salt and pepper and cook until the wilt down some.
4. Toss with chopped apple and lemon juice


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