We’re a pretty adventurous family when it comes to trying new recipes and new foods. We don’t mind spicy, we love vegetables, and we’re even okay with meatless options. We don’t subscribe to any one diet other than portion control, focus on protein and vegetables. We try keto, grain, dairy, and egg free recipes, Whole 30, Paleo diet, meatless recipes just because they sound good to us, believing any extreme diet is likely unhealthy, but they each have their good points. We’re up for most anything.
A little while back we went to a restaurant with my parents. Our youngest daughter, nine at the time, shared that she was tired of kids’ menu options that are boring and not particularly filling. She politely asked if she could try the adult menu. We said she could, but imagine our surprise when our nine year old opted to try spicy black bean burgers! That is definitely not something I would have tried with all the other options on a restaurant menu, nor would I have expected from a child! She tried them, though, and not only did she eat the entire burger and sides, but she loved spicy black bean burgers!
I’ve been traveling. My aunt just celebrated her 80th birthday, and my cousin was throwing her a surprise birthday brunch back in New England. One only turns 80 once, and I miss many celebrations because of the distance. I didn’t want to miss this milestone celebration!
My 80 year old aunt, cousins, brothers, and my son and his wife.
Plus, my niece is in Girl Scouts and she’s selling cookies. What better travel staple than Girl Scout cookies from my young niece! And my Lilla Rose bobby pins and hair band!
But, I’m chasing squirrels here…because I had been traveling, and because I’d left sick children who weren’t eating much, there isn’t much in the way of food in the house. While I was away the children and husband survived on a 16 quart pot of chicken noodle soup I’d prepared for the sickies before leaving, and there were lots of eggs from our chickens for the non sickies. Imagine four days in a row of chicken noodle soup and eggs. The family is quite bored with their food options! Yet, yesterday I had appointments, errands, and did I mention not much food in the house? I didn’t have time to prepare a fantastic meal last night.
I had a stash of cooked and frozen black beans, left over frozen rice….and staples in the freezer or pantry. I knew I had to be creative around the time limitations, but not make the family feel deprived.
I decided to make black bean burgers. I consulted with a few recipes before coming up with my own. I topped them with a spinach, mushroom, bacon, cheese sauce because we had those ingredients too. The family thought they were great.
Black Bean & Brown Rice Burgers, LoveLeavingLegacy Style
- 4 cups of soaked and cooked black beans
- 4 cups of cooked brown rice
- 2 green peppers diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 shredded carrots
- 7 oz can diced chili peppers
- minced garlic to taste
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 heaping tablespoons chili powder
- 2 heaping tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons of tabasco sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- bread crumbs as needed
In the food processor blend the beans and rice. Mix in remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Then, add bread crumbs a little at a time until the mixture holds a burger form. Form 8-12 burger patties on a broiling pan, and broil til crispy and brown on low broiling temperature.
While burgers are broiling, prepare the spinach, mushroom, bacon, and cheese sauce.
Spinach, Mushroom, Bacon, and Cheese Sauce
- 1 large poly bag spinach (one that serves 10)
- 1 large onion
- minced garlic to taste
- 4 8 oz packages of sliced portabella mushrooms (My family thinks I should have chopped these more finely.)
- 12 oz package of turkey bacon
- 8 oz non fat cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- pepper to taste
In a large pan, saute bacon, onions, and garlic. When bacon is nearly crispy, add mushrooms and saute until almost softened. Add spinach and saute until wilted and incorporates easily into the rest of the bacon/vegetable mixture. In the food processor, blend together remaining ingredients. Add to vegetable bacon mixture, and stir over low heat until melted and creamy.
Serve over Black Bean and Rice Burgers. Serves 8-10. Option: Serve with whole or halved cherry tomatoes on the side.
I love that spring fruits and vegetables are on sale again, and we loaded up on cantaloupe and berries at the grocery store. We served a cantaloupe cubed as a sweet side to our dinner last night.
As I said, my family raved, and they’ve asked me to make them again. Score one for Mom!
Maybe they were just grateful it wasn’t another chicken noodle soup night?
If you try our concoction, tell us what you think in the comments!