It's been a while. I've been neck deep in editing and writing, but the weekday inspiration is back. I thought we'd start off with a recipe that I use every week.
There's alot of us that are on budgets these days, whether we are writers or not. The recipe below is a good one, suitable for lunch or dinner. This is one dinner for a family of four. It's filling, healthy (with the exception of the cheese) and the price is right.
Black Bean Burgers
Makes 8 burgers
2 cans of black beans
(I usually pick up a couple cans at the local Aldi for .65 each)
(1 pack = 8 buns for .85)
(1 can of bread crumbs usually lasts me about a month. .85)
(I pick up at jar of the mild, but you might like something with more of a kick. The Aldi salsa is 1.89 per jar)
(The 1 pound bag of shredded is 2.99)
**Optional** Lettuce (.99), Tomatoes (I use the Roma tomatoes - 1.29 per container).
Drain the black beans in a colander and rinse well.
You can place the black beans in a bowl and mash them that way or you can use a chopper. I've tried both ways and prefer the chopper.
Mash up your black beans.
Add a quarter cup of salsa.
Add a half cup of shredded cheese.
Now it's time for your bread crumbs and spices.
Add a half cup of bread crumbs.
I usually use a bit of everything I have on hand. Onion powder, garlic powder, Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, turmeric, cumin, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper. It's all up to you and what you like. My daughter and I don't care for anything too spicy, but the hubby and son do.
If you find that your mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs. Too dry? Add a bit more salsa.
Leave the mixture in the bowl and chill in the refrigerator. I find that the black bean mixture holds much better after its been chilled for a couple of hours. Then again, you can even leave it in over night.
When you're ready to create your burgers, scoop out a handful of the mixture with your hand (or spoon.) and create 8 balls. They should all be the same size. (I flatten them into patties right before I place them in the pan.)
Get your pan hot and grease it with oil or butter. I use a bit of butter. It might be such a good idea to use olive oil, because it doesn't do well on high heat.
Grab a black bean ball and flatten into a pattie.
It's just like making a regular burger. Brown on both sides for 5 - 10 minutes each.
Repeat with the other patties.
Place on hamburger bun. Use your favorite toppings and viola! dinner (or lunch).
For a cost of 7.88, that's not too shabby. If you add in lettuce and tomatoes, the cost comes to 10.07. (just an estimate/depending on where you live the cost could be slightly higher or lower.)
I keep the cost low, because of our budget, but you can play with this recipe to suit your tastes. We've tried barbecue sauce, topping the burgers with onion rings, kale, onions and peppers and more.