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bean there, done that…

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…ate the burger.

Having been meatless these past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get creative with my meals. One thing I hoped to accomplish over Lent season was not only eliminating meat (save for fish) but also attempting to cut out processed crap. I didn’t want meat-free eatin’ to mean Boca burgers and canned soups (not that those don’t have a place in my diet or my freezer/pantry). I wanted to make more of my own meals and find ways to incorporate more veggies and newer sources of nutrition.

I was able to test out a recipe I’ve had eye on a few weeks ago when I attended a cookout celebrating the engaging of my dear friend Kate. We were roommates in college, and we’ve tried to maintain a good relationship since we’ve both relocated to Bham.

DSC08893 Kate met her lovely match with Alex. In the short amount of time I’ve spent around the two of them together, I can tell that they are perfect for one another. I can’t wait to attend her wedding at the end of the summer!


I do so love that girl 🙂

The happy couple invited us to come to their house and celebrate with them. The only problem? This was dinner:

DSC08879 Meat, meat, and more meat.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And from what I heard (and smelled) it was delicious. I just knew that if I wanted to eat, I’d need options. (I do have to stop right here and say that Kate was so sweet to pick up some veggie burgers for me to eat! I didn’t realize this before I made my own dinner, but I was very appreciative of her kindness.)

So I took the opportunity to try out a recipe I’ve had my eye on for a while: Vegan Black Bean Burgers from Emily at the Daily Garnish (please take a minute to check out her blog; she’s such a sweetheart AND she’s going to have the healthiest baby around!).

You can check out Daily Garnish for the exact recipe, but here’s the girst of what you’ll need:

    • black beans
    • grated carrots
    • rolled oats
    • pepitas (pumpkin seeds—I bought these on the cheap in the Whole Foods bulk section)

Along with an assortment of seasonings and olive, all of which you will likely have in your cabinet (I did). One thing I didn’t have was ground coriander, which I bought at Whole Foods. Note: A shaker of the spice is kinda pricey, but I found a pretty big tub of it for less than two dollars! And there was way more in the tub that in the shaker. I just put it into a old spice canister when I got home. Score!

Basically, you give it all a whirl in the food processor. Mine is really tiny (that’s hopefully not what she said), so I had to do it in batches.


Then you form it into patties and bake them up.


(I just noticed that they don’t look much different “raw” vs. cooked.”)

These were awesome! Very rich and smoky tasting. The cinnamon really came out, but not in a weird way. This made 6 very big “burgers,” and I froze a few of them. I think one of these would be good crumbled up in a wrap, or even in some sort of sauce, maybe? Bonus: These were not only really filling but also good on nutrition information. I don’t have an exact count on hand, but one big burger was 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus.

We also whipped up some quick appetizers. I made some Cowboy Caviar and Rea made guacamole.


The Cowboy Caviar was super easy and I already had most of things I needed:

  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1  jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • minced black olives
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown  mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt, pepper, sugar and oregano (I used pinches of the first few to taste and about 1/2-1 tsp of oregano)

Dump the first five items into a bowl, then whisk together the remaining ingredients to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the pea mixture, and stir to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve (with tortilla chips).

While the smell of grilled was distracting, I don’t know that I’d say it was tempting. Not only did my black bean burgers taste awesome, they smelled great, too!

What’s your favorite thing to grill out? I love veggie kabobs, esp when there’s something unexpected hanging out with the veggies, like pineapple. Also…what do you do when you aren’t sure if your tastes/diet will be accommodated at party/cookout? Do you feel awkward BYODinner?


6 responses »

  1. My food views include eating things lovingly, yet unknowingly prepared for me by friends or family members. If it’s a big event or some stranger cooking for me, I will skip the meat or just eat as little of it as possible. If it’s not a big deal, like a good friend cooking, I’d say BYOD is all good!

    • I think that once my Lent commitment is up, I’ll eat meat if I know where it came from and feel comfortable about it, and if I’m at barbecue and someone has kindly and lovingly prepared me a meal…I’ll eat it. We’ll see, though. I’ve had dreams where I’m eating meat and I wake up a little creeped out. Maybe it’s because I know I’m not supposed to, or rather, told myself I wouldn’t.

  2. I never felt weird about bringing my own veggie foods to BBQs, though I was usually accommodated by friends. I just went to my first BBQ as an omnivore the other day and I was overwhelmed by all the choices. I ended up eating a bunch of little BBQ meatballs and a hot dog and called it quits.

  3. The burgers look tasty!!


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