Tag Archives: Black Beans

Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Veggie burger served with sweet potato fries and romaine lettuce and pear salad with goat cheese.

Veggie burger (baked version) served with sweet potato fries and romaine lettuce and pear salad with goat cheese.

I’m really getting into this quinoa scene now that I’ve finally sampled it.  I have long wanted to make my own veggie burger and once I cooked my first pot of quinoa I thought again, “I should try to make a veggie burger.”  And so today I did…  I looked around online to get the general gist but my attention span was short.  After looking at only one recipe and taking it at face value, it appeared you combine veggies, quinoa and a binder.  The binder was interesting, using egg, bread crumbs and cheese, but the rest of the recipe was a little boring.  So I ramped up the veggie variety, added black beans, used multiple cheeses and added steak seasoning for a hint of meaty flavor.  This effort was way-delish, but was somewhat time-consuming and certainly made for a lot of dirty dishes, bowls and pans.  It made 8 burgers and since I was experimenting, I baked four of them.  I had the oven on anyway at 425 degrees for sweet potato fries.  At that temperature, the burgers browned up nicely and the cheese crisped the top and bottom a bit – all good.  We ate two and I froze the leftovers for another experiment.  If the frozen burgers microwave well for a quick lunch, then I could make a large quantity of these, bake and freeze, and the stockpile of a quick and healthy lunch option would justify the time and the mountain of dishes.

The other four we grilled.  They were also delicious, though I would recommend grilling over a lower heat than we started at. We served with a side of Grilled Romaine with Apple Slaw Dressing, and just for fun, we topped one with Artichoke Yogurt Dip.

Grilled veggie burger served with grilled romaine and apple slaw dressing.

Grilled veggie burger served with grilled romaine and apple slaw dressing.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.


On the grill - release foil was the way to go with these.

On the grill – release foil was the way to go with these.


Another great thing about this veggie burger is it could be gluten free.  Everything I used is gluten free to my knowledge.  I don’t have to eat a gluten free diet, but from my limited internet searches, true gluten free dieters would need to verify the cheeses they use in this recipe, the spice blend, and perhaps the black beans.

Well, here we go – this is how I did it, with approximate measurements, of course!


2 to 3 slices stale bread (I used Udi’s gluten free bread)

4 ounces sliced Portabella Mushrooms

1 cup cooked Black Beans – drained and rinsed

1 cup finely shredded Zucchini

1 cup finely chopped Vidalia Onion, Sweet Peppers, Celery – I probably used about 1/4 onion, 5 or 6 mini peppers and 1 stalk celery

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for sautéing)

2 teaspoons Steak Seasoning (I used McCormick Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning) – Note, because I used this seasoning, I did not use salt and pepper.  If you’re gluten free, verify the seasoning you use.

1 – 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa

1 Egg

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/3 cup crumbled Feta Cheese


Tear the bread and place in a food processor.  Pulse until you have small, evenly-sized bread crumbs (does not have to be super fine).  Transfer to a bowl and measure 1 cup.

Veggie Burger 1 (1280x956)

Place the mushrooms and black beans together in the food processor and pulse/chop, being careful not to puree to a mush.  Transfer to a bowl and rinse the food processor.

veggie burger 2 (1280x956)

Finely chop the onion, peppers and celery in the food processor.  Measure one cup.

veggie burger 3 (1280x956)veggie burger 4 (1280x956)

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion, pepper and celery mixture until the liquids have evaporated and the veggies are beginning to brown.

veggie burger 5 (1280x956)

Add the zucchini and sauté one minute or so.

veggie burger 6 (1280x956)

Add the mushroom and black bean mixture along with the steak seasoning.

veggie burger 7 (1280x956)

Cook several minutes until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and mixture is just beginning to brown.  Transfer to a large bowl and cool.

veggie burger 8 (1280x956)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Add the bread crumbs, quinoa, egg and cheeses to the cooled veggie mixture.  Mix well.

veggie burger 9 (1280x956)

Use a large scoop to scoop onto baking pan (I lined mine with “release” foil).  Flatten or use a biscuit cutter and a spoon to flatten into even “burgers”

veggie burger 10 (1280x956)

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned to your desire.  Or grill over medium heat on “release” foil.  Try to flip only once.

veggie burger 11 (1280x956)





Southwestern Roasted Potato Salad with Corn and Black Beans

Roasted Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes pair with roasted corn and black beans in a sour cream based tomatillo and cilantro dressing.

Roasted Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes pair with roasted corn and black beans in a sour cream based tomatillo and cilantro dressing.

I created this dish for the neighborhood Memorial Day “Mexican Fiesta” party.  I truly think it could also be called “salad of many bowls and dishes” based on the volume of dishes I washed during the creation….  It was worth it though!  The sour cream dressing is a favorite recipe from my friend, Jackie.  I thought it would taste especially delicious with this potato and vegetable combination.  And it did!  Thanks, Jackie 🙂  As typical for Ms. Creative Recipe, very little measuring went on during the preparation of this dish, other than the dressing which had Jackie’s exact measurements.  I also used whatever veggies I had on hand, so feel free to swap out as you like.

Ingredients – Salad

8 to 10 small Yukon Gold Potatoes – washed and cut into evenly sized chunks

2 to 3 Sweet Potatoes (or yams) – peeled and cut into evenly sized chunks

4 ears Sweet Corn – husked

Butter and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh Lime Juice – 1/2 lime

Salt and Pepper

Sweet Vidalia Onion or Green Onions – very thinly sliced and chopped

Celery – finely chopped

Sweet Bell Peppers – chopped

Yellow Cherry Tomatoes – quartered

1 can Black Beans – drained and rinsed well


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the potatoes in a bowl with olive oil and coarsely ground black pepper.  Spread on a baking pan in an even layer.  I used “release” foil for easy clean up.


Melt butter with salt and lime juice in a small bowl.  Brush liberally over the corn and wrap in a foil packet.


Roast the corn and potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender, but not mushy.  Turn the potatoes half way to maximize browning.  Corn may finish before the potatoes. Cool.


Cut the corn off the cob.


Combine the corn with the veggies and tomatoes in a large bowl.


Dice the potatoes and add to the mixture.


Toss gently with the dressing (recipe below) to coat.  Gently toss the black beans with some dressing in a small bowl to coat well without breaking up (so you don’t discolor the salad).  Gently fold the black beans into the potato salad and transfer to a serving bowl.

SW POTATO SALAD (28) (1280x956)


Jackie’s Jalapeno Ranch Salad Dressing


3 fresh Tomatillos, husked, washed and quartered

1/2 bunch fresh Cilantro – washed

2 pickled Jalapeno peppers

2 cups Sour Cream

2 envelopes (1 oz each) Ranch dressing mix


Place the tomatillos, cilantro and jalapenos in a food processor.


Blend until smooth, scraping down as necessary.


Combine with the sour cream and ranch mix, blending well.






Pico de Gallo – Fresh Salsa

I made this fresh salsa when our jalapeno and “Wenk’s Yellow Hot” peppers were first ready to harvest this summer.  Our tomatoes were not yet ready so I found some baby Romas at the local farmers’ market.  This can be made with or without black beans – a little healthier and heartier with the beans, but tasty either way.  I added an orange sweet bell pepper for additional crunch and to balance the heat from the hot peppers and the acid from the tomatoes. 

 Ingredient List:

 All quantities are to taste and/or as per what you have on hand.  A few guidelines for the ratio of the main ingredients – predominantly tomato, about equal parts of the chopped sweet pepper, corn and black beans, onion for seasoning and flavor, and the hot peppers for heat and flavor.. 

 Tomatoes – Garden fresh, ripe and red.  Washed and seeded. 

 Sweet Bell Pepper – whatever color you like – I have used all of them successfully in this salsa, though the green bell pepper is not as “sweet” as the red, yellow and orange peppers.  Washed and rough chopped.

 Hot Peppers – Jalapeno, Serrano, Hungarian Wax, and so on – whatever you have on hand, whatever you like – the more traditional choices are the jalapeno and Serrano.  Washed and rough chopped.  Seed and remove the ribs or veins for less heat – or keep ‘em for more!

 Onion – pretty much whatever you have on hand – I try to use sweet Vidalia onion or green onions.  Rough chopped

 Garlic – use a few cloves of fresh or about 1 teaspoon of freeze-dried garlic from Litehouse Foods. 

 Cilantro – some people like it, some people don’t – it’s your choice

 Sweet Corn – I have used white shoepeg corn from a can (drained) or frozen, thawed and drained.  Also, fresh corn on the cob, cooked and sliced off the cob. 

 Black beans – I use canned and I rinse them well and drain them.

 Fresh Lime Juice – to taste – I add it at the end. 

 Salt – to taste – if you think it needs it.  Again, I add it at the end.


 Chop the tomatoes by hand and place in a large bowl. 

Put the sweet and hot peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro in a food processor.  Rough chop – you want a chunky, not a mushy salsa.  Add to the tomatoes along with the corn and black beans if you are using.  Season with the lime juice and salt. 

Salsa without the black beans