Monday, November 1, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Cakes

When making my menu plan for the week, I generally include 1 to 2 vegetarian meals a week.  We really like vegetarian meals, plus it is often healthier and allows our grocery budget to stretch much further! 

I ran across this recipe for Spicy Black Bean Cakes at New Seasons this Summer, and it is now one of our favorite vegetarian meals.  They are easy, healthy, filling, and you can make a double batch and freeze the extra for later.  They are kind of like a homemade Veggie Burger.  For the kids, I either omit the jalapenos altogether or just add them to the portion reserved for my husband and I.

We eat them plain topped with Lime Sour Cream, but you could also add some buns and make them into burgers.

Spicy Black Bean Cakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 cans black beans
1 large sweet potato, peeled and finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
Lime Sour Cream*

Heat the broiler.  In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1 Tbsp of oil.  Cook scallions until softened, 1 minute.  Add garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl.

Add beans to the bowl and mash with a fork, leaving about 1/4 of the beans whole.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fold in sweet potato, egg and bread crumbs.  Divide into 8 balls of equal size; flatten into patties (try to make them into equal thickness so that they will cook uniformly.  I like them to be a bit thicker).  Brush a baking sheet with remaining oil.

Place patties on the sheet, 1/2" apart.  Broil 4" from heat until golden brown, 8-10 minutes (sometimes less, watch closely!).  Using a thin metal spatula, carefully turn the cakes.  Broil until crisp, 2-3 minutes more. 
(Warning:  Watch your patties closely!  I've burned a couple batches when I didn't watch them close enough.)

*Lime Sour Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeno finely chipped

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Season with salt to taste.

To Freeze:
Freezing is easy!  When you get to forming the mix into 8 balls, line a cookie sheet with wax paper and flatten the balls into patties.  Stick them into the freezer until frozen, then stack on top of each other in a Zip Lock bag. 

To Cook from Frozen:
Take out desired amount of patties.  Let them sit out for a little while until the sides are just starting to soften or defrost in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Proceed with normal broiling instructions.


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