Monday, March 26, 2007

Easy vegetarian dinner from leftover ingredients

In an effort to use up leftover ingredients from recent recipes I've made, I decided to make these Black Bean Rice Burgers tonight for dinner. Actually, I have wanted to make these for a while now, but I never seemed to have all of the ingredients on hand. Tonight I just happened to have everything I needed in my fridge, in my pantry and sitting on my counter. I had leftover hamburger buns from the Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches and leftover sour cream and salsa from the Fiesta Chicken Pasta, so I decided to use them up in this recipe.

The original recipe had no chili powder or ground cumin in it, but I added 1/4 teaspoon of each since I wanted these burgers to have a nice smoky flavor. I also used a medium salsa to add more flavor and heat than a mild salsa would.

Make sure you coat your nonstick skillet generously with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Also, use a thin spatula and make sure you get it all the way under each of the whole burgers before flipping over gently. They're somewhat fragile and may lose their shape a little bit when you flip them, but they are really forgiving, so it's easy to reshape them by flattening them and patting around the outer perimeter with the spatula.

The sour cream/salsa mixture that accompanies these burgers is fantastic. Not only does it add flavor, but it also adds moisture, too. I think the burgers alone would be a bit blah and dry without it.

Serve with Veggie Crisps and purple and green grapes.

Black Bean Rice Burgers

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup salsa, divided
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns, split

In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork. Add the rice, onion, egg, 2 tablespoons salsa, chili powder and cumin; mix well. Drop by 1/2 cupfuls into a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until firm and browned.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and remaining salsa. Place a lettuce leaf, burger and sour cream mixture on bun.

Yield: 4 servings

No comments: