A recent meal at Houston's gave me the push I needed to try something that's been on my to-cook list for years—veggie burgers. Houston's veggie burger is black-bean based, and it is delicious.
I have torn quite a few veggie burger recipes from food magazines over the years. There are so many ingredient possibilities! Most recently, a quinoa burger is featured in the new Martha Stewart Living. (I can't believe they spelled lemon wrong in the recipe. Martha makes mistakes?! Oh, wait, there was that big one a while back...)
So, I set off to make some hybrid of my researched recipes (which is what I often do when making something new), and was pretty pleased with the result. I sauteed a few handfuls of chopped portobello mushrooms, garlic, and 1/2 a large onion, deglazing the pan with the juice of half a lime. I added this to a bowl of rinsed canned black beans, and added cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and some BBQ sauce. I quasi-mashed the ingredients to basically give it the consistency of ground beef, and added an egg white and some wheat germ (in place of bread crumbs - thanks, Meira, for the idea!). I shaped my "meat" into balls, flattened them, and tossed them into my grill pan. (They look like cookies!)
I got a lot of mileage out of very few ingredients! This made me think a lot about nutrition and the cost of food. (Again.) The ingredients for this entire main dish cost about $5 (this factors in the small amount of staples used such as dry spices, olive oil, and eggs), it took very little time to prepare, and it is an incredibly nutritious option.
We went bun-less for dinner (only because I forgot to buy them!), but they were really pretty good with a little salsa and cheese. I will make these again, but want to add some pickled jalapeno and something with a little sweetness to the mix (maybe roasted red peppers?). I think the addition of a grain, such as brown rice, will help improve the texture, too.