Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Black Bean and Walnuts in Three Shorts

If you haven't caught onto this fact yet, every weekend I make some sort of a) lunch dish, and b) dinner meal that I can chow down on for three out of four days during the week and which can sustain the transition to leftovers without tasting like crap all week. It is a nice habit as it forces me to make the time (and gives me a justification) for trying out a couple of new recipes a week. But one thing that I'm not such a big fan of is the fact that by the time Day Four of leftovers rolls around, if I never ever ever have to see this dish again, it will only be too soon.

So last week, I decided to put a spin on a VT recipe in the hopes that I'd conquer the blahs when it comes to leftovers for the week. What I ended up settling on was the Black Bean Burger recipe from a summer issue from last year. I heart black beans, and I heart homemade veggie burgers, so I figured what the hell. I hadn't decided that my plight would be to create three different items from the same recipe when I first whipped up (a halved version of) the recipe, but once I realized that one of the two evenings I would need to have something easily microwaveable to eat (which veggie burgers aren't quite so much unless you precook), that became my plan.

And voila: three takes on the VT black bean burger recipe.

Truth be told, the only one I was really and truly wowed by was the enchilada recipe. Oh my god, did I like this one--mostly because the Samsara cheez sauce was WAY too fricking tasty (even despite the fact that I accidentally dumped a good 2 T. of garlic powder into it while adding spices). But... with a little tweaking, I'm sure you could get the other two up to par as well. I think they just were a bit too soggy and need more adjusting to keep them from crumbling so easy. So get at it.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, this is kind of a one-person meal-deal. If you wanna whip these up for two folks for the week, you'll of course need to double the recipes.

And you'll probably want to figure out your black-bean burger ration quantities ahead of time as well--I'd suggest portioning out enough for three small patties and one bigger pattie before figuring out how much you have to spread on your enchiladas. If you hadn't noticed I'm not so much the Queen of Exactness.

And finally: the enchilada recipe is the recipe that made me realize my cat Zooey is deathly afraid of the sound of foil. Ha ha ha. I thought I was weird.

Core Black Bean and Walnut Burger Recipe

  • 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained well

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1.5 tsp. chili powder

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 c. cooked brown rice

  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts

  • 3 T. chopped red onion

  • 1.5 T. canned corn


Purée beans (minus 1/4 or so) with cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper until smooth. Add rice, walnuts, onion, corn and remaining beans, and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. (Mixture should be stiff but not dry.) Add 2 to 3 Tbs. water to moisten, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the consistency is too wet (or you overwet it--which I of course totally DID NOT DO, *ahem*), just add a bit of flour until it's less slimey and holds a bit better). Cover and chill.

(Recipe originally from the Vegetarian Times)

Black-Bean Burrito Burgers

  • 2 med. red potatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes

  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. water

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • A pinch of: cumin

  • Season salt & onion powder to taste (I used about 1/4 t. season salt and 1/2 t. onion powder)

  • 1 burrito-sized flour tortilla

  • Shredded lettuce

  • Salsa

  • 1/4 c. cornmeal

  • 3 mini-patties from your core-recipe above, each about 2" in circumference (and coated in the cornmeal above), each probably around 1/4 c.'s worth of your core black-bean recipe


Toss your potato cubes into a microwave-safe bowl with your water. Cook for about 6 minutes or so (or until nearly soft, but not yet soft) on medium-heat. Heat up a frying pan and spray with some non-stick oil. Toss your potatoes into the pan. Add seasonings and stir... Cook until soft and browned on all sides. Remove potatoes from pan, toss in bowl, and cover.

Reusing the same pan, spray a bit more non-stick oil, and return it to the heat. Toss on your mini-patties, and cook each side until browned (3-4 minutes each).

In the meantime, heat up your tortilla in the microwave according to directions.

Toss some lettuce on your tortilla. Add potatoes and your mini-patties, and top with a nice hearty scoop or two of salsa.

Flantastic Black Bean Walnut Enchiladas


Awesomest Cheezy Sauce Ever

  • 2 T. corn starch (also works with flour, but you have to use a little more of it)

  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast

  • 1-2 c. cold water

  • 1/4 t. chili powder

  • 1/4 t. ground cumin

  • 1/4 t. season salt

  • 1 t. garlic powder

  • 2 t. soy sauce

  • 1 t. vinegar

The Rest of the Enchiladas
  • Two flour tortillas

  • 1.5 to 2 c. of some sorta chunky (preferably black-beany) salsa

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 1 c. shredded lettuce

  • Core black-bean mix (probably about 1/3 c. per enchilada--but that's a guesstimate)


Stir the cornstarch, nutritional yeast, and dry spices together in a sauce pan. Add one cup of the cold water and put over medium heat while stirring with a whisk. Add garlic, vinegar, and oil now. Keep stirring while the sauce thickens and bubbles adding more water if the sauce is too thick (will take at least 5 minutes, more if you used flour instead of cornstarch). Add soy sauce to taste. Turn off the heat when the sauce gets to desired consistency. Remember that it will get a little thicker when it cools down.


Preheat oven to 450.

Line a baking pan with foil. Spray with some nonstick spray.

Take a tortilla and smear 2/3 of it with the black-bean mixture. Coat with a generous helping of cheezy sauce. Roll up and place on foil. Do the same with your second tortilla.

Pour your salsa over the two enchilada-wraps. Place in oven and cook for about 25 minutes or so (or you can use the Lindy-Loo poke method, if you're not trying to impress people with how pretty they look, and poke your finger in the middle to see if they've cooked through).

Divide your lettuce between two plates. Place an enchilada atop your lettuce, and top with 1/2 an avocado, diced. Do the same with the second, and voila--dinner.

(modified from Samsara, because they are *awesome*)

Standard Black Bean Burger


  • The remaining veggie-burger mix, formed into a patty (probably about 1/2 to 3/4 c.)

  • A bun or bread

  • A scoop of leftover "cheez" sauce from above recipe

  • Any other garnishings (I just used ketchup and mustard with mine)


Cook patty on medium-heat in a pan sprayed with non-stick oil for about 4-5 minutes each side (or until brown and burger cooked through). Place on a bun or bread, and top with "cheez" sauce and your other accoutrements.

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