Monday, April 30, 2012

Black Bean and Cranberry Burgers with Chipotle Hummus

Who needs meat when these sweet and spicy burgers are just minutes from your kitchen table? Made from everyday pantry staples these burgers can be thrown together in minutes and will satisfy meat eaters and picky kids alike. My kids loved them (minus the spicy chipotle sauce).  I think that the dried cranberries, sweet corn and grated carrots are to credit with the fact that my kids gobbled them up right before my eyes. 

I recreated this burger from one of my all time favorite places to eat, Pita Jungle. My husband won't go there with me so every so often I just so happen to find myself alone, stranded and starving  at the mall   in the middle of no where except for this lone Pita Jungle with a cute little patio and a fantastically healthy Mediterranean food selection, my fav.  Lucky me.

While I don't mind eating out by myself every once and a while, the bill even being solo can still add up. So in an effort to save money and because I realllllly crave these burgers quite often, I had to figure out how to make them for myself.  

And I did.


Big time.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, have a few naturally sweet strawberries with your dinner instead of sugar laden cakes 
or ice cream.

I honestly think I could give Pita Jungle a run for there money on these babies. They were totally right on the money..... even better IMHO, sorry Pita, no disrespect.

Paired with the chipotle hummus instead of fattening mayo and with a side of spring lettuce, bean sprouts and salt and pepper  Organic fingerling potatoes this is a perfect healthy meal. You will leave the table with your taste buds and belly satisfied, I promise!

Did You Know That Potatoes Can Help You Get A Good Nights Sleep?

When the sugars from potatoes enter the bloodstream, insulin surges, soaking up all amino acids except for tryptophan. This in turn becomes a fuel for serotonin, the neurotransmitter that produces melatonin. Melatonin is the amino acid that controls how drowsy we feel and regulates the sleep cycle.

For the best results, try eating potatoes 3 hours before bedtime.

Black Bean and Cranberry Burgers with Chipotle Hummus

These really are super easy! Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients, in fact, I don't measure anything, I just eye it but I listed some general measurements for your convenience. 


2 cans black beans, drained
1 cup home made bread crumbs ( I use sprouted bread and pulse in my coffee grinder)
1 free range egg
1 cup frozen petite sweet corn
1/2 cup finely chopped bell or sweet peppers
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use Himalayan Pink or French Grey for the minerals)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric (optional. I use for health benefits, doesn't have much flavor)

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
6 whole grain Kaiser buns

sliced tomatoes
sliced purple onion

For Chipotle Hummus:

1 cup plain or garlic hummus (home made or store bought) 
1 6 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Mix the hummus with a tablespoon or so of the adobe sauce (not the chipotle peppers). Reserve chipotles for another use.

Putting it all together:

In your coffee grinder or mini food processor, finely grind 2-3 pieces of sprouted or whole grain bread. Set out on a plate to dry out a bit while you put everything else together. TIP: I make a big batch of bread crumbs and freeze in a mason jar for convenience.

Pre-heat oven to 425F

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, beans through turmeric.

Lightly oil a heavy baking pan such as a broiler pan. You can also fry these on a grill pan if you wish.

Using your hands, scoop a big handful of the bean mixture into a ball and then gently shape into a thick patty.
Place on oiled grill pan. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone.

Bake at 425F for 12-18 minutes until slightly crispy and hot.

Put burgers on kaiser buns spread with chipotle hummus and layered with freshly sliced tomatoes, onion, lettuce and sprouts. 

If you are making potatoes as a side dish, rinse and dry potatoes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Layer on a heavy baking dish {I use a stone baking dish} and bake with the burgers. You may need to put the potatoes in first depending on how big they are. Check with a fork for doneness.

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