Healthy White Bean Burgers

Being a pescatarian, I have found that I often get into eating phases. Sometimes my meals are more focused on seafood and then I change back to a more traditional vegetarian focus. Rarely I go the vegan route but for me that is experimental.

More recently, I have been in my vegetarian phase. Over the summer, I was grilling a lot, spending time with friends at the pool. Now that everyone is busy, I began making portabella burgers on the stove. I love, love, love them but it was time for a change.

Perusing the internet, I found a recipe in the NY Times for White Bean Burgers. The recipe was developed by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Martha Rose Shulman. I have a number of her cookbooks. She assisted Dean Ornish in developing the diet plan to reverse heart disease so her recipes are oriented toward optimum health.

White kidney beans (and other beans) are high in dietary fiber, both  soluble and insoluble. A 1-cup serving of kidney beans, cooked, meets roughly 45 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake for fiber. Beans are also an excellent source of folate. 

As always, I have made changes to the original recipe to suit my taste. Since I am a single girl these changes included reducing the serving size. You can go to the original recipe if you prefer to make more http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/nutrition/12recipehealth.html?_r=0 .

The burgers turned out great. I highly recommend you form them and refrigerate them so they hold together better on the stove. A good wide spatula will help you turn the burgers without them breaking apart. I found they stayed together pretty well though.

I mention tomato slices as a condiment. Since my basil is growing leaps and bounds and tomatoes are at their best, I used the slices I had in the fridge which were marinated with basil leaves, slivers of garlic and a little balsamic vinegar. Regular slices work fine too.

As for the basic recipe, you can experiment with different combinations to see what best suits your taste.  Other options I thought of would be using dill, lemon pepper and feta or cilantro, jalapeno, cumin topped with low fat cheddar. Another topping might be sautéed onions, mushrooms and low fat swiss. 

I hope you will try these. 

White Bean Burgers
These should be cooked on a flat griddle or pan; don’t try to grill them on a barbecue.

1 can  white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1-2  large garlic cloves (to taste), green shoots removed, minced
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbl finely chopped parsley
½ (or more if you prefer)  tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (optional)
1/8 cup panko bread crumbs (I like the seasoned crumbs)
1 egg, beaten
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash Himalayan pink salt
Small ciabatta buns or wholegrain hamburger buns

Condiments of your choice:
Vine ripe tomato slices, Avocado sliced or mashed, Roasted and sliced green chile (hatch), thin slices of reduced fat cheddar or swiss cheese, sautéed mushroom slices,  tzatziki (http://preview.tinyurl.com/m5pn5xq) or sriracha mayonnaise (mix 2 parts low fat mayonnaise with 1 part sriracha sauce or to taste), pickles.

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-size skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, the garlic and the grated carrot, and continue to cook for another minute or two, until fragrant and the carrot has softened slightly. Remove from the heat.

2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, puree the beans with the lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the onion mixture, the parsley, rosemary and thyme , the bread crumbs and the egg. Season to taste. Shape into patties, ½- to ¾-inch thick. Set on a parchment-covered baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy skillet or on a griddle over medium heat and brown the patties for 4 minutes on each side, being very careful when you turn them over. An offset spatula works well for this. Serve on whole grain buns, with tzatziki or sriracha mayonnaise and the condiments of your choice.

Yield: 3-4 patties depending on the size. I make mine small

Advance preparation: You can make the patties up to a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.

My apologies for not providing a photo. I was too hungry to wait for a photo shoot! :)