Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meatless Meal Idea: Black & Pinto Bean Cakes with Feta

Whoa, time to play catch up. My friends' comments that my postings have been few and far between have gotten less subtle. Apparently, while we can all do recipe searches online, many of you are waiting for me to cull through the clutter and test the recipes on my own kiddos, passing along those that everyone likes-- and that we can all quickly whip up. Lucky for you, everyone's (finally) healthy and back to school as of today. I am doing a little happy dance right now, but I'll spare you the visual. I do, however, have some cooking videos (from this winter when the film crew was here) that I will be sharing once I have a moment to work out the technological side of things.

In the meantime, let me share a good recipe...or two or three.

I know a few of you are trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your family dinners. Here's one that I recently made that was a total hit:

Black & Pinto Bean Cakes

1 onion, diced
olive oil
two 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tub crumbled Feta
2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder (optional, omit if you want them more mild)
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
(maybe a little more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil, until tender, and set aside to cool.

Place drained pinto and black beans in large bowl. Using a potato masher (or fork if you don't have one), mash beans coarsely. (You want some left whole, and some smashed into more of a paste, so your cakes will have good overall texture.) Mix in onions, feta, garlic, cumin, chili powder, eggs and 1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs. Using your hands, combine all ingredients. (If necessary, add additional breadcrumbs until you get to the consistency of oatmeal cookie dough. You want the patties to hold their shape.)

Shape bean mixture into 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick patties and place them on a cookie sheet that's been lightly sprayed or rubbed with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through and a little crispy on the outside, carefully flipping the cakes after 10 minutes.

The cakes themselves are more of a vehicle for toppings than being scrumptious on their own. I serve warm with a variety of toppings, letting each person choose their own. Here are some topping ideas:
Corn (fresh, or thawed frozen)
Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Avocado chunks
Sour cream

Hot Sauce
Pickled Jalapenos
Shredded Cheese

And to answer the next burning question of whether my kids ate them too?: Absolutely! They loved them. I went light on the chili powder and heavier on cumin. Then I let them choose their toppings...and to spice mine up, I just added some extra hot sauce.

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