Grief is a sacred journey

High Protein Entrees

Black Bean Burgers

I ate a black bean burger at Chili’s in an airport once and was inspired to come up with a healthier and better tasting one at home. This recipe makes 12-18 burgers. After they are cooked and cooled, they freeze well for reheating. Serve on a whole wheat roll with the usual burger condiments such as tomato, ketchup, and lettuce. I like them with hot sauce.

  • 3 15 oz cans of black beans, well drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 chopped onions
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • hot pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons or more chopped parsley
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (approximately) whole wheat bread crumbs
  • instant oats flakes, if needed
  • paprika for sprinkling on top

Drain beans. Saute chopped onion and garlic in oil until lightly brown.
Puree drained beans in food processor with eggs, using as little liquid as possible.
Mix together: pureed beans and eggs, onion and garlic, carrots, and spices. Add bread crumbs (or instant oat flakes) and let mix sit 10 minutes so bread crumbs can absorb moisture. Add more breadcrumbs or instant oat flakes if needed to reach a workable consistency. Form burgers, place on oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with paprika for browning, and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Take out of oven and let sit 10 minutes to firm burgers. Flip them and cook 10 more minutes at 425 to brown top. These are also good grilled (on a vegetable tray).

Garbanzo Bean Burgers

  • 3 cups cooked or 2 15 ounce cans drained garbanzo beans
  • 1 lb tofu
  • 2 eggs or 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 large thinly chopped red bell pepper
  • 4-6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 cup or more of whole wheat bread crumbs or oatmeal flakes
  • ground paprika

Heat the oil and saute onion and garlic, adding chopped red pepper at the end so it doesn’t overcook. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, and parsley and simmer a few minutes.

Drain garbanzo beans and mash them in a food processor, blender, or with a potato masher. Blend eggs and tofu and add mix to mashed or pureed beans. Add sauted vegetable mix and bread crumbs (or oatmeal). Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Canned beans are often salty, so rinse them first and you still might not need to add salt. Mix well and refrigerate in a covered container for a few hours.

Make into large patties with your hands (if too wet to make into patties, add more oatmeal or breadcrumbs so you have a wet but workable consistency). Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and sprinkle paprika on top to promote browning. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until firm and browned, flipping them after 20 minutes so both sides are browned. Makes 8-12 patties. Serve as burgers on whole wheat buns with condiments you enjoy such as sliced tomatoes or onions, maybe ketchup. Or serve plain with baked winter squash or sweet potatoes.

Egg White Omelet for Two

  • 6 large eggs (preferably from organic or free-range chickens)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • grated parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Saute the onion in olive oil in a no stick or cast iron skillet. Use a low flame and cook until the onion is soft, lightly browned, and fragrant. Add the pepper and cook a few minutes.

While this is cooking, crack the eggs, separating and putting aside 2-3 egg yolks. This cuts down cholesterol. You can give the egg yolks to your grateful dog. Add a little salt and pepper to the egg mixture and whip the eggs with a wire whip or fork. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water or milk to make them frothy.

Add the egg mix to the vegetables in the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, turning the eggs as necessary to cook thoroughly. This last step is fast. Serve with grated Romano or parmesan cheese and whole wheat toast.