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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Black Bean Spread and Patties for the Hungry Vegetarian

Despite being a vegetarian for the past 10 years, I hardly found a sandwich satisfying unless it had a mock meat or peanut butter. I don't think overly processed mock meats are healthy for an every day diet and eating peanut butter gets way too boring. For years I wanted something savory with substance rather than a salad on two slices of bread. Making your own bean patties and spreads are such a great option. They will both satiate your belly and please your taste buds. Most importantly they're really easy to make. 

Black Bean Spread/Patties*

2 cups of cooked black beans
1 tbsp of margarine (Earth Balance is a good vegan brand)
2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro
1 large sized clove of garlic, minced
1/2 of an onion, chopped finely
2 tsp of Creole seasoning (or try any other seasoning blend you like)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (for patties)
The juice of half a lime (for spread)

Olive oil

NOTE: Once you have your ingredients ready, have your oven preheating while you blend. 

Part 1 - Blending the Base

Pour black beans, margarine, creole seasoning, cilantro, onions and garlic to your food processor (add a dash of salt if you feel it needs a little more flavor). Pulse until it becomes pretty smooth, however you still want to see tiny bits of ingredients. Take half of the mix and pour it into a bowl, while leaving the rest in the food processor. 

Part 2 - Bean Spread

Add lime juice to what is left in the food processor and blend until very smooth. Feel free to also add a dash of olive oil for extra flavor. Bean Spread, complete! 

(I like to: spread some bean spread on a spinach tortilla, add some leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers and avocado.)

Part 3 - Bean Patties

Add the bread crumbs to what's in your bowl and mix it until well combined (I like to use my hands for this). Now start to make ping pong ball sized balls, then flatten them into little pucks. If the mix is too sticky, add more bread crumbs. Next, place them on a cookie sheet and brush each side of the patty with some olive oil. Put your patties in the oven and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes, flipping them half way. Once crisp, take them out and let them cool. Bean patties complete!

(I like to: spread a sriracha-vegenaise sauce mix (1 part sriracha, 1 part vegenaise) on sour dough bread, 2-3 bean patties, add leafy greens, tomatoes, onions and pickles.)


*You could try to use this recipe as a formula to make any spread or patty you want to make. Simply switch for any bean, fresh herb, and seasoning mix you like (just keep in mind to add enough bread crumbs for the patties). I'm going to experiment with cannellini beans, flat leaf parsley and our Tuscan blend next!

Sara is currently studying romance languages at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a student and a team member of Bazaar Spices, she is able to fuel her interest in understanding different cultures. For Sara, understanding different cultures is key to connecting with people, and there is nothing more gratifying to her than that.  

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