It began late. I didn't wake up until something like 12;20pm, maybe 12:30pm, I'm not sure, but I know I was upset with the time. This is Thanksgiving week - I don't really have time to waste like this. I had to take my medicine, get something to eat and start getting my world spinning on its axis again.
This is where you say, "Oh no Nicole, you didn't." I heated up leftover vegetable fried rice. Yes. I did. This is not the breakfast of champions, nor the leisurely brunch one shares with friends over a couple of mimosas, but this is what I ate today.
After this triumphant failure I wanted to plan a diner that was meatless, but also something that would make my husband happy. He has been a trooper going through three meatless Mondays so far and I thought it would be nice if I could make one of his favorites in appreciation.
But first, I was distracted by Zombieland on my TV. I thought I could put it on in the background and get some chores done. I was wrong.
My husband loves burgers. In fact, when we first started dating I was sure he had no idea how to order anything else in a restaurant! He is also an excellent burger-maker, his hamburgers are delicious. When we started to try eating more fish, I found a recipe for salmon burgers. He loves salmon burgers now. When we first decided to try turkey in a form other than whole bird or sandwich cold cut, I made turkey burgers for him - he loved those, too. It was based in this tradition that I decided to make bean burgers with oven fries for dinner tonight.
As soon as I finished my fabulous brunch, I started looking for the perfect recipe to surprise my love with. I finally settled on a black bean burger recipe from Food.com (I told you this was one of my favorites!) posted by Billy Zac.
- 2 cups black beans
- 1 medium onions, quartered
- 1/2 cup rolled oats, preferably not instant
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt ( or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 eggs
- liquid ( from cooked beans or stock, you probably won't need this)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Combine the beans, onion, oats, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor. Pulse until chunky, but not pureed. The mixture should be moist, but not sticky. Add a little liquid if needed.
- Grease a baking sheet.
- Use your hands, a spoon, or an ice-cream scoop to make patties. Drop these onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are nicely colored and lift easily from the baking sheet. Flip and bake for 15 more.
- You can also broil these burgers, or cook them in a hot cast iron skillet, or on the grill. They cook a lot faster using these other methods, so just be sure to keep an eye on them.
Here is the recipe for the Oven Fries, as well as I remember it, from Jack Bishop.
- 3-4 potatoes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place a deep rimmed baking pan in the oven.
- While waiting for the oven to heat up, cut the potatoes into four wedges and then cut the wedges in half.
- Put the potatoes with 2 of the tablespoons of oil in a large bowl, along with salt (I also add pepper). Mix with your hands ensuring that all of the wedges get coated with the oil.
- When the oven has heated up, brush the remaining tablespoon of oil in the heated baking pan and put the potatoes in the pan ensuring that every wedge touches the pan (Most times I need more than one baking pan!)/ Bake for 25 minutes.
- After the 25 minutes, using tongs, flip each of the wedges over and bake for 25 more minutes.
- Serve immediately. Add more salt to taste, if necessary.
At around 4:15, the potatoes were in the oven, the bean burgers were ready to become patties and it occurred to me: this would be perfect if my husband could have his burgers on buns! I knew his classes were over and he would be on his way home and there would be no time for me to go get them, but I thought that I could leak a little bit of the surprise in order to make this his favorite meatless Monday ever!
I called him on his phone. After the niceties of our greeting, I said, "I am making you burgers. You might want to pick up buns to eat them on," I was smiling ear to ear, so excited, nearly giddy.
"What? Burgers...today?" i took the skepticism in his voice as a sign that he thought I forgot meatless Monday and he wasn't quite sure if he wanted to be the one to remind me!
Still smiling, almost laughing, I responded, "Don't worry! Their meatless -"
"No, no, no, no! I don't want them. I don't want fake meat burgers. I don't care if you make a whole bowl of vegetables, but I am not eating that!"
Smile gone. Heart broken. "...but they're already made. They are not 'fake meat'. I made them!"
He wasn't happy. Any other Monday, I pretty much brace myself for that, but today I had thought this meal was for him! I was so shocked.
Either way, he is still awesome, and he arrived home with his burger buns. He wanted to see these burgers and grumbled something about them when he opened the oven.
In the end, he liked them. They were a bit too spicy for both of us, but otherwise OK. There was a review of the recipe that recommended cutting the spices down, but I thought, "My husband likes spicy, this person can't handle spice." Whether they could handle spice or not, they were right.
That's another meatless Monday in the books. Perhaps not my proudest one, but successful all the same. One more to go for my official challenge, but perhaps even more in my future to come (as long as I don't try so hard to please my husband - that seemed to backfire in a big way!!)