Healthy eating can be hard.
Our taste buds have been conditioned to crave the salty, fatty foods that are abundant in a typical American diet. Advertisements for processed foods are everywhere, and the convenience of fast food restaurants can be hard to ignore.
Our mission here at Healthy Food Now is to make healthy eating easier through recipes, helpful articles, and access to nutrition coaches and chefs. But if you are new to healthy eating, some of our recipes may seem somewhat intimidating -- it can be hard to go right from 0 to 60!
To help those of you who are new to plant-based diets or are just starting out, we have a new segment called “RecipEASY.” Each week, we (Kate, Kayla, and whoever else on the Healthy Food Now team that decides to join us) will make a recipe (or two!) from our website and then write about our experience, giving modifications and helpful tips. Neither of us are very experienced in a kitchen, so we are always looking for ways to simplify healthy recipes!
Kate and I have been craving burgers, so we decided to start with a black bean and mushroom burger for this week (we may have been a little ambitious)! Find the full recipe here.
To be frank, this recipe calls for a lot of ingredients I don’t like: onion, cashews, and two types of mushrooms! I was a little skeptical when we chose to go with this recipe, but the picture looked good, and we thought we’d give it a try.
First thing we learned: make sure you leave enough time to cook the rice.
We underestimated how long the rice would take to cook, and had to wait around for a little bit (the packaging estimated 35-40 minutes just for the rice). Another option would be to buy instant rice, although it is generally more expensive.
When we blended the onion, mushrooms, cashews, balsamic vinegar, and paprika together for the burgers, it didn’t look pretty (although the onion did smell delicious!). After we added mashed up black beans and brown rice — fresh off the stove — and mixed everything in a large bowl, I was still a little doubtful that these burgers would taste good — they sure didn’t look it yet.
We rolled up our sleeves and got our hands dirty forming patties out of our concoction, but found the mixture wasn’t thick enough. Kate had the brilliant idea to put the mix in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help it firm. The warm rice was our issue. After 5-10 minutes, we were able to form the patties.
Flipping the burgers was a struggle for the first few patties (they didn’t quite stay together). But the great thing about beans being such a big part of the patties meant we could just push them back together =P After experimenting with a few patties, we added a tad more olive oil to the pan and decided we just weren’t leaving them on long enough (we were just eyeballing it and not sticking to the 8-10 minutes recommended in the recipe). Needless to say, the last few patties turned out the best! We also found it helpful to put the tomato, onion, and lettuce into the pita bread before the bean burger (otherwise we weren’t able to get them evenly distributed).
By the time we finally bit into our burgers… I was impressed. First, I was surprised they looked so good (I personally had never made any type of burger before). Secondly (and more importantly), I was impressed by how good they really were. Although I didn’t like most of the ingredients in the actual burger, combined with some lettuce, tomato, onion, and whole wheat pita, it was delicious! This recipe is a great way to get some really good-for-you foods (that you may not be a huge fan of) into your meal!
Try to make this black bean and mushroom burger and let us know what you think or if you add any modification!