Now that we don’t have a television to subdue the boys while I fix dinner I must ensure that I am preparing something that doesn’t require too much attention since whenever my back is turned chaos ensues. (Okay there’s chaos all the time.) This is not always easy since I: a) shun food that comes in plastic shrink wrap, and b) must find recipes that at least 3 out of 4 family members will enjoy. My latest fall back is the humble bean burger. Frankly, I was impressed both boys liked them and actually asked if we could have them again.
I can prepare these bean burgers between bouts of whining from the boys, or during nap time without cutting into my “free time.” And when I say five minute prep, I do mean five minutes. I timed myself.
I adapted Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything. This is a great basic mainstream cookbook because it is really easy to adapt most of the recipes to your personal preferences and he has great suggestions for ways to vary the flavors of many of the recipes.
2 cups beans — use whatever you like, I’ve been using white or black beans that I soak and pre-cook myself. I keep them ready in 2 cup portions in the freezer and defrost the night before.
1 onion, quartered
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I like to use sourdough bread, Bittman’s recipe uses rolled oats, but I don’t like to eat what would essentially be raw oats)
1 TBSP chili powder(adjust to your taste, I also like to substitute curry powder, but my boys don’t like that as much)
1/2 cup cheese (I use whatever kind I have, but like Parmesan the best, the kids like cheddar)
salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not mushy. If it’s too dry you can add a bit of water or stock, if it’s too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs.
Form mixture into small patties, place on wax paper and refrigerate until ready to cook.
That’s the five minute part. It takes me five minutes now, but truthfully I should admit it took 10 minutes the first time.
They can sit in the fridge for however long (even overnight) until you are ready to fry them (which does take more than five minutes, of course). Bittman suggests any neutral oil, but I fry the bean burgers in coconut oil because: a) it’s good for you, and b) it has a high smoke point so it won’t burn or go rancid. (It took me a while to get over the subtle flavor of sunscreen in my food, but now I don’t notice it.)
I usually serve them without bread but with slices of tomatoes, cheese and lots of avocado. I always include kimchi on the tray, but so far, I’m the only one that eats it.
As for clean up time. You’re on your own for that.
Do you have any five minute meals?
More dinner time help: