Recharging on a Sunday night: Black Bean Cakes with Ginger-Cilantro Cream

This was a big weekend.  Between a Friday night out at an improv show, all-you-can-eat barbecue, trapeze lessons (!), the Diwali fest last night, and a 5k today, the Husband and I had a gorgeous, but incredibly busy weekend.  And this coming Saturday, we set off on our biggest adventure yet – our honeymoon!  Two weeks away from home, though, means we should be cooking and eating as many home-cooked and light meals as possible – both to go a little easier on the wallet and a little easier on the waistline.  That first part means relying on what we have already in the pantry – and the second, a lot of vegetables.  So tonight, I turned to a meal that even the Husband, a non-vegetarian, can get into.  This recipe, like so many, is largely based on a Cooking Light recipe.

Black Bean Cakes with Ginger-Cilantro Cream

  • butter and olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (one of the best wedding gifts we received was our garlic press, which makes using fresh garlic about 100 times easier…)
  • dash cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • dash ground coriander
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • about 1/4 to 1/2 cup panko (I like the whole wheat kind)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 14.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten in a small bowl
  • cup of light sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon or so grated fresh ginger (I keep mine in the freezer, which makes it a LOT easier to grate!)
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add about a tablespoon of butter.  Add the onions, cook them down a bit, and then add the garlic, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.  Stir in cumin, a little bit of salt, coriander, red pepper, and a dash of black pepper, cook for about 1 minutes and then remove from heat.  Add the panko and the lime juice; stir it all together.
  2. Put the beans in a food processor and pulse until they form a chunky paste (Cooking Light instructs you to mash the beans in a bowl with a fork; I find this take too long and that the beans never get to the right consistency).  Add the beans, eggs and panko/onion mixture.  After mixing it all together, form 4 patties (they’ll look like little burgers).
  3. Add some butter and olive oil to the same pan as before; heat over medium.  Add the patties and cook on each side about 4 or so minutes on each side; keep the cover on in the meantime.  A note or two: You want the patties to be browned – but be careful, they sometimes burn! Just add a little more olive oil or butter if they do.  The patties also have a tendency to fall apart a big – no worries, just squish them back together.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, a tiny amount of salt, some pepper, chopped cilantro and the grated ginger.  Add a squeeze of lime juice and mix well.
  5. Serve the patties with a side salad and the cream mixture.
black beans, not burgers!
black beans, not burgers!

The Verdict:

I’ve made these once before, and the Husband and I were both surprised at how much we liked these.  We had the same reaction tonight.  They’re hearty, filling (probably because we eat twice the portion size Cooking Light recommends!), and (I think) healthy.  You do have to watch the burn factor on the cakes, and go easy on the salt in the sour cream mixture.

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varinaj

planning, cooking, eating and repeating.

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