I’ve been on my vegan cleanse for approximately three weeks now, and minus a few slip-ups, I’ve stayed pretty much on target. Though old habits die hard because I was grocery shopping during the first week and sampled a cube of aged cheddar. I didn’t even realize I had done so until I was talking on the phone with my friend (Codename: Candelabra) the next day! The upside is that I’ve had zero beef and pork and only two instances of chicken/cheese/eggs this entire time.
I’m actually enjoying the cleanse. I treat it as a food challenge, such as “I feel like eating Mexican food. What can I make that would be Mexican yet vegan?” I also find myself getting excited about “treats” that are still considered vegan, like “vegan” Oreos, “vegan” Lays original potato chips, and “vegan” Frito-Lay tortilla chips. Trust me, I don’t eat these all the time, but it’s nice to know that following a vegan diet doesn’t completely cut off all tasty snacks. Speaking of tortilla chips, I found a recipe for black bean burgers in a magazine, but the ingredients included shredded cheddar and an egg as binders. I couldn’t have those, so I nixed them and substituted in silken tofu. The black bean burgers tasted pretty delicious. However, because of their soft texture, I opted out of the hamburger buns and used lettuce leaves instead. Go, go “vegan” black bean burgers!
Vegan Black Bean Burgers
(adapted from Fitness Magazine’s Black Bean “Nacho” Burgers)
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. chopped tomato
1/4 c. chopped onion
4 oz. silken tofu
1/2 c. finely crushed tortilla chips
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of salt
Using a food processor or Magic Bullet (like I did), puree beans, tomato, and onion until you get a chunky mix. It’s okay to have a few whole beans remaining. Add the silken tofu and puree just until blended. Scoop mixture into medium bowl and stir in crushed tortilla chips. Stir to combine and season with pepper and salt.
Allow mixture to stand for 10 minutes in refrigerator. Then, form four patties, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set back in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
When ready to cook, heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil in pan, and fry burgers for approximately 4 minutes on medium heat. Add another 2 teaspoons of oil, flip the burgers and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.