Use Up Leftovers: Black Bean Burgers
The ultimate way to save money on food is to use up what you already have on hand – and to repurpose leftovers.
Do you ever open you fridge only to discover you have nothing to eat but odds-and-ends?
You know what I mean: Little bits of leftover ingredients – half of an onion – a small piece of grilled chicken – a tablespoon left in the bottom of a jar of something.
Frustratingly, it happens to me all the time.
Last week, I was in major need of a fridge and freezer clean-out. Here were some of the items I found:
- A small bag of frozen black beans
- Frozen yellow bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes, beginning to soften
- 1 mature jalapeno pepper
- Leftover Feta cheese
I challenged myself to make something out of all of these leftover ingredients. I settled on making a batch of black bean burgers.
Use Up Kitchen Scraps, Save Money
Have you heard of the TV show Scraps?
The show’s concept is simple: To create great meals out of food waste and kitchen scraps. Items many of us would throw out – but items that can be combined and repurposed to make great tasting dishes.
The show has inspired me to quit throwing away so much food.
It’s a fun challenge, too. Whenever I do it, I feel like I’m on a cooking show!
Give these black bean burgers a try – they were really delicious! And don’t forget to do your own experimenting in the kitchen. I’d love to hear how you repurpose leftovers.
Other Creative Recipes Using Leftovers:
- Cheesy kale rice fritters (using leftover fried rice)
- Turkey chili (using leftover Thanksgiving turkey)
- Mini enchilada stacks (using leftover tortillas, meat, and veggies)
- Beer pancakes with macerated strawberries and blueberries (to use up the last berries in your fridge)
- Cheesy broccoli “chips” made out of broccoli stalks
- Creamy roasted carrot dip using wilting carrots
- 2 cups beans (I used black and pinto)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or cracker crumbs, tortilla chip crumbs for gluten-free, etc.)
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese
- 1 tomato, chopped and squeezed to remove as much moisture as possible
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (orange, red or green)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
- Lime juice, optional
- Rinse beans with cold water. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3 minutes, to get rid of some of the moisture in the beans. Allow beans to cool before mixing with other ingredients.
- Place cooled beans, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, tomato, bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times, until the ingredients are mixed. The mixture should be quite dry, but still moldable. If the mixture is too moist, add some more breadcrumbs. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until the right consistency is reached.
- Form patties: Take 1/2 cup of the mixture and form into a patty, about 1/2 inch thick. Continue forming the rest of the patties.
- To cook: Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add burgers, three at a time. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for 3 more minutes. Repeat and cook the remaining burgers.
- For topping: Gently combine the tomato, avocado, red onion, and lime juice. Place on top of burgers and serve.