Black bean burgers with Purple cabbage slaw

Burgers…there are a million and one recipes out there for different kinds of vegetarian burgers: black bean, sweet potato, quinoa…you name it and there’s a recipe for it.

So why am I posting another one? Because this is my go to recipe…the one even after I look at all of them, I will head back to again and again. And it’s something that I just threw together in my kitchen one night when we needed dinner and I was tired and didn’t want to think about cooking. Open a can of beans, add a pepper, some onions and spices and voila! Easy quick dinner with very little in the way of ingredients.

Then I whipped up this slaw! We like ours a bit tart because the burger and bread hide the tartness once it’s all combined. Again, we didn’t have lettuce and wanted something for the burger and thus the slaw was born. Easy, quick and tasty!

And I apologize for the lack of photos…we honestly scarfed them down so fast that there was nothing to take a picture of in the morning when the lighting was better!

Black bean burgers

1 big can of black beans, drained and rinsed
½ green or red bell pepper, diced
1 T onion flakes (or ½ onion diced and sauted)
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced (or ½ t garlic powder)
¼ cp bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork
½ cup corn meal—for breading

Toss everything EXCEPT corn meal into a bowl and mix together. Smash beans until your desired texture is reached (I like mine pretty smashed, but with some still visible bean chunks in there).
Put corn meal on a small plate or in a shallow dish. Form your patties and put in corn meal, coating both sides. In a skillet with a touch of oil, cook patties over low-med heat until golden on both sides, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

*The corn meal gives the burgers a nice crunchy exterior. You can just as easily cook them without.

**The burgers also freeze well. Simply form the patties (no breading) and freeze! When you are ready to cook, thaw, bread and cook away!

***Spices: More or less depending on your taste! Do you like things spicy? Add more chili powder or even a squirt of Sriracha . Don’t like cumin? Leave it out!

Purple Cabbage Slaw

¼ head purple cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, julienned
½ green or red bell pepper, julienned
1 T mayo (or less depending on your taste)
½ lime or lemon, juiced
½-1 t sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Dissolved ½ tsp sugar in half of the lime juice. Mix cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper together. Pour over sugar and lime juice mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add more sugar and or lime juice, to your taste.



Stewed Tomatoes

While we were in the States last year, I saw an idea on Pinterest for making your own cookbook using those old spiral bound cookbooks. You know the ones: the church fundraiser, women’s group, or garden society cookbooks filled with everything from beef gelatin to ambrosia salad. Remember those? Anyway, every time I was in an old bookstore or antique shop I looked around for one of these cookbooks with some nice drawings and headings. I found several and brought them back to West Africa with me for a rainy day when I needed a project.

So the other day when I was wanting to make my salsa and chips obsessed husband some salsa (recipe coming!) I found myself in a pinch. I needed stewed tomatoes. You can’t just run out and buy those where I am. For some reason instead of consulting my best friend Google, I pulled out one of these old cookbooks I bought. And voila! Stewed tomatoes that turned out to be delicious, quick and easy! Maybe I won’t be remaking this book after all!

The first time I made these, I left the skins on the tomatoes, but I didn’t like the pieces of skin that ended up mixed in the sauce. So the second time, I peeled the tomatoes and it was much better. These stewed tomatoes freeze beautifully, make a great pizza sauce or pasta sauce, and can well. No more searching for the perfect pizza sauce or pasta sauce for me! This is my go to recipe!!

Stewed Tomatoes
B gives these 5 out of 5 carrots!

stewed tomatoes

Every good recipe should start with onion and garlic!

2 T butter or margarine
1 medium chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
8 medium size tomatoes (not Roma), with skins removed**
2 t sugar
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1 t thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Add butter to large skillet and melt over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic in butter 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes, until tomatoes have cooked down and most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Enjoy your stewed tomatoes!

** The easiest way to remove the skins from the tomatoes is to basically blanch them. Boil some water on the stove. In a bowl add water and ice. Once the water is boiling, drop in the tomatoes and boil for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, transfer the tomatoes to ice water and begin gently removing the skins. The skins should sort of slid/peel off without removing much tomato flesh. If it seems stubborn, add to boiling water again for 10 more seconds and back to ice water. This works best in small batches. I did two tomatoes at a time 🙂

Vegetable pancakes


Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

A few months ago I was in the grocery store in our capital and found a sack of Gram flour. Of course I had no idea what that was, but thought “Why not?!” and bought the half pound bag.

Imagine my delight when I got home and discovered that it was chickpea flour! I love chickpeas. Hummus, chickpea salad, falafel. You can rarely go wrong with chickpeas!

After some more investigating on how to actually use the flour and I landed on this recipe. A vegetable pancake made with chickpea flour. It’s perfect paired with some yogurt/sour cream, tahini, or even ranch (because who are we kidding? Ranch goes great with everything!).  Meat eaters could throw some bacon or smoked sausage in the batter and some Worcestershire  for a rich smoky flavor! And it’s another gluten free recipe!

The pancakes make a great light lunch or afternoon snack and store well in the freezer too. I usually serve mine with a simple salad topped with two pancakes and some yogurt. Yum!!


Vegetable Pancakes
adapted from Calm Mind Busy Body



B gives it 4 out of 5 carrots

2 cups chickpea flour
¾ cup water
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed and chopped
3 small tomatoes, diced
½ cup frozen broccoli, thawed and diced
¼ cup corn, drained and rinsed
¼ cup lima beans, peas or fava beans, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamon
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground ginger
½  tsp chili powder
¾  tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Moroccan Spice Seasoning (here) ** optional
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for cooking


  1. Add all ingredients (minus the EVOO) to a medium bowl and stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Prepare your griddle pan or non-stick skillet with some EVOO and place over medium-low heat.
  3. Using a ¼ cup, scoop out batter onto griddle spreading the mixture out to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping when the first side is a golden brown.* Place on cooling rack when done to prevent sogginess.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*The longer you wait to flip, the less even the other side of the pancake will be because the batter cooks down leaving the vegetables higher. This means that parts of your pancake will remain more doughy than others. I found that on low-medium heat, a good 2 minutes was plenty of time.

** A note about the Moroccan Spice Seasoning: I accidentally dumped some of this in the batter thinking it was red pepper flakes 🙂 I ended up liking the slightly sweet hint from the cinnamon, so I was glad I had included it. I’ve made these so many times before without it and they are just as good without!