Friday Cookbook Review: “Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook”

“Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook”, The Editors of Vegetarian Times, Wiley Publishing, 2005

I subscribe to most food and cooking-related magazines, but Vegetarian Times is one of the few that get read on arrival.  While I’m not a vegetarian, some of my clients are, and more are interested in eating lighter meals, so it’s important for me to stay up to date. I can count on the magazine for a fresh batch of seasonal recipes as well as an education.  This new work from the magazine’s editors is a natural, beautiful extension of that. read the complete review here.

I’ve been adjusting my eating habits, trying to pick up my energy level and trim down at the same time.  For me, that means cutting out beer, reducing portion sizes and adding more vegetables. At the same time, I’ve been doing more with beans, all sort of beans.  This recipe hits all the right notes and is packed with flavor.

Barbados Black Bean Cakes with Mango Salsa
Serves 4

Salsa:
2C peeled, diced mango
1/2C diced red bell pepper
1/4C finely diced red onion
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced (do this with gloves on)
2T coarsely chopped cilantro
1T fresh lime juice
1t minced fresh ginger

Black Bean Cakes
2, 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
1/4C chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
1/4C finely chopped red onion
www.all-creatures.org1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1t ground cumin
1t minced garlic
1/2t ground allspice
1/2t cayenne
1/3C dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
1T olive oil
lime wedges for garnish (optional)

To make the salsa, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir, set aside.medcookingalaska.blogspot.com

Put the beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until they stick together. Add the cilantro, onion, egg white, cumin, garlic, allspice and cayenne. Mix until well blended.

Divide the bean mixture into 8 equally sized portions. Shape each portion into 1/2″ thick patties. Coat each patty with the breadcrumbs. Let sit for 5 minutes, then spray both sides of the patties with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the bean cakes and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Serve warm with mango salsa on the side, garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Satisfying, filling and healthy. As it should be I think.

Canned black bean pic courtesy of: all-creatures.org
Mango pic courtesy of: medcookingalaska.blogspot.com

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2009

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