One of the most important things I teach my clients about adopting a healthier life style is that they do not have to give up the things they love. In fact, they shouldn’t! Instead of giving up those favorites, the best thing to do is to first crowd them out with better options, and then if they still want them, to find the most fun, delicious substitute they can.
This is exactly how I discovered my new favorite Fun Friday Night meal, the Burger Bowl.
For years I stayed away from burgers because I felt that burgers were ‘junk food,’ and therefore no longer part of my clean eating practice. I tried the processed, ‘healthy’ burgers only to be disappointed with the taste and shocked by what was included on the ingredient list. Also I didn’t particularly enjoy eating my burger between two leaves of kale or with a knife and fork. It just wasn’t the same as a warm, toasted hamburger bun. The gluten-free versions available in the grocery store offered only a tasteless, preservative-filled alternative.
When I began to make my own burgers, and fell in love with this black bean burger, I knew that I wanted to have the fun of the burger back too. After all, food is fun! Or it should be. And of course there’s the issue of the bun. How could I have all my delicious toppings, avocado, pickles, tomatoes, baby spinach, tzatziki, hummus, salsa, caramelized onions, or onions and still pick up my burger?
That’s when my Burger Bowl was born. A few nights ago, I happen to put my black bean burgers in the first dish I found, a bowl. Then I added some cheese, some slices of avocado, baby spinach and diced cherry tomatoes.
Viola! A Burger Bowl!
My first Burger Bowl, I admit, was tame. Now I go all out with salsa and roasted red pepper, blue cheese and roasted (until crunchy) baby red, purple and white potatoes.
The recipe that I use also does very well as a crumble. I still call it a Burger Bowl. Black Bean Crumble just doesn’t sound the same!
I've modified the recipe to reduce the grains (oats and corn) and increase the salsa and hot sauce. I always make a double batch and freeze the burgers on a cookie sheet, placing them in a freezer bag after they are hard enough to no longer crumble. I also added cheese to my recipe. Feel free to leave it out if dairy doesn't work for you or your family. You can always add cheese to your individual bowls to make a meal that works for your whole family.
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup oats
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup to 1 cup salsa
I tbsp. hot sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pink salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or blue cheese are delicious!)
Beginner toppings: avocado, diced pickles, baby spinach, diced tomatoes, red onion slices, grilled pineapple, and sauteed mushrooms.
Taking it to the next level toppings: Hummus, tzatziki, caramelized onions, blue cheese, feta, guacamole, salsa, chutney, and so many more!
I often use the early morning to organize my thoughts into paragraphs. And sometimes into recipes.