About a year ago Jason and I decided that we wanted to try to be vegetarians for a month, in an effort to be healthier. Surprisingly, it was Jason’s idea. The even more surprising part is that I think I was the first one to break our pact – after approximately 2 weeks. I remember it clearly. I was sitting at Sidecar in NYC with a couple of lovely ladies that I used to work with and the bartender placed a beautiful plate of bacon covered dates in front of us. It was all over. I couldn’t help myself. I am very impressed with people who can resist bacon. I just simply cannot survive without meat. I envy people who can, but for me it was really difficult and I actually felt unhealthy & sick. That being said, I do enjoy vegetarian dishes and love a Meatless Monday! After all the heavy food we’ve been eating lately, it was definitely time to bring back a Cooking Light favorite. My dear friend, Kennan Hester (check out her awesome blog when you have a minute, it’s all about home ownership and home improvement), sent me a recipe from Cooking Light a few months ago for Black Bean Cakes and I instantly fell in love with this recipe and have made it many times since.
I used organic ingredients and made the following changes:
I used olive oil instead of canola oil. I’ve heard negative things about all vegetable oils including canola oil, so I try to steer clear of it.
I left off the cilantro, simply because I didn’t have any but I believe it would only improve the recipe.
I used a small yellow onion instead of green onions
I added a finely chopped red pepper. Red peppers are one of my favorite vegetables and I try to add them to almost everything I cook.
I made my own balsamic vinaigrette, details below.
I only used 3 eggs as there were only two of us.
1/3 cup of olive oil
Organic Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Emulsify the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. To do this gradually add the olive oil to the balsamic vinegar while whisking it together. I usually start with 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar and add more if necessary. Taste test while doing this until you reach the perfect amount. Add a bit of salt & pepper to taste and mix well. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to brighten up the flavors. A super simple and easy dressing that is much healthier than the store-bought version.
Let’s take a closer look at that Black Bean Cake….
Dinner was delicious and everything we were craving! The Black Bean Cakes were filling without being heavy. You don’t even miss the meat, especially because there is an egg for added protein.