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Italian Feta Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Feta Burgers

I could not be more excited about this 70ish spring weather! My scarf and hat needed a break (and likely a trip to the laundromat as well). I’m also enjoying the motivation to get my booty outside and running.

I’m training for my first 10-miler. I’ve been a runner since high school, but for some reason, the thought of 10-miles still makes me weary. I know my legs can make it, but my mind’s an entity of its own. It’s made my training process a little slow-growing…

City running generally gets boring to me after mile three. Not enough trees or obstacles. I’ll push myself two more miles, but much more after that and my mind starts going crazy. I start yelling inside my head at all the oblivious dog-walkers on the street and then fight with myself about how those are not so nice or productive thoughts. I love dogs, but seriously, your pooches needn’t take up the whole path. City sidewalks aren’t royal runways for your dog. But what’s the use of letting those things get to me, right? If I have to slow down to dodge a person simply enjoying the weather, so what.

Gah…the conversations I have with myself while trying to keep my feet running and my mind distracted. If only Philly had more running trails. Luckily, I’m sure the race will provide plenty of people watching to keep me entertained for at least a few miles. People watching is a personal favorite spring and summer activity of mine.

Another favorite warm weather pursuit? Making burgers. Burgers just breathe springtime to me, even when they’re not made on the grill. I mixed things up with this one by adding feta, and then using whole chickpeas for a textural experience. I really liked the crunch from the chickpeas. Just don’t go overboard when adding them in, or they’ll dominate in flavor. As I’ve suggested below (though not pictured), consider sautéing the onions before topping off your burger. The sweetness with the feta is totally worth the extra step.

Black Bean Feta Burgers

Click here for recipe…

Crispy Sweet Potato Burgers

I have been eyeing this recipe for months. And waiting and waiting, since April (!), to make this. Unlike many of the enticements I spot online and store away, this one didn’t get forgotten and then suddenly rediscovered in my recipe lost and found. No…this one’s kept an impression in my mind since its bookmarking, buying my excitement as I waited for its star ingredient to fall into season.

You see, though these would make a nice summer burger alternative, my dad harvests gallon buckets of sweet potatoes every early fall. It seemed silly for me rush out to the store in the middle of the spring just to make this recipe, when garden sweets would eventually be on their way.

Finally, October hit and the wait ended. On her last visit to Philly, my dad sent my mom up with a bushel basket full of butternuts and sweet potatoes (totally tubular, dude). The first few went straight into aluminum foil, into the oven, and then into my belly.

But the second few, they went into these gorgeous burgers. Seriously, the slider version from Love & Lemons, the blog where these were spotted, made sweet potato burgers look so cute that there was no way I could not make these.

This is a refreshingly interesting, slightly sweet burger rendition that pairs well with the recipes’ notable hints of rosemary and tahini. Add a few extra sprigs of rosemary if you really want a fresh herb feel.

For a light and healthy burger that doesn’t have the texture of rubber and looks amazing, too, this is it. For an even lighter treat, opt for the slider size, but likely you’ll want more than one.

Click here for recipe…

Grilled Black Bean Burgers

When my friend told me this was the first intentional vegetarian meal that he’s ever cooked, I was shocked. What I wasn’t too surprised about was how well the meal turned out.  When it comes to summertime grilling and bean burgers, I’m generally satisfied.

However, when he sent over the recipe for his first debut on my blog, and I saw where it came from, my initial shock value tripled.  I was told the recipe was picked up from the Food Network. What I was not told was that it was a Sandra Lee original. It’s probably for the best that that tidbit of information was left out prior to eating.

To put it shortly, I’m not a Sandra Lee fan. She’s carved out her own signature approach to cooking, which is fine, but it’s just not my style. I generally don’t like using packaged foods, which is the key to her semi-homemade meals.

That’s exactly why I would’ve never guessed this was originally her vegetarian creation! The only processed component of this recipe was the food processor working its magic on the fresh ingredients that made these taste so good. Sandra Lee, you actually use real ingredients?

We decided to throw some blue cheese on top for an extra punch of flavor. Brie and arugula would be a nice duo, too. Or maybe grilling the tomatoes before using them as a topper. With a grill, the options really are endless, so let whatever veggies you have on hand be your inspiration.

Click here for recipe…