Summer time isn't all about eating, but it can seem like it sometimes! Don't let it break your grocery budget, stay cool with real treats - made frugally by you.
This summer treat your family to bean burgers instead of hamburgers. (If you're not a bean person, these are better than they sound!) Serve them with southern style sweet tea for an inexpensive meal that's good enough for company. (Music from the radio or tape or cd player can turn any meal into a festive celebration.)
Here's the basic recipe for bean burgers. After you've made them once, you can adjust them to suit yourself. Different types of beans make different flavors, so don't be afraid to experiment. Add steak sauce, liquid smoke or Worchestershire sauce for different flavors. For this recipe, I used leftover boiled pinto beans from the freezer. Even if you buy canned beans, it's a cheap meal, and healthy, too.
2 cups beans
1 cup of bread crumbs (amount may vary)
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, mashed or minced
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon flour
Drain beans and reserve the liquid. Mash or puree beans in a blender, then add onion, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add about half the bread crumbs and mix with a spoon, then add the rest slowly until the mixture is stiff enough to form patties. If it becomes too dry, add a little of the liquid from the beans back in.
Dip the patties into the flour to coat and leave them to set for a half hour or so. This will help them keep their shape when they're cooked.
You can panfry them, but they're great on the grill, too. Either way, 5 to 10 minutes is all it takes. Serve on a bun with traditional hamburger toppings or barbecue sauce.