Heyo, how was your weekend?
Does it feel like everyone’s living for the weekend lately?
Are we all working hard during the week then taking advantage of warm weather and lots of daylight for playing hard during the weekends?
And living to post the evidence on the ol’ social medias? This is how my life wheels have been turning lately. Cook, photograph, play, repeat.
Over the weekend, I exchanged one spot of mountain for another.
I left Reno on Friday, drove three hours south to Mammoth Lakes, CA, and pitched a tent for a couple of nights at Camp High Sierra.
If you’ve never been, to the Mammoth area, I definitely recommend it! The landscape is completely breathtaking, with mountains and rock formations jetting up from the valley, and layers upon layers of mixed terrain and color.
The weekend activities consisted of gaping at the gorgeous scenery, a bike ride around all of the high elevation lakes, a trail run from the valley floor to a trail head above camp, a couple pints of Double Nut Brown Porter from Mammoth Brewing Company, campfire, camp coffee, camp scrambled eggs, and hot springs both in the Mammoth area and in Bridgeport on the drive back.
The getaway was a nice refresher and a reminder of how amazing mother nature is – just how crazy is it that hot minerally water bubbles up from the earth and creates natural hot tubs for our soaking enjoyment?
And how well we can all live with no insulation, internet connection, or easy bake oven. One of my brother’s friends, who is a retired philosophy professor, told us years ago, “the greatest truth in life is campfire and beer.” I’m thinking I agree.
Wanna know something silly? I haven’t had a meat burger the entire summer. But veggie burgers? Hot topic in life lately. I’ve got my mind on the veggie burger and the veggie burger on my mind.
These ones are spicy (you can adjust the heat accordingly)
And meaty (in the most meatless of ways).
I chopped up a chipotle (or as I like to call them, “chipOHddle” chili to give a little kickerooski to the burg.
How to Make Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers:
They’re real simple. Basically just black beans, rice (because: complete protein), the chipotle, a little onion and garlic action, and some cumin.
Mash everything together in a bowl, patty it up, sear it in the trusty cast iron, and BOOM: meatless protein burgers for all mouths and palates.
Serving options! Let’s talk.
You can do a double-duty spice action by whipping up a chipotle yogurt sauce to put on top, or a little guacamole, perchance some salsa or a spread of hummus…bun/no bun, lettuce/no lettuce….tomato/no tomato. All sorts of options for that burger of yours.
I kept my toppings simple with a little avocado, red onion, and baby arugula.
Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Black Bean Burgers:
- 4 burger buns
- 1 large avocado peeled and sliced
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls baby arugula
- Pour the cooked brown rice and drained and rinsed black beans into a mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash the beans, leaving them somewhat chunky.
- Finely chop the red onion, garlic and chipotle chili. Make sure the pieces are very fine so they can become well incorporated with the burger patties.
- Add the onion, garlic, chili, ground cumin and salt to the mixing bowl with the rice and beans.
- Stir everything together until well-incorporated. The rice and bean mixture will be thick, slightly sticky and very malleable.
- Form the mixture into a large ball, and then divide it into four equal sections. Make a small ball out of one of the sections and press between your palms to flatten into a burger patty.
- Make patties out of the remaining three sections of the mixture, and place all of the patties on a plate.
- Heat a large (10-inch) skillet to medium-high, and add enough cooking oil to generously coat the surface, about 3 tablespoons.
- Carefully place all of the burger patties on the hot skillet. Cook until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip the patties and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until golden-brown on both sides.
- Toast burger buns, and make complete veggie burgers with your favorite toppings, such as fresh greens, avocado, tomato and onion.