07-09-06_patty.jpgI cooked the “Bean Burgers,” from Magic Menus for People with Diabetes (recipe below), by the American Diabetes Association, with the same hope that every cook of bean burgers has: to have a substantial (and tasty!) meal to serve on a bun. I did indeed achieve great burgers, delicious with lettuce, ketchup, and relish.

Bean Burgers
Yield: 8 servings

1 (16-oz.) can kidney, pinto, or black beans
2 cups cooked brown rice or millet
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Divide mixture into 8 burgers, making patties about 1/2-inch thick. You may need to wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking.

Coat a nonstick skillet with vegetable spray. Cook burgers over medium heat until browned on both sides, about 7-9 minutes.

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I halved this recipe, to make 4 burgers. I used pinto beans and cooked rice (thanks to Chinese leftovers!). At first, I was worried that this ingredient mix would be too dry to form adequate burgers, but after mashing all of it, it does hold together. The burgers fry easily and your diners will adore them.

For my side dish, I cooked the “Stuffed Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Olives, and Oregano,” from the September 2000 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). I halved this recipe, to make 3 tomatoes.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Olives, and Oregano
Serves 6 as a side dish

6 firm, ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz. each), 1/8 inch sliced off stem end, cored, and seeded
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup coarse homemade bread crumbs or panko
3 Tbsp. olive oil plus 1 additional tsp.
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
Ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. pitted and chopped black olives

Sprinkle inside of each tomato with salt and place upside down on several layers of paper toweling; let stand to remove excess moisture, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, goat cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, olives, and pepper to taste in small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees; line bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil.

Roll up several sheets of paper towels and pat inside of each tomato dry. Arrange tomatoes in single layer in baking dish. Brush top cut edges of tomatoes with 1 tsp. oil. Mound stuffing into tomatoes (about 1/4 cup per tomato); drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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This is the kind of dish you can use to impress your guests, without worrying about difficult preparation. I used packaged breadcrumbs, and these were fine for me. I did opt to use fresh parsley and oregano. The overall taste was nice, though I needed a bit more salt. Portion sizes were great.

RECIPES: easy and tasty burgers; impressive tomatoes
10 minutes to fry burgers; 1 hour to prep and cook tomatoes
great flavors for both

Next time, I want to cook “Chicken Divan,” from Forbidden Foods Diabetic Cooking, by Margaret Powers and Joyce L. Hendley, along with “Fennel Purée,” from 1,001 Delicious Recipes for People with Diabetes, by Louis H. Philipson, Sue Spitler, Linda R. Yoakam, and R.D., Linda Eugene. Return to my site on Friday, December 7, to see how good they are.