meatless monday: white bean burgers with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella + kale chips

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Happy (meatless) Monday!  I hope everyone had a great (or bearable, at least) return to the work week.  I was delighted to learn that my yoga class was outside today, so I’m still basking in the glory of Vitamin D and beautiful weather.  Namaste, indeed!

The beautiful weather enjoyment continued when Alex and I took our dinner outside to eat on the back deck.  Summer, can you hear me?

If you like black bean burgers, I think you’ll really like these white bean burgers.  I researched a few different white bean burger recipes, but the one listed below is a combination of several ideas.  The taste is quite mild, but the aromatics of the burger make for a lovely sensory experience.  I realized later that if you leave off the mozzarella cheese and the rye bread (but who would do that, right?), this meal would be totally vegan!  Who knew?  My hat totally goes off to vegans, but a world without cheese is not one I want to live in.  Can I get an amen?

If you’ve never tried kale chips, I have one word for you: YUM.  If you love salty snacks like me (I’ve never met a chip I didn’t like), then you’ll be all over this vitamin-rich superfood-turned-snack food.  They are SUPER easy, inexpensive, and will change your world as it pertains to dark leafy greens.  Three words: just try them.

White Bean Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

Makes 4 burgers

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed or chia seeds (I used chia)

1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. paprika

2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

4 slices fresh mozzarella (don’t skimp on this by getting it pre-sliced)

8 slices dark rye bread (or any bun/bread you choose)

Turn your oven onto the broiler setting.  Place sun-dried tomatoes, chia seeds, basil, oats, garlic and paprika in the bowl of a food processor and process until blended.

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Add beans and pulse briefly until mixture just comes together in a ball, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Be careful not to fully puree the beans but rather leave them chunky.

Preheat grill pan (or flat-bottom pan) to medium-high heat. Form burger mixture into 4 even patties.  Grill burgers, covered, for 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and heated through.

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Place patties on the broiler pan and top with mozzarella cheese.  Broil until the cheese is melted and looks like this:

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Toast bread or bun of your choice and top with your selection of toppings.  I used redleaf lettuce and dijon mustard.  Add the cheese-topped patties, assemble sandwiches, and enjoy!

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 dashes of hot sauce (I like Cholula)

2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425F.  Remove stems from kale and tear into bite-size pieces; place kale pieces in a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly in the mixing bowl.  Place seasoned kale pieces evenly on a cookie sheet; do not let leaves overlap.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy like chips!

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