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Believe it or not, these black bean burgers have been on my list to make for about 6 months.  I have bought the ingredients for them at least 3 times over those 6 months and still never got around to making them.  That is, until the other day!  I had no reason for not making them, I just for some reason never did.  I’m so glad that I finally got to it.  These things are awesome!

Now, technically these are “spicy” black bean burgers, but they are only spicy if you add the jalapeno.  However, if you are anything like me and you think you have a jalapeno in the fridge that you didn’t use the other day, when in fact you don’t…. well… they aren’t so spicy.  But they are still tasty!  They just don’t have the kick.

They are actually very simple to make.  However, I was determined, once again to not use all the required appliances in order to lessen my dish washing load.  I’m not sure what my deal is.  I get so excited to have all these awesome food processors, blenders, mixers, cheese graters…. and I love them, but when it comes down to it, somedays I don’t want to use them only based on the fact that they are more time consuming to wash.  I should really stop doing that.  Anyway… I found that they didn’t stay together super well, but I have a feeling that’s because I didn’t use the food processor to really blend some of the ingredients together so they didn’t act as much like glue as they should have… that’s my guess anyway.  So these may be more like “black bean sloppy burgers” but they still have the same awesome flavor as they would if they weren’t sloppy.

These are a great alternative to a real burger.  They are just as filling, if not more, and they are so much better for you!  They also have soooo much more flavor.  We paired them with some steamed veggies and chips and salsa.  We also topped our burgers with avocado and hot sauce.  Definitely the way to go!  Enjoy these!  They are a perfect meal for Meatless Monday!

Spicy Black Bean Burgers 
From Eat, Live, Run
Makes 5- 1/3 cup size burgers, which are pretty thick burgers

2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons of water
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn (I used frozen)
Avocado for topping
Hot sauce for topping
Olive oil (or canola oil) for frying

In a small bowl or measuring cup or mug (whatever is easiest to clean!) stir together the ground flax and water.  Set aside.

Add the jalapeno and garlic to a food processor or blender and mince finely.  Add one can of beans and pulse until combined.  Add cumin and salt and pulse more until pretty smooth.

Transfer the bean mixture to a large bowl.  Add the bread crumbs, tomato sauce, corn and flax.  Stir to combine.  Add the remaining beans.

Heat a little bit of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the bean mixture and form a patty with your hands.  Place on piece of parchment paper or foil.  Make remaining patties until you have used up all of the bean mixture.  Fry in the pan for about 4 minutes per side until crispy and golden brown.  Warning!  These were pretty tricky to flip, so just be prepared!

Serve the burgers with avocado and hot sauce, maybe even some tomato and lettuce too!

I didn’t work yesterday.  Typically Thursdays are my off days.  (I love Thursdays).  Brad worked from home too so we got a lot done.  Laundry, gave Etta a bath, Brad cut the grass, we seeded some bare spots in the yard, we skipped our run (oops), I caught up on my tv shows, and I might have fallen asleep while cuddling with the dog… in bed.  It happens.

But when I woke up I had the most sudden urge to eat a peanut butter granola bar.  I don’t know where it came from, but what I did know was that I had to have one.  For those few minutes, nothing else really mattered in the world.  I just needed to get some peanut butter granola bars in my belly.  And so what did I do?  Oh… I made peanut butter granola bars.

I actually made these before like a month ago.  I found the recipe from Tasty Kitchen, but I learned the hard way that they burn pretty easily.  It was really depressing.  Rather than having peanut butter granola bars, we had peanut butter burnt granola.  I took photos and everything and opted to not post about them because I was too sad.  So this time, I was determined.  Those things were not going to burn on my watch.  I was able to snatch them out of the oven just as the edges were starting to get toasty.  Thank goodness.

These are by far the easiest granola bars I have ever made.  All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together, dump in a pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Seriously, it doesn’t get easier than that.  And they are unbelievably delicious.  These are perfect for breakfast on the run or a snack at anytime of the day.  They are sweet, but have the perfect amount of salty to satisfy any craving you have.  Better yet, slop some peanut butter on top and you will have pure peanut butter bliss in your hands… and eventually your belly.  Just as I had finished putting the mixture in the pan, I realized I should have put flax seed in there because I typically like flax seed in my granola bars.  I will definitely do that next time.  And I am totally making these for the race.  They will make the most perfect snack at the track.  I cannot even wait!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen with some changes

3 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together all ingredients in a bowl until combined well.  Grease an 8 x 8 pan and pour the mixture in, patting everything down a little bit.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Keep an eye on it though, like I said, it burns easily.

Once cooled, flip out onto a cutting board and cut into desired sized bars with a sharp serrated knife.  Store in a Ziploc bag and top with peanut butter as you eat them.  You’re welcome.

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