By Jenna Weber

Skimping on fat doesn't mean skimping on taste! These black-bean burgers are deliciously spicy, hearty, and incredibly easy to make. I promise they won't weigh you down like fast food! Feed your family the Greek salad and eggplant soup for dinner outside and enjoy your meal while watching a beautiful summer sunset!

Grocery list2 cans black beansGround flax1 jalapeño5 cloves garlic1 small can tomato sauce1 bag panko bread crumbsCumin1 bag frozen corn1 avocado1 large eggplant1 red bell pepper1 quart vegetable stock1 jar tahini1 lemon2 red onionsCorianderCayenne pepper1 jar pitted kalamata olives1 can artichoke hearts1 large cucumber6 oz. cubed feta cheese8 oz. extra-firm tofuFresh basil leavesRed-wine vinegarDried oregano

 

Spicy Black-Bean BurgersZesty and delicious, these diet-friendly burgers are a great alternative for anyone looking to lower her cholesterol!

Makes 6 burgers

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed1 tbsp. ground flax plus 3 tbsp. water1 jalapeño2 cloves garlic2 tbsp. tomato sauce1/2 cup panko bread crumbs2 tsp. cumin1 1/4 tsp. salt1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen and defrosted)Avocado for toppingOlive oil (or canola oil)  for frying burgers

1. Seed and roughly chop jalapeño. Add to food processor (or high-speed blender) with garlic cloves and mince finely. (Alternately, you could chop them yourself very finely but it’s easier to throw them in a food processor.)

2. Add 1 can of beans to the jalapeño and garlic mixture and pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt and pulse until mixture resembles chunky black-bean dip.

3. In a small bowl, mix together ground flax and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer the mixture in the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, tomato sauce, flax, and corn. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining black beans.

5. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Form black-bean mixture into patties and fry for about 4 minutes per side, until crispy and golden brown.

Baba Ghanoush SoupMy new favorite soup…I just can't get enough!

Serves 3 to 4

1 large eggplant1 red bell pepper3 cloves garlic, minced1/2 red onion, chopped2 tbsp. olive oil2 1/2 cups vegetable stock1/4 cup tahini1 tsp. ground coriander1 tsp. sea salt1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant (don’t peel) and lay on a sheet tray lined with tinfoil. Press paper towels on top of eggplant slices and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove paper towels and dice eggplant. Spray foil with cooking spray and place eggplant back on. Sprinkle generously with salt and roast for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2. While eggplant is roasting, roast red pepper on a burner’s open flame (or just chop and roast with eggplant) until black. Let cool, then gently rub off blackened skin and chop.

3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add chopped red onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft, then add garlic. Sauté for 30 more seconds.

4. Add stock, roasted diced eggplant, and red bell pepper. Stir in spices and tahini. Bring to a simmer, then carefully transfer soup to blender. Process until smooth.

5. Ladle soup into bowls and finish with a squeeze of lemon.

 

 

Greek Tofu SaladA delicious spin on the picnic-friendly classic!

Serves 6

1/2 red onion, sliced1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives1 can artichoke hearts1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped6 oz. cubed feta cheese8 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes4 large basil leaves, torn2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar1 tsp. dried oregano1/2 tsp. sea salt1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients.

2. Place in the fridge and let marinate for at least an hour before serving.