Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipe: Black Bean Cakes

June 04, 2010

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

Henry loves going to Chipotle for
black beans, rice and chicken. In fact, on our last vacation he said to
us, “Can we go home now and get some Chipotle?”

I thought
maybe I could compete by making black beans and rice at home — although
when I made my beans, I shredded carrots and broccoli into the dish for extra
nutrition. And while these homemade beans were really good, Henry
wasn't into them — and my wife can only eat so many beans in a given
week. The end result was that we had a lot of black beans sitting
around in my fridge. So I decided to turn lemons into lemonade,  or at
least turn black beans into black bean cakes. All kids love cakes, right?

Ingredients:

4 cups of cooked black beans
(approx. two 15 oz. cans) 
1 onion, finely chopped
1
carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2
large garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
4 tablespoons
whole wheat flour (Note: This is only needed if there is a lot of liquid. If you used canned beans, you can drain the liquid)
1 cup plus two tablespoons yellow cornmeal

Place drained beans in large bowl. Using
hand masher, mash beans coarsely. Mix in onions, carrots, cilantro,
garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs, flour and 2
tablespoons cornmeal.

There are two ways to make the cakes.
You can pan fry them, which is delicious. Or if you have other things to
do, you can bake them on a cookie dish in the oven. This is what I did.

Take out a
cookie sheet and oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place large heaping
tablespoons of the bean mixture onto the sheet, and sprinkle more
cornmeal on top. I made about 12 large cakes.

Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about an
hour and remove.

The result:

Henry loved the
hand-friendly cakes. Serve them with salsa, barbecue sauce, ketchup, or
whatever works for you. Eat them with your hands or in a bun. 

Super
kid-friendly. Super tasty. Not too difficult. And it turned a lot of leftover beans
into a delicious, healthy meal.