Fun in the sun burgers

With temperatures approaching 100 degrees last Friday, the cool breeze and chilly but not frigid water offered relief from the heat. We frolicked, we walked, we swam, we read, we baked (yeah, oops! when the breeze coming off the water masks the suns rays you don't feel the need to reapply) and we worked up quite the appetite.

This past Christmas my mom gave me a cookbook from the highly acclaimed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY where Lindsay goes to college. The Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites Cookbook has won the James Beard/Kitchen Aid Cookbook Award and my copy is even signed by the author, Lisa Williams! Super cool mom! I have dabbled with a few soup recipes since December 25th, and thoroughly enjoyed the distinctive quality, bold tastes and health benefits of each creation, but mom is the experienced Moosewood diner and recreator. So, she took the reigns on dinner. Together we chose the Chili Burgers but before you envision thick chili and juicy meat, open your mind to beans, oats, tex-mex seasoning, protein, flavor and texture.

Moosewood Chili Burgers:

What you will need:

  • 1 cup chopped onions (we used 1/2 a red onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup or 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • salt and pepper to taste

First saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add the carrots, chili powder, and cumin and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. While sauteing, smile and pose for the camera like the beautiful lil' lady pictured. Set aside your mixture when all the flavors have combined and your mouth starts to hurt from smiling.

Mash the beans in a large bowl with a potato masher or get into it with your hands. It might feel gooey but its the best way to mash and mix. Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup or tomato paste, and the sauteed vegetables. Mix in the oats. Continue to use what your momma gave you, your hands. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and dry your hands and then moisten them up again and form the burger mixture into patties. Our mixture yielded about 8 patties. (You could make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference of course!) Lightly spray or oil a nonstick skillet and cook the burgers on medium heat for 5-8 minutes on each side or until a nice shade of brown covers these beauties.

We enjoyed our chili burgers on toasted Ezekiel muffins. Toppings at the table included fresh salsa, sliced avocado, and spinach. Lindsay composed a wonderful salad to elevate the meal, decorating Olivia's Organic spinach with sliced red onion, Ocean Spray craisins, walnuts and feta cheese and dressed the salad with a Light Balsamic Vinaigrette.

After a day in the sun, the chili burger vividly engaged the senses and proved you can make smart healthy choices and enjoy the results. Moosewood's attention to nutrition and delicious food emanates from every page with every recipe and the chili burgers on page 173 did not waver from the Moosewood mission nor sacrifice an ounce of flavor to provide a healthy enjoyable meal.

I love the gifts that keep giving, aka cook books. Thanks again mom!


  1. It looks like you are having a great time this summer! These chili burgers look great! I love mixing up burger recipes every once in awhile!

  2. I've never thought to throw chili powder in a veggie burger, but I bet it's fantastic - especially with avocados!

  3. Lindsay matches the meal she is preparing.

  4. That jumping photo is so cool!! Hmmm... I might have to do that! I'll post it when I do ;-)

  5. Oooh chili burgers sound amazing!! I'm obsessed with cookbooks too, even though you can get most recipes online. There's still nothing like them!


  6. I love Moosewoods cookbooks! Great choice.