These flavorful, vegetable-filled cakes make for a perfect side dish, fun appetizer, or hearty breakfast.
Yields: 16 – 18 cakes (recipe can be cut in ½)
2 15-oz cans black beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1- 1 ½ cup)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped (may substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder), 1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 ¼ cup cornmeal, divided
1 large egg, white only
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cilantro
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus additional for pan-frying
Sauté: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onion, garlic, and pepper, cooking over medium heat until softened (approx. 4-5 minutes). Add corn and mix. Stir in the cumin, cilantro, and pepper, and heat until fragrant (approx. 1-2 minutes). Add salt to taste. Remove from heat, and allow mixture to cool.
Blend: Rinse beans with water before mashing – this will remove up to 40% of the sodium. Mash beans by hand or with a food processor – if using a processor, mash 1 can at a time. If needed, add 1-2 teaspoons of water to aid in the blending.
Mix: Place the mashed beans mixture in a large bowl. Add egg white and ¼ cup cornmeal, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the chopped spinach and cooked vegetables.
Coat: Place remaining cornmeal in a separate bowl. Scoop ~ ¼ cup of the bean mixture, and place in the cornmeal – rolling until evenly coated. Remove and flatten to ~ ½ inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Cook: Heat ~ 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place 3-4 cakes in the pan, cooking until crisp (~2 minutes per side). When finished, remove and place cakes on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Get Creative: Serve the cakes with low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt, salsa, avocado, guacamole, or anything else that you desire!
Recipe by Laura Maydak. Laura is currently a graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Coordinated Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics program on her way to become a registered dietitian. Connect with Laura on LinkedIn or on twitter (@lmaydak) for motivation and tips to live your healthiest, happiest life – all given with a healthy dose of humor.