Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Simple "Sandwiches" for Summer

It's been warm and muggy this week, the kind of weather that makes me not want to mess too much with dinner but I still want something good. "Sandwiches" fit the bill here, but not just any plain old sandwiches; less traditional ones that have lots of flavor and personality and that leave me craving more. Here are two of my recent favorites. 

The first is made with Pinto Bean Patties from a recipe from one of the vegetarian cooking classes I have been taking. They are great on flatbread, a bun, a wrap or, as in this case, served open-faced on a warm corn tortilla, with lettuce, cotja cheese, guacamole and cilantro on top. 

Pinto Bean Patties with Guacamole Topping 
Chef Alyssa Moreau
(Makes 4 patties)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each cumin, chili powder and oregano
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
dash cayenne or Tabasco (to taste)
2 Tbsp sliced black olives
1/2 cup grated cheese* (jack or cheddar)
1/2 cup crushed baked tortilla chips or rice chips
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup panko for crust on outside of patty (optional)

Guacamole Topping
2 cups ripe avocado
2 Tbsp tomato, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
cayenne to taste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste

For patties: 
Heat oil in a medium skillet and saute onions and bell peppers for about 5 minutes, until onions are tender and translucent. Add in the garlic, cook a few minutes and add the spices. Mash pinto beans in a bowl with a tomato masher. Add in the sauteed vegetables, and rest of ingredients. Shape into patties, roll in panko and pan-fry (non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet works well here), on both sides until crispy and browned, (they can also can be baked at 350 degree F. oven for 20-30 minutes).

For topping:
Mash all together, adjust flavors to taste. 

*Vegan option: replace cheese with 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Notes/Results: These patties are a go-to recipe for me. I make them with whatever canned or leftover beans I have on hand (pinto, kidney, black beans, etc.) and whatever I have in the house. I usually replace the olives in the recipe with canned green chilies and to save a few calories, leave the cheese out of the patty and sprinkle some on top. These have blue corn chips in them and whole wheat panko crumbs to coat but you can make them gluten-free by using rice chips and leaving off the panko. These are great in any kind of bun or bread, or sometimes I just eat them on top of salad.

The second, Grilled Sausage, Onions  & Pepper on Flatbread, satisfies my cravings  for sausage and peppers in a healthier way. It is so easy it isn't really a recipe, I just slice a chicken or turkey sausage (these are aidells Artichoke and Garlic sausages), and saute it (in just a little olive oil), with sliced sweet onions, sweet peppers, garlic, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, I heat some whole wheat flatbread, and mix a sauce with some non-fat Greek yogurt and a little Dijon mustard. I spread 1/2 the warmed flatbread with the sauce, add the sausage mix and top with a little cheese (in this case some chevre), and fold the bread over. Delicious and served with a simple salad, it is a satisfying meal. 

Both of these make a quick, easy, healthy and delicious lunch or dinner and they are a nice change of pace from a larger meal in the warmer weather. 


  1. I am being blinded bu gorgeous color. These look incredible. Have a wonderful

  2. great and complete meal sandwiches its muggy in NC too hate it lol

  3. I'll take one of each, please! My kinda sammies :)

  4. Both look great! I make a pinto bean patty recipe from Everday Food that's really good, somewhat similar to this one.

  5. They look very tasty for summer!

  6. Mmmm, Sammies! Love the colour and variety you have going on here. So healthy and delicious.
    Avocado is like the bacon of the vegetable world, just makes everything taste even better.

  7. The pinto bean patties look really great! They have all those tex-mex flavors I love. You can't go wrong with a sausage and pepper sammy, especially with all your gourmet twists!

  8. that first sandwich looks awesome! I ,ove anything with a mexcan flair like that.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been looking for a veggie burger recipe that sounds good to me. This one, with the cilantro and lime, sounds perfect! I cannot wait to try it!

  10. I have a can of pinto beans that has been staring at me accusingly every time I open the pantry! Now I know what I need to do with it. What a delicious recipe!


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