Black Bean Burgers and Good Eats

Summer seems to demand that I am constantly eating good food. Let’s be honest…all the time demands that I eat good food. But, for some reason, the summer seems to call out with rooftop happy hours, live music, and extravagant dinners.

I’m not complaining.

A couple food highlights from last week include a trip to one of my favorite Minneapolis restaurants, Broder’s Pasta Bar.


This time around I had pappardelle with steak, sundried tomatoes, and asparagus:


plus a few bites of a caprese salad appetizer:


I also visited Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill in St. Louis Park in the West End. This bar/restaurant is the premiere country music joint in the Twin Cities area, with live music almost every night. Here’s a picture of the stage (the band wasn’t out yet when we got there):


The bar is in the shape of a guitar and has no drink menu but offers pretty much everything you can think of:

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Can’t go wrong with mozz sticks:


Even though there’s been a lot of good food out and about, the real food highlights of the summer have been right in my own kitchen. This week, I made up a recipe for some black bean patties, and it turned out so well!

Recipe makes 8 black bean patties – full recipe below

First, combine 3 teaspoons minced garlic and two medium carrots in a food processor:

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Add in the contents of a 25oz. can of black beans (rinse the beans in a colander first):


In a separate bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon cumin, and 1 tablespoon chili powder:


Pour into the food processor with the bean mixture and process:

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Add between 1/2 – 3/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs (however much until the dough is formable), and then shape into 8 patties on a baking sheet:


Cook at 400° for 11 minutes on each side.

Black Bean Patties, recipe makes 8 patties
- 25oz. can black beans
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2-3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Combine garlic, carrots, and beans in a food processor and combine.
Separately, combine eggs, cumin, and chili powder. Add to processor. 
Add 1/2 of bread crumbs and combine. If mixture is still too wet, gradually add up to another 1/4 cup.
Form mixture into 8 patties and place on a baking sheet. 
Cook at 400° for 11 minutes on each side.

My Personal Restaurant Week

My family is visiting from out of town, so the next few days are going to be sort of like my own personal restaurant week. I don’t normally eat many meals out at all, so this is an exciting treat and opportunity to try several restaurants I’ve had my eye on.

First up, Broders’ Pasta Bar in the Linden Hills neighborhood. This restaurant features homemade pastas and a wide selection of traditional Italian dishes.

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The menu had a lot of enticing dishes. The most interesting to me were a ricotta gnocchi with peppered beef, spaghetti with meatballs, and a fettuccine with salmon, capers, and pistachios. While I was trying to decide, a basket of focaccia, sourdough, and salted crackers were brought to the table:

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On the waitress’ recommendation, I finally decided on the meatballs. I substituted linguine for the spaghetti though because the linguine was homemade and the spaghetti wasn’t. Direct quote from the waitress, “It’s the best meatballs and sauce I’ve ever had – and I’ve tried a lot.”


The dish was fabulous. The sauce wasn’t too overwhelming, and the meatballs had a great flavor. If I went back, I would probably want to try another one of the appealing dishes though since there were so many good looking items!

Since I stayed at the hotel with my family, I took a quick stop by Dunn Brothers with my father for breakfast.

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This Dunn Brothers is inside of the Minneapolis Convention Center. I tried a vegetarian breakfast sandwich and had a yogurt parfait minus the granola:

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This was not good. I feel strongly about eating my own sort of breakfast, and the weird food in the morning didn’t make me feel very good. Neither item was too tasted – I’m going to pack my own breakfast from home if I stay at the hotel again. This breakfast incident made me realize that I have two primary meal preferences.

1) I don’t like to switch up breakfast. I know what I like, and I like to make it in my own kitchen.
2) I like to eat lunch alone.

I can try, but I just don’t like switching these rules up. Call me a creature of habit.

What are your meal preferences?