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To balance out the gluttony in our household, the husband and I have instituted Meatless Mondays. That’s right, no meat at all on Mondays from here on out. We’ll see how long our willpower lasts.

I discovered a recipe for black bean burgers with mango salsa in the April issue of Cooking Light. The recipe is also available online here. I knew we’d love these as soon as I read the ingredient list: black beans (obviously), cilantro, Monterrey-Jack cheese, lime juice, jalapeno, mango, and avocado. Yum!

And perhaps best of all, this meal came together in a flash. After work, I went grocery shopping and made a quick trip to my folks’ house and I still had dinner ready in time to watch 24 with my man. Simply mash the black beans then add your cilantro, cheese, breadcrumbs, spices, jalapeno, and egg whites then form into patties. The burgers will need 20 minutes in the oven which gives you plenty of time to prepare the mango salsa.

The consistency of the salsa is up to you. I initially left the salsa pretty chunky. What was the reward for my efforts? A lapful of salsa. For my second burger (of course I had seconds!), I decided to pulse the salsa in the food processor with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Now this salsa was much more obedient, going into my mouth instead of fleeing south.

We didn’t even miss having meat. Actually, the only thing that could have made this meal any better would have been a margarita. There’s always next time!

chipotle pork cheeseburgers

Looking for a different kind of burger? Allow me to introduce you to the chipotle pork cheeseburger…mmm…

Chipotle Pork Cheeseburgers

From Gourmet June 2009
  • Serves 4
  • Active time:10 min
  • Start to finish:20 min


  • 1 lb ground pork (not lean)
  • 2 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press (I finely chopped mine)
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted (I used wheat buns)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large tomatillo (1/4 lb), husked and rinsed, then sliced
  • 1/2 small avocado, sliced
  •  1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
  • You’ll also want to have a fresh lime (for the avocado)


  • Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat.
  • Gently mix pork, chipotle, garlic, and a scant tsp salt until just combined. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties.
  • Oil grill rack, then grill patties, covered, 4 minutes.
  • Flip patties and top with a slice of cheese. Grill, covered, until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Spread buns with mayonnaise and assemble burgers with tomatillo, avocado, and cilantro.

I made these burgers last night and, boy, were they delicious! The only thing I’d do differently is chop the cilantro and incorporate it into the mayonnaise, maybe adding a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice. Grill a couple of bell peppers and some corn on the cob and you’ve got quite a meal.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I did have rocky road ice cream for dessert. Let the celebration continue! I think I’ll skip Applesauce Cake Day (June 4th) and hold out for National Doughnut Day (June 5th). What weird holidays will you be celebrating this month?


Last week, Kevin and I dined on chipotle salmon burgers, mambo rice, and salad with avocado – delish! First, let me tell you about the salmon burgers. My mom found this recipe in Cooking Lite magazine.


Shape the patties up to eight hours in advance, and cook just before serving. Use a grill pan or nonstick skillet to cook them since they may not hold up on a standard grill. If you have a mini food processor, use it to prepare the mayonnaise mixture. You can use regular hamburger buns instead of English muffins. *Note: We ate ours without the bread and they were delicious. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)



Mayonnaise Sauce:

  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3  tablespoons  light mayonnaise
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh mango
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/8  teaspoon  finely grated lime rind


  • 1/3  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (1 1/4-pound) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 4  English muffins
  • 4  butter lettuce leaves




1. To prepare mayonnaise, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.

2. To prepare burgers, place onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, chile, and juice in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add salt and salmon; pulse 4 times or until salmon is coarsely ground and mixture is well blended.

3. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each portion into a (1-inch-thick) patty. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

5. Wipe skillet with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Place 2 muffins, cut sides down, in pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining muffins.

6. Place 1 muffin bottom on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 lettuce leaf and 1 patty. Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture over each patty; place 1 muffin top on each serving.


I discovered mambo rice when watching an episode of Guy’s Big Bite on Food Network featuring Guy Fieri. I’ve served this at a few get-togethers and it’s always a hit. The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I cut the recipe in half and we still had a lot left over.



  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper



Add water, chicken stock and rice to a rice cooker. Cook until al dente.

Combine all other ingredients in a bowl.

Remove rice from cooker and toss, separating with fork. Once rice is separated, slowly add the blended mixture.


"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

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