I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure what puts the ‘Island’ in these Island Paradise Bean Burgers but I was really curious to see how these would turn out as I’ve never even had a veggie burger before!

Hopefully I’ll impress you when I say, I actually had all of the ingredients on hand this time!!  The only situation I had this time around was the beans.  I had beans in my cupboard, sure, but it was a bag of dry beans.  I have a confession: I’ve never cooked dry beans before!  I know, it’s killing you – you want to ask, why, then, did I have a bag of dried beans?  Even more odd, I also have a bag of white beans in my cupboard.  Uh huh.  Yup.  Makes all kinds of sense, doesn’t it?

I figured all you had to do was cook the crap out of them so, I proceeded to cook the crap out of them.  And cook.  And cook.  Seriously, I didn’t soak them in advance but I had not expected to have to cook them for approx. 3 hours, then let them sit in the water overnight, then cook them again for another 3 hours the next day before they were soft enough to mash and eat!  My advice to you?  Buy canned beans!  Aside from that little time sucker, these beans were quick and easy to make (provided you’ve got left over cooked rice on hand).  I dare say, without two sucky, fussy, crying babes at your feet, you should be able to get these burgers put together in less time than it takes to eat them.

The bean mixture pre-patties.

Now, I must admit, I’m not sure how this fits into the whole Eat Clean thing, but I used a toasted baguette in place of a bun and put it together like an open face burger, though my husband did try to eat his first one using the baguette like a traditional bun.  He also used his traditional burger condiments – which, as he started eating before I did, he quickly advised me not to.  I served them with bbq’d sweet potato fries, just like in the picture in the book (well, mine tend to end up burnt before they are really fully cooked but that is a whole other post!).

The verdict?

The Cook: I like the flavours, the texture is new, it’s good.  They fell apart pretty easily but the way I ate it that was ok.  I’d like to try them as appetizer ‘sliders’ sometime.

Husband: I like the taste, the texture is different than I’m used to but it’s ok.  Yeah, I’d ask you to make them again.  My usual condiments don’t help it much though, it needs a fancy type of cheese or something.  I’d like it if it didn’t crumble so much.  Wait, how did you do yours?  Why didn’t you do that for me?  That looks like it’d be good. [grabs burger #2]

Son: [carefully spitting out his mouthful onto his plate]  It’s not good mommy.  Can I have more fries and some leaves?

Next time: Beef & Broccoli Orange Stir Fry from Clean Eating March/April 2010 issue.

So, are you in for next week?